Šalek (castle)

13th century

Knights of Šalek, ministerials of Krško, cannot be detected in sources until 1264 when Egelof of Šalek is mentioned (Egeloffus de Shelek habeat ius patronatus in Capella sancti Martini ante Shelek). It seems that the castle, by which the whole valley got its name, is a lot older and that we can link with the castle knights of Škale who we encounter many times in the 12th century, particularly because in the vicinity of former Škale there was not any significant feudal post with the exception of Turn from Hrastovec. Between 1154 and 1189 noble Bertold is mentioned (Bertoldus de Scalach, Bertholdo de Scalach, Perhtoldus de Scalach liberi etc.). In 12th century we also encounter Dietrik and Hartnid of Škale or Šalek, undoubtfully relatives of Bertold; first among them Dietricus, Ditricus or Dietrich de Scalach or Schalach also prides himself with designation liber - free and the same title was carried by Hartnidus even if this cannot be learned from documents directly. de Schalach passes as a German version of this old name of Slovenian origin from which later more »castellan« sounding name Schalegg - Šalek has developed. Evidence about the importance of the family is the circumstance that lords of Škale-Šalek were among distinguished people always stated on distinguished place because they were sovereign lords of Šalek allodium which obviously later came under the direct sovereignty of Krško diocese. In 1278 Šalek castle is for the first time mentioned directly - haus Schalekke. Šalek estate was at the time already in the hands of Krško diocese like many other estates in Slovene territory and not anymore free estate as in 12th century.
Knight Nikl - Nikolaj of Šalek sold the fortification in 1314 to his close neighbour Oton of Ekenštajn and his wife Evfemija. In 1335 Nikolaj of Šalek and his brother Ottel - Oton stated in Braslovče that they bought half of the castle from Friderik freiherr of Žovnek - haus Schalek in dem Schelachtal ad then got both halves to lease from Friderik. Castle was at the time still property of Krško and thus the next year in Vitanje bishop of Krško Lovrenc imparted the castle to Friderik of Žovnek.
In 1353 Counts of Celje leased Šalek to Niklas Kienberger and in 1371 to Mert - Martin of Rifnik. Castle is at the time mentioned as vest Schallek. Mert's daughters sold it in 1428 to lords Söbrias whose heirs (Perneks, Racknitzers, Kainachers and Lambergers) are in 1516 still in possession of the castle. In 1561 the castle had at the same time four owners and in 1575 in land register of Šoštanj listed castle owner is Erazem Raumschüssel; it was imparted to him by provincial prince who inherited legacy of Lords of Celje. Raumschüssels owned the castle until 1664 when Marjeta Raumschüssel née baroness noble Buchheim sold the castle to her cousin Oton baron noble Teufenbach. At the time of Raumschüssel the castle was ravaged by rebelled peasants and half a century later it was affected by a fire. 10.1.1676 masonic master Primož Pšerničnik (Pschernitschnikh) from Šoštanj as an official representative of provice evaluated the damage to be 2866 fl. Repaired castle was after death of Oton Teufenbach in 1695 owned by Ferdinand Leopold baron noble Teufenbach who is as owner mentioned in 1708. In 1722 Šalek was in the hands of barons Mauerburgs and already in 1732 it is owned by Johan Jožef baron noble Gabelkhoven, owner of Turn castle near Velenje who combined both dominions. From this time on both castles have the same owners. In 1770 Šalek was struck by lightning and it burned down the second time. The fire was unnoticed until the whole shingle roof was burned down. Afterwards Šalek remained as a ruin as it can be seen on depictions from 19th century. In 1990 they began to systematically reconstruct the castle and also archaeological research are in progress at the same time.
Many items found on the area of castle ruins can be seen in Velenje museum.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Solčavskim in Kobanskim", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1993, ISBN /
Contact details:
Web links:
Šalek castle(Rotary Klub Velenje)
Photos of Šalek castle from before 1990 (before renovation)
Šalek castle - panoramic view (burger.si)
Shows and entertainment:
Castle is not a suitable place for events.
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 21.700' E 15° 7.632'


Remains of south part of inner ward (judging by Vischer's depiction inner ward once included three outbuildings)
Ruined inner walls
View of a castle from the place of inner ward which was connected to the castle by a bridge
Souther wall of a tower
Romanesque profiled window frame in second storey
Western wall of a tower
Romanesque door opening made of tufa in the third storey
Inside of the tower
Inside western tower wall
Reconstructed Romanesque loophole in the southern part of defence wall
Loophole from the inside
Part of palatium in front of the tower
Northern defence wall
Šalek tower before the reconstruction (1990); author of this photo is Dragutin Šafarić
View from the top of the tower towards west (1990); author of this photo is Dragutin Šafarić
Šalek castle at night; author of this photo is Dragutin Šafarić
Late-Gothic church of St.Andrej beneath the castle
Velenje city, Velenje castle visible in the background
Šalek castle on copper engraving from Vischer's Topographia of Styria, around 1681 (ruins of Ekenštajn castle is visible in the background); castle was composed of strong tower-like core around which residential buildings were condensed along with a chapel marked by turret on the roof; on the other side of the gallery across the castle moat an inner ward with three outbuildings is located
Ruins of Šalek castle; Tagespost suite around the year 1860
Šalek; Reichert, Einst und Jetzt; toned lithography, Graz 1863/64 (outtake)