The Slovenia Times

Ptuj Castle



e of castles. The earliest archaeological finds, such as remains of earthenware and stone axes, showed that people settled this place as early as at the end of the Stone Age (the end of the third millennium BC). There was a fortress and a temple there in antique times. The Romans then built a strong base called Petovio below the hill, which is where the town of Ptuj stands today. Archaeologists can't decide whether an old Slavic temple or a tower stronghold occupied the western forecourt of the castle in the early middle ages. It is clear, however, that the area was used for jousting prior to the eleventh century. The first known owners of the castle and feudal lords were the Archbishops of Salzburg. The most notable amongst them was Archbishop Konrad from the beginning of the 12th century, who ordered the construction of the castle. The castle was soon leased to the lords of Ptuj, who ruled it for the next three centuries and enlarged its central part. They became very influential and gained a number of properties in the Styria region until they died out in the first part of the 14th century. The tombstone of the last of them, Friedrich IX, was built into the ground floor of the castle. The castle remained the property of the Salzburg bishops and was leased out until Hungarians occupied it for a decade at the end of the 14th century. Another threat to the castle and its surroundings were the Turks, who started invading the country two centuries later. Therefore, Italian builders fortified the castle and altered it in the renaissance style, from which the corridor and the stairways still remain. The castle passed through many owners from the 15th century on. The most notable amongst them were the Leslies, who bought it in the second part of the 16th century. Under their domination, which lasted until the 18th century, the castle gradually assumed its present shape. They significantly enlarged the castle and rebuilt it in the baroque style. They also built a stable and the eastern tower. The last proprietors of the castle, the counts of Herberstein, bought it in 1873 and renovated it thoroughly. They owned the castle until the end of World War II, when it was nationalized. Since then it has permanently housed the museum of Ptuj, which occupies three floors. Besides the rich furnishings that actually remained, the museum also displays collections of arms, carnival costumes and musical instruments and an exhibition of feudal dwelling culture. It also hosts a gallery, the France Mihelic Graphic Cabinet, and from time to time also exhibitions of young painters.


More from Nekategorizirano