This mighty medieval fortress offers a variety of options on how to spend your day. You can plan a romantic, family or educational trip, with many different cultural, historical and entertaining events happening on the Ljubljana Castle through the whole year.
First settlers supposedly lived in the Ljubljana Castle surrounding as soon as 1200 years BC, but the first evidence of the castle originate from 1112 AD.
Ljubljana Castle has quite an interesting history and it was a home to many famous historical figures. Its most famous residents were from the House of Habsburg and from the Courts of Celje. More than sixty coats of arms of its rulers can be seen on a large painting from the 18th century, which is located in the Castle’s Chapel.
First Castle in the same area was named Castrum Laibach and originates from 12th Century. Castle in that time was demolished by nobles Spanheim, who later, in 13th Century started to build a new castle, which was first castle build from stone. Also, this Castle was demolished and on its area, Frederik III built a third castle in the 15th Century. This Castle is known as Ljubljana Castle today.
It was also transformed into a penitentiary and a prison at different occasions during its existence, the last time during the World War II. It was even a residential building for families with housing problems for some time until the renovations began in 1963.
Ljubljana Castle Today
Castle was renovated many times, mainly because of the desire to expand the tourist offer in the castle and to revive the historical charm of the ancient parts of the castle. Although, most of the castle is completely renovated and ready to welcome its new visitors!
The most interesting features of the Ljubljana Castle include:
• Viewing Tower, which served as a defense tower in the 19th century and later as fireguards residence, is now a great tourist spot to enjoy the wonderful views of Ljubljana and its surroundings.
• The Penitentiary or castle’s prison cells are the original cells from the second part of 19th century, with additional content that creates a stunning recreation of the lives of prisoners.
• Virtual Castle offers visitors a spectacular, interesting and educational virtual walk through the most important time periods in the castle’s history.
• Chapel of St. George is one of the oldest parts of the castle. It will amaze you with its simplicity and at the same time impress you with its rich paintings.
• Other parts of the castle, like the Castle Courtyard, Frederic’s Tower and Castle Theatre are reserved for special events, which are regular features in the castle offering and for special events, like weddings. However, the Frederic’s Tower is open for public only during the time of exhibitions.
Ljubljana Castle is also home to many permanent and visiting exhibitions, including all themes from the 310 million years old rock with fossils, to the exhibition showing the renovation and restoration of the castle. Two permanent and very visited exhibitions are Slovenian history exhibition and Puppet Museum. Very famous and appealing attraction of the Ljubljana Castle is also Castle Vineyard, which connects the Castle with an amazing walking area.
Do not forget to visit the Rustika Shop, a souvenir shop offering certified replicas and products made by Slovenian craftsmen and approved by the Commission for the Evaluation of Handicrafts Products. It is the first, and for now, the only souvenir shop of this kind, so you can be sure your purchased products are original and unique.
Besides Rustika Shop you can visit also shop Doživetja za domov (Experiences for home) where you will find a wide range of unique products designed especially for Ljubljana Castle.
Many different paths lead from the city centre to the Castle, so you can reach the Castle on foot or by car. If you choose to visit it by car, you will be able to park on a large parking lot in front of the castle, but it is payable. You can also choose to ride in a Funicular train. This is a great option for disabled and older people and those who need a quick lift to the castle, as the ride only takes around a minute. The lower station of the Funicular is located near the Central Market.