Škofja Loka Castle or Loka Castle is a nice and smaller castle great for those who want to get to know Slovenia outside the usual tourist points. Škofja Loka is located close to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia and it is a great idea for a one day trip.
Loka Castle was built around the year 1200, but it has been rebuilt and renovated many times since then. It is now renovated in the traditional styles from different eras and it is home to Loka Museum, filled with cultural and historic collections representing more than a thousand years of this area.
The gardens of the castle are also well worth visiting. You will find some unique plants and buildings all around the castle. Open air museum, Škopar’s House, is located in the garden. If you have some extra time, wander into the woods and try to find the ruins of the Old Castle.
The museum is located on two floors of the castle, with an art history collection in one part of the castle and an Ethnological collection in the second part.
The Art Collection contains art pieces from different important time periods; frescos from medieval art; a large golden altar from the Dražgoše Church; pictures from famous Slovenian painters from 17th to 20th century and many other interesting art objects.
The Ethnological Collection is dedicated to the historical development of Škofja Loka and its surroundings and the past life of farmers and citizens. One part of the collection shows the costumes, special traditions, and festivals of Slovenia.
You can also take a look at the Natural Science Collection, which is made up of more than 100 vertebrate animals including fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals.
History of the Loka Castle and the Old Castle
Loka Castle and Old Castle were once connected to a huge defense wall, which was built around the town Škofja Loka. The wall is now long gone and so is the Old Castle, although it was once a magnificent building with lots of great rulers and great impact on the history of this area.
The castle can be reached by a short but quite demanding walk from Škofja Loka city centre, or by car. A parking lot is located in front of the castle.