Ranšperk/Lanšperk (castle)

12th century

The castle was a possession of diocese of Krško and the lords of the castle were knights of Ranšperk, ministerials of Krško. First indirect mentioning of the castle is in 1189 when as a witness of bishop of Krško Odalskalk (Ulšalk?) is mentioned (Vlscalcus iunior de Rabensperch). Designation iunior means that he was a representative of at least the second generation of knights, owning Ranšperk.
The castle is not explicitly mentioned until 1355, and then as Rabensperch das alt haws, the following year as haws Rabensperch in dem Sevntal and in 1338 as die vest Rabensperch. But undoubtedly the castle was standing at least in the 12th century.
Beside Odalskalk in documents from the end of the 12th century also appear his father Bertold, in 1192 named Perchtoldus de Rauensberch and in 1197 together with him brother Engelskalk (Perchtoldus et filius eius Engelscalcus de Rabensperch). Later beside the listed also appear in 1224 Ortolf (Ortolfus de Rauensperch), in 1228 together with already known Odalskalk his companion Herman (Wlscalcus et miles suus Hermannus in Rauensperch). In 1279 the Ranšperk castle together with Lemberg, of which Hartnid from Guštanj renounced, goes formally into feud to Friderik of Ptuj. Lords of Ptuj remained in feudal possession of both castles until they died out in 1438 and they along with Dobrna rounded up the property of lords of Ptuj north from Celje. At the end of 13th century lords of Ranšperk returned to the castle as secondary vassals of Ptuj and remain there until they die out in 1388 when no one carries the name by the castle anymore (according to I.Stopar lineage of Ranšperk dies out around 1360). I.Stopar also states that the estate of Ranšperk was sold to Friderik of Ptuj by Heinczel Vrezzner in 1335.
After the death of Friderik of Ptuj, who was the last male descendant of lords of Ptuj, Ranšperk estate was inherited by his daughter Ana who married Ivan of Schaunberg. Lords of Schaunberg were also in possession of Lemberg pri Novi Cerkvi. As a caretaker of the castle Gašper Fayst is mentioned in 1443. Lords of Schaunberg were followers of provincial prince and thus enemies of Counts of Celje. Because of Schaunberg's loyalty to Habsburg family lords of Celje burned down (demolished) Ranšperk together with Lemberg pri Novi Cerkvi in 1452. From the end of the 60s of 15th century the castle is already refered to as site of antient fort (purkhstal - abandoned castle). In contrast with Lemberg pri Novi Cerkvi this castle was not reconstructed again.

In eastern Carniola a castle with similar name is located (Rabensberk) which was maybe built by Bertold III. of Ranšperk. Independent branch carried the name of the castle between 1301 and 1368 and had similar coat of arms as lords of Ranšperk.

Folk tradition tells a story of suspension bridge of tanned ox skins between the castle and present hilltop Likastok of Strgar's top. Because of the leather bridge it was originally called "Leder štok". The second legends talks of paved roads between the castle and Strgar's top on which the castle gentlefolk were promenading. Between both tops supposedly there were gorgeous castle gardens. Beneath the castle a big cave was located and its purpose is unsure, later it was filled-up by the peasants.

Analysis of the photographs is unfortunately impossible due to humble remains of the walls. Most preserved is southern defence wall. While making a tour round the castle we cannot miss the visible rocky barrier, which are witnesses of the fact that the walls were mostly leaned on the rock which was in some parts skillfully worked. Author of the first four photographs is Matjaž Založnik.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Spodnja Savinjska dolina", Založna Park, Ljubljana, 1992
Kos, Dušan, Dr.: "Vitez in Grad", Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, ISBN 961-6500-82-1
Contact details:
Web links:
History of Šmartno v Rožni dolini - Lanšpek – Ranšperk-Rabensberg
Shows and entertainment:
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 19.000' E 15° 13.816'


Defence wall on the western side of the top
Southern hillside of the top
A bit sinked area west from the castle; maybe filled-up once deep cavern for which an exact location is unfortunately not provided
Mountain point
Far south defence wall, which is most preserved