THE TURJAK CASTLE
 
 
 
 
  

It is one of the most important castles of the former Carniola region. It was built on an almost unaccessible hill about 30 km south of Ljubljana by the ancient Roman road. 

 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
  

The historians believe it existed already in the 10th century or even before. The remains of the primary castle can be found on the lower slope of the present upper castle. 

 
 
The first inhabitants of the castle were knights – robbers.The family of Auerspergs perished in the middle of the 13th century and was succeeded by the families of former Spanheim´s servants. 
 
 
 
The Slovene name Turjak  is probably taken from the German translation of Ursberg, Auersperg... The legend tells that the name could come from wild cows called »turs«. They lived in the forests of Turjak and they made troubles during the construction of the castle. 

  

The Auersperg family became very powerful and very important for our history. The most famous  were Herbert and Andrej of Turjak in 16th century.  
Herbert of Turjak was a brave army leader and a governor general of Carniola. He was beheaded by Turks at Budacko 
(in Croatia). The inhabitants of Turjak ransomed his stuffed head. The Turks built a mosque in Bosnia for the money they got.   Andrej of Turjak was a conqueror of a famous battle at Sisak (in Croatia) at 1593 against the Turks. The Turk invasions were stopped forever.  

 
  
 

  

 
 
 
  

The Auerspergs played an important role in the Protestant movement in Slovenia. The castle gave sanctuary for Primoz Trubar and Jurij Dalmatin – the famous Slovene protestants.

 
 
  

The Turjak Castle was built on a terraced hill as a fortification. It has a triangular form. The three defence towers are connected with residential parts.

  

  

  

  

  
 
 
 
  

At the western defence tower were dark and cruel Turkish dungeons and milder dungeons. 

 

The whole construction was adjusted to the uneven terrain. Even at the castle yard you must go up. 

  
    

From the north there is an avenue of lime trees leading to the castle. Among them is a huge hundreds of years old lime tree. It is an important dendrological monument. It inspired our great poet dr.France  Prešeren in his poem about Rozamunda of Turjak. 

 

This castle fortification resisted Turkish invasions and also peasant risings successfully but it was burned and badly damaged during the second world war.  
The renovation of the castle still continues. 

  
  
  
    
 
 

The catholic chapel was reconstructed and there is a mass held every Sunday. The most remarkable is the chapel named after Dalmatin and is suitable for concerts because of  its  good acoustics. 

   
  1