The Slovenia Times

Turjak castle



According to historians the Castle probably existed as long ago as the 10th century with the first inhabitants robber-knights. However the castle is mentioned for the first time at the beginning of the 13th century, named after the family name of the noble proprietors: Auersperg who came to this territory from Schwabia (today's south Germany) and owned it until the Second World War. The name Turjak probably came from the translation Auersperg, which in Slovene meant the mountain of Turs, the so-called 'wild cows', that existed in this territory. Until the 15th century there were two castles at Turjak. The present castle is the upper one, also called the new castle. The remains of the old castle, which was abandoned before this, can still be seen on the lower slope beneath the new castle. The great 17th Century Slovenian historian, Valvasor, claimed that the Turjak dynasty (Auersperg) produced some remarkable military leaders known for their bravery during the Turkish invasions (at the beginning of the16th century). At this time the Turjak dynasty also played an important role in giving financial support and sanctuary for some of the key protestants in Slovenia, such as Jurij Dalmatin, who translated the Bible into the Slovenian language. The castle successfully sustained attacks from theTurks twice, and a peasant rebellion, although an earthquake at approximately the same time damaged it. Soon after, the castle was reconstructed in the shape that we can see today, even though it was partially damaged again towards the end of the Second World War when partisans besieged it for almost a week in order to defeat the troops of the 'White Guards' (collaborators with the Germans) who held it. Thus, some of the repairs and renovations are still in progress. The castle is basically enclosed within a massive triangular battlement with three defence towers, has one internal court in the middle with residential parts and two chapels. One of them, called the Dalmatin Chapel, is a monument with roman architecture, and tombstones with Gothic frescos of inhabitants from the age of Protestantism . The other one, damaged in the Second World War was reconstructed in nineties.It regularly holds mass on Sundays. Today the castle is occasionally used for protocol purposes, exhibitions, and so forth. Group tours with a guide can be arranged by the Turjak Tourist Association.


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