Bogenšperk Castle

Bogenšperk Castle stands on a ridge above the settlement of Dvor, south-east of Litija. The exact time of origin of the castle is not known. It was first mentioned in 1533 as a property of the Wagen family, after whom it was named. In 1672 it was purchased by a famous polymath from Ljubljana, Janez Vajkard Valvasor, who built a rich library and a graphic collection and founded a graphic workshop and a printing house for copper engraving. He partially remodelled the castle, deepened the well, and built an underground cellar and the Chapel of the Holy Virgin. Later the castle changed owners several times, the last being the dukes of Windischgraetz from the year 1853 until World War II. After that the Jesuits and different tenants lived in the castle. It has been successfully renovated for several decades.

The castle has a preserved a typical Renaissance design from the 16th century. Four different castle tracts are accented by corner towers, of which the southwest and north-east are cylindrical, while the south-east and north-west have a square floor plan. Above the portal on the west facade of the castle there is a renovated wooden balcony on the first floor. Tracts surround the inner courtyard, which has an arcade on two sides. The clock tower has been reconstructed as well. On the facades we can find built-in coats-of-arms: on the north tract the new coat-of-arms of the Wagens (I. Krištof) from the year 1558, and a coat-of-arms of the Liechtenbergs with the coat-of-arms of the Wagens chiselled over it, on the west tract a Robba-style Madonna, and on the south the coats-of-arms of the Gallo family. The plan of the inner area is from the period of Valvasor's rearrangement. On the first floor in the southwest tower, Valvasor's former study with a smaller reconstructed printing house is arranged. The library, and occasional wedding hall, is fitted with furniture. In the passage from the yard to the park there is a larger cistern dug in.

In 1979 archaeological research confirmed the modest Renaissance plan of the garden noted in Valvasor's pictures. Between the perimeter walls and the edge of the buildings they had a decorative/vegetable garden, an orchard and a round pond with ducks swimming about. They probably had a more decorative garden, divided into decorated rectangles, at the side of the courtyard. The parcel division of the original garden was preserved also after the planting of additional park trees in the time of the Windischgraetz family in the 19th century, when the park was redone in the manner of the late landscape style. By the paths leading towards the castle on the north side they planted a linden tree promenade, which is still well preserved today.

The new chapel on the ground floor was opened in 1991, and the organs in the hall were bought in 1992. In the castle, Valvasor's graphic collection with a reconstructed printing press, Slovenian geodetic collection, hunting collection (collections of the Technical Museum of Slovenia) and witchery collection are regularly open. Some rooms are dedicated to local history. The former library has been made into a wedding hall, as the castle is one of the most popular wedding venues in Slovenia. The castle garden is freely accessible.


Javni zavod Bogenšperk
Bogenšperk 5, SI-1275 Šmartno pri Litiji

T: +386 1 898 78 67
T: +386 1 898 76 64

E: bogensperk@siol.net
W: www.bogensperk.si