Slovenska Bistrica Castle
Since 1996 Bistrica Castle has been the seat of the Cultural Institute Slovenska Bistrica. At the institute we deal with museum and exhibition activities, take care of the restoration and preservation of natural and cultural monuments, organize cultural and other public events, carry out educational and journalistic activities and work together with tourist and other cultural actors.
The castle, originally a farm, was mentioned in 1227 as the seat of the parish Pohorje, later it was the seat of the state court. The first known owners of this area were the Spanheims, followed by the Babenbergs. After their extinction in 1261, the Czech King Ottokar II Přemysl acquired these areas. In 1267, finally, the rule of the Habsburgs started.
The castle was first mentioned as a castle in 1313, but burned down in 1384. The new building had to endure numerous sieges (Hungary, Baumkirchner siege, Turkish invasions). Among the numerous administrators were the counts of Cilli. In 1587 the castle became private property. The first private owner of the castle was the family Vetter (later she received the title "Vetter of the Lillie"). Between the years 1590 and 1623 and 1651, the family decided to expand and renew the castle. The inside of the castle has a trapezoidal layout with a courtyard and four towers and a Tuscan portico on two levels along the southern building tract.
Other owners of the castle were the Counts Wildenstein. In addition to the castle, these aristocrats have also set up a new garden based on the French model (the 200-meter-long "famous" hornbeam alley). According to this concept, nature, flowing water and sculptures fit the imagination of the designer.
The last and most important owners of the castle were the counts Attems. Ignac Marija Attems bought the castle of Slovenska Bistrica from Janez Jožef Wildenstein in 1717 and carried out various adaptations until 1721. On the west wing, a staircase was added, in the east wing was created with the connection of two floors of the Knights Hall. All frescoes in the castle (Knight's Hall, Castle Chapel, Staircase) were created by the castle fresco painter of the Attems family, Franz Ignaty Flurer. These frescoes are the most comprehensive and best work by Flurer and at the same time the only signed and dated frescoes in Slovenian castles of the Attems family. They symbolize the high baroque ideal of illusionistic space.
Because the castle Slovenska Bistrica and the castle garden were not properly maintained after the Second World War (in the castle there were also a barracks and later social housing), the castle fell into disrepair until 1985. Private interests and numerous renovations inside gave the castle a heavy blow. In 1985 systematic and expertly carried out renovations by the Slovenian Ministry for the Protection of the Natural and Cultural Heritage began. Because almost nothing of the former establishment of the castle was preserved, exhibitions were first organized in the renovated premises. Thus new contents found their way back to the castle and breathed new life into it.
At present, the following permanent exhibitions and rooms can be visited at the castle:
- Frescoes by Franz Ignac Flurer (Knight's Hall, Staircase, Castle Chapel)
- Gallery Grad (changing exhibitions)
- Medieval "Tower of Grasl" (temporary exhibitions)
- Wine shop with glass jars on display
- Roman road Celeia-Poetovio
- Arkos ethnological collection
- Memorial room of the writer Anton Ingolič
- Dr. Zimmer's room Zora Janžekovič
- Exhibition about the work and life of Jože Tomažič with old classroom
- Minerals from the municipalities Slovenska Bistrica, Makole and Poljčane
- Room of the field signs with documents about designated persons
- Pajtler's collection of fossils and minerals
- Collection of prayer books and sacral documents
- Kerosene lamps through time
- Dolls in costumes from all over the world
- Archaeological exhibition in the castle complex of Ančnik
More information can be found here.
The castle garden as a monument of sculpted nature was built in the second half of the 16th
century. The original geometric concept of the garden disappeared with time; only the central axis with a hornbeam alley could be preserved, while all other garden areas were remodeled in the free landscape style. After French models, the garden was planted by the Counts Vetter. Later it was embellished by the families Wildenstein and Attems. It extended in the width 85 m and in the length 240 m. However, not even a quarter of the garden has survived to this day. The free-standing sculptures of Mercury and Hercules and breast sculptures of the four seasons from the end of the 17th
century are now housed in the castle Slovenska Bistrica. In the environment of the former garden are today: a health center, a primary school, a sports hall and a new road connection.
Contact & Info
Slovenska Bistrica Castle
Grajska ulica 11
SI 2310 Slovenska Bistrica
Phone: +386 2 8055355 (Mateja Lešnik) and
+386 2 8055350 (Tajništvo)
Tuesday to Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm,
Saturday: from 11:00am - 3:00pm
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays, except on the 8th of February for the Slovenian Cultural Holiday between 11:00am and 3:00pm!
Guided tours by appointment also possible outside the opening hours. Contact point for guided tours:
Phone.: +386 (0) 2 805 53 56, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slovenska Bistrica Castle