Zbelovo (castle)

12th century

Zbelovo castle is for the first time explicitly mentioned as castle (Plankenstein vest) in 1428, even if based on architectural characteristics its origin can be dated to 12th century. Knights of Zbelovo appear in documents in 13th century. First among them, Walter de Wlancistaine, is mentioned as witness in 1202, another one, Ortolf (dominus Ortolfus de Blanchenstein), again as witness in 1206. Also mentioned in documents regarding some businesses are Rudolf, Henrik, Gotskalk and Ortolf II, sons of Ortolf. Later they are met mostly as benefactors of monastery in Studenice. Knights of Zbelovo were at first ministerials of lords of Konjice-Rogaška, and after 1283 when they (lords of Konjice-Rogaška) gave their provincial-princes estates to Liechensteins from Murau, they became ministerials of the latter. After 14th century only stewards were on the castle.
Liechtensteins were as owners of the castle followed by Viljem and Janez Metz in 1420, between 1435 and 1580 its owner was provincial prince. Between 1439 and 1443 it was a property of Counts of Celje and after 1580 and until its downfal it was a property of counts Thurn.
Castle, even if it was small, had an important role by protecting the road from Savinja valley towards Podravje and in the narrow beneath the castle the toll was collected. It was also a head office of provincial court of which area was catalogued in detail in 1524. Despite the importance of the dominion, which was even increased in 16th century, the castle was by land registers estimation in 1586 almost completel desolated and without furniture and in the second half of 17th century - judging by Vischer's copper engraving - completely in ruins.

Castle area is sometimes made tidy which is also shown by the inscription in the castle core.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Prekmurjem in porečjem Dravinje", Založba Park, Ljubljana, 1991, ISBN /
Kos, Dušan, Dr.: "Vitez in Grad", Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, ISBN 961-6500-82-1
Contact details:
Web links:
GRAD ZBELOVO (in Slovene)
Shows and entertainment:
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 17.768' E 15° 31.590'


Ruins of the castle can be accessed from the west where the first thing we encounter are remains of castle defence moat winding north from the castle
View of palatium from north-east with visible western defence wall
South-western wall with slightly curved corners
When western palatium was added with eastern tower at the same time palatium was probably hightened which is evident from secondary thickening of walls which were before only one meter thick
Romanesque construction of southern defence wall
South-eastern corner of defence wall
Outer northern wall of eastern tower and a part of courtyard (in the middle a visible trace of probably leaned on construction, except if this is rehabilitation procedure)
Original palatium with two preserved Romanesque slits
Northern stitched corner of palatium; at the time of late-Gothic works a new entrance to the castle core from north was arranged here
First slit is located on south part of the wall and is on the outside closed with later added wall
It is interesting that the slit was closed from the outside by a narrow courtyard wall but it was not filled from the inside even when it became practically useless
Second slit is located near Romanesque portal
View of a slit from the inside
Passage which connected southern residential wing with inner courtyard; in 1991 Stopar mentions existance of late-Gothic doorframe of this portal and nowadays there is nothing more to see
North-eastern corner of palatium
Opening in the floor of northern wall of palatium
Floor of south-eastern corner of palatium
South-western corner of palatium
Romanesque portal in palatium
Groove in the north part of portal
Groove in the south part of portal
View of remains of eastern tower through inner courtyard
Slit in north wall of eastern tower
Zbelovo area
Zbelovo castle on secondarily colored lithography from Old Kaiser's suite, around 1830; Graphic museum Rogaška Slatina