Snežnik Castle MuseumThe romantic castle in Notranjska, one of the most beautiful castles in Slovenia, boasts authentic interiors from the second half of the 19th century
20. 6. 2008

Snežnik Castle Museum

Museum of housing culture

Snežnik Castle, drawing by J. V. Valvasor, 1679
Parlour of Princess Ana


At the nearby strategic site on the edge of the Lož Valley, a stronghold had been built by the Romans. The lords of Snežnik (The Snowy one) are first mentioned in the 13th century. Over the following centuries, the castle was owned by eminent Carniolan noble families: the Lambergs, Scheyers, Raumschissls, Eggenbergs, Auerspergs and Lichtenbergs; in the 17th century, it was a significant administrative seat of this part of the Notranjska region. The medieval stronghold was later refurbished with renaissance and baroque features, including preserved beamed ceilings. The castle acquired its present appearance with the stonefaced bailey area and towers in the second half of the 19th century when the estate with immense forests was purchased in 1853 by the princely Saxon family of Schönburg-Waldenburg and converted into a summer and hunting residence. In 1867, Prince George became the patron of the first Slovenian forestry school. The hunting of rare animals in forests was forbidden while the steam-powered saw sparked the development of the woodworking industry in the valley. The diligently managed estate thrived until the end of the Second World War (the last caretaker, Leon Schauta, saved the castle from destruction) and provided sustenance for a great many local inhabitants.

After a careful restoration, in 2008, Snežnik Castle was opened to public as a museum of housing culture.


A stroll through the four castle floors evokes the atmosphere of 150 years ago because rooms boast genuine furniture and other household objects from the latter half of the 19th century. The parlours and bedrooms of Princes Herman and Ulrich, of Princess Ana and the guest rooms are pleasant and comfortable fitted out with a number of originally upholstered historical seating suites and ornamental stoves. The walls are decorated with family portraits, old photos, and prints. One distinct feature is the Egyptian room from the early 20th century. To make the ambience of the holiday residence cosier, the family had a piano, the billiard table, and the theatre corner. Gradually, the owners gathered many hunting trophies, including the stuffed bear that has been at the castle for over a century. In the lower lobby, there are inbuilt Roman tombstones and a large copperplate printed map of Carniola from 1744. Of great value is a 17th-century ornamental leather antependium from the neighbouring village church of Šmarata. The stonefaced bailey area is intended for temporary exhibitions, and there is a wedding room on the ground floor. A dugout boat, such as were used by the local inhabitants to cross flooded grasslands, is kept outside under the hanging wooden gangway.


The white castle, quietly reflected in the spring water of the pond filled with mallards, bleak and trout, is surrounded by a large park with tree-lined alleys and clearings. On one of them, on a walk in the pleasant summer shade, one might come across a statue of the goddess of hunting Diana. The countryside is astonishing at any time of the year, including in winter with mysterious mists floating over frozen meadows. Two hiking routes, the European 6th and the local Krpan route run right by the castle. The countryside is also ideal for cycling and horse-riding. The beautiful cave Križna jama is not far away.

The castle on the outskirts of the vast pine-and-beech forests is far from noisy thoroughfares and, as such, is a perfect point of departure for trips in the beautiful Karst countryside. From here, forests extend to the south up to the picturesque homonymous mountain of Snežnik close to the Croatian border, and to the east to the Kočevje forests, where they form one the last remaining European massive woodland complexes. This unique natural environment is home to various flora and fauna, from bears, boars, wolves and lynxes, to birds, small game, roe and red deer.


Photos: Matija Pavlovec, Tomaž Lauko, Blaž Gutman.

You are warmly invited to visit this ancient castle in its beautiful natural surroundings, providing a whole day of pleasant and instructive entertainment.