Žužemberk Castle is quite a typical medieval castle in Slovenia, but it is one of the most beautiful due to renovations that went on for years. It is small and the walking tour through the rooms will not take you more than 30 minutes. Visits must be prearranged, except during Medieval Days in the city of Žužemberk, when the castle is open to visitors throughout the whole day and entrance is free.
The castle is located on a hill overlooking the city and the Krka River. The engraved year 1000 can be seen in one of the towers and the castle is believed to have been constructed in that year, but first written documents about the castle date back to the 13th century only.
Not a lot of information is available about the castle from the first centuries of its existence until the Courts of Celje became its owners in the 14th century. It was later owned by the Auersperg family and a lot of legends are connected with the castle from that period.
One of the most tragic talks about the death of Ano von Eck, the wife of king Ivan Auersperg. She was supposedly killed by a bear who wandered into the castle courtyard. Her devastated husband planted a tilia on the spot where she was killed and the tree grew and stood in the courtyard for more than 400 years.
If you are planning to visit the castle, do so in summer because the city in general and the castle yard are hosts to many cultural events.