Lendava castle is located on top of a short hill, just above the small city center of Lendava. It is not one of the biggest or most beautiful castles in Slovenia, but it is worth visiting due to great exhibitions that are located inside the castle.
The castle offers a great insight on the multicultural influences that Lendava was under in its rich history. Lendava Castle had an important historical role in this part of Slovenia, especially in the years when it was under the rule of Hungarian emperors. It was also very important in times of the Turk invasion, when its residents decided on their favorite religion and when it was time to show dedication to important rulers from other parts of Europe.
The castle was first mentioned in the 12th century and its role changed throughout time. It almost feels like this was never just a castle, as it seems that its residents always had some mysterious plans for it. And so, later on, the castle served as a printing shop for the books and literature used to spread Protestant religion, as an undefeatable fort and even a school.
Today’s image of Lendava castle originated during the 18th century when prince Pál Esterházy ordered for the shape of the castle to be rebuilt in the shape of the letter L as a tribute to emperor Leopold. This was just one of the numerous reconstructions of the castle and also just one of many tributes that were made to different rulers of Lendava.
Lendava Castle is now home to Gallery-Museum Lendava, which offers an incredible insight into the history of Lendava and Prekmurje (Slovenian region) in numerous permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Exhibitions in the museum part of Lendava Castle:
Oloris – an Archaeological exhibition dedicated to the findings from the late Bronze Age which had been discovered in the settlement called Gornji Lakoš, in Lendeva’s surroundings. The collection consists mostly of pottery items.
Castle on the Lookout – A historical exhibition that represents the rich history of the castle. Most of the items in this collection are dedicated to the important battles from the times of Turkish invasion.
A small lapidary is arranged in the hallways of the castle. Original parts of the walls from the castle and from different statues that once stood in the vineyards around Lendava can be seen in these small collections.
Another small exhibition can be seen in the hallways is The Exhibition of Maps. This offers a great insight into the Slovenian and Hungarian land, especially with the oldest printed map of Hungary (from the 16th century).
Two memorial rooms are arranged as part of the museum on Lendava Castle. One is the memorial room dedicated to famous sculptor György Zala (1858 – 1937), who was born in Lendava, but had a major influence on Hungarian art and is recognized as one of the world’s best artists.
Among his most famous works are the statues of the Heroes’ Square in Budapest. The second memorial room is dedicated to the academic painter and engraving master, Štefan Galič (1944-1997). A collection of his graphics and another huge collection with more than 4000 butterflies are arranged in the castle.
An exhibition of artworks made of the annual Art Colony is arranged as part of the Gallery section in Lendava Castle. Numerous temporary exhibitions are also hosted in the gallery section. You can learn more about them on the Lendava Castle homepage.
Although Gallery-Museum Lendava is located inside the Lendava Castle, it also has a special annex located in an old town house near the city center. The museum annex is home to a large collection named Citizenry – typography and umbrella manufacturing in Lendava.
This museum collection consists of four unique exhibitions: the first one is dedicated to the development of the town, the second one to the history of pharmacy, the third to the umbrella manufacturing and the fourth to typography.
The annex is located in one of the most beautiful houses in Lendava (you will find it on the 52 Glavna ulica). This house was built at the beginning of the 20th century and it is a great example of the traditional architecture from that era. For more information visit the Museum Annex homepage.