fab Fresco & Muppet show at Sevnica castle!
So here is a very special castle that you probably haven't heard of, can't pronounce properly and haven't a clue where it is!!!.. but maybe in a few moments time and a few clicks on a few photos, Sevnica castle might pop onto your Green Slovenia wishlist!
If you look at a map and see the big, big wedge of Slovenia between the 2 motorways that go East from Ljubljana to Maribor and Zagreb.. well this area is jam packed full of secret places to visit!
Sevnica is just 1hr 45mins directly from the Lodge and so we put it as the last stop on our daytrip to the East of Slovenia and booked the last guided tour of the day.
Here are a couple of extra castle tips that will serve you well when visiting Sevnica and the hundreds of other secret castles dotted all around Green Slovenia..
Firstly, always check the castle website (Sevnica) for opening times and even better, give them a call to check they are open on your chosen day, just in case there is some kooky national holiday or wedding or something like that you couldn't know about.
Secondly, when phoning the castle directly, try to book or secure a tour, which we recommend massively for Sevnica as we guaruntee if you don't go with a guide here, you will not see even half of the secrets! Here is their phone number 00386 313 449 16.. it's good to talk!
Like many castles in Slovenia and around the world, Sevnica has the best location in town, lording it over the country's longest river, the Sava and there is a wonderful curvy, bendy, quite crazy drive up the hill to get to the car park.
So what cool stuff does Sevnica Castle have?
As you drive up to the car park, you might notice a woodeny cylinder structure thingy at the side of the road.. if you have the energy then make time to walk down from the castle here to see a fab nature exhibit! The curved walls are made from dozens of different strips of local tree variety and there are plaques with descriptions of the local Sevnica animals here too.. it's really clever and really good!
A really special feature you might happen to notice about Green Slovenia's hundreds of regional castles is how integrated into the local communities they are. By visiting the castle you are actually visiting the local people, their heritage and and their mini region. The local people are always proud of their castle, so by going with a castle guide you have the chance to meet a local person into the bargain! The Sevnica castle tour starts with a video which explains a bit about this local mini region as well.
This community feel is extended all around the castle and you will see magnificent rooms where local people have meetings and you might think.. hey aren't the people lucky here! They also hold local fairs and shows here at the castle, so remember that next time you are attending a trade show at home in a boring new plastic exhibition centre!
The ceilings at Sevnica castle are painted in exquisite detail and colour. Look up and you will see the signs of the zodia and ancient characters & animals everywhere, particularly in the grand corridors.
There are lots of other little features that give you that familiar castle feeling like the deep, deep well in the stone courtyard, sets of knight's armour, the details in the windows, hallways and grand doors & archways everywhere, but perhaps the standout feature is the uberamazing fresco covering the walls of a room hidden well away.. The detail and quality of this painting are amazing, but look closer and see if you can find a character who looks kinda out of place with the others??.. this is the great mystery of Sevnica castle!
Look carefully at this massive fresco covering the walls and you will see a guy with a turban looking quite cheekily at his surroundings.. well they think he is probably the artist who painted this mural, wow.. what a great medieval Hitchcock idea to sneak himself into his masterpiece for posterity.. now that is worth the entrance fee on it's own!
The other very special room we found on our adventure here was the Puppet room! It is like a treasure trove packed with wacky wooden puppets that are regularly used for kids performances here. Puppet theatre is very popular in Slovenia and this is a great way to step back into history and embrace the culture. It also looks a lot like a still from Sesame street and it can feel a bit spooky in this room with all those wooden eyes staring at you!!
There is a jail where it would be rude not to be momentarily locked up and a lovely cellar stocked full of local wines. Many people don't realise what fabulous and unique wines Slovenia has and you should try to sample the local stuff at every opportunity as Slovenia has at least 7 completely different wine regions!
There is a long history here at Sevnica of monks producing a Blue Frankia wine, (which is red!) and you can find this in the cellar and see the vines circling the castle.
So now we take you outside and be sure to stroll down to see the little stone hut at the side of the castle where the monks made honey and just try to imagine how tranquil it must have been up here in those times.
The last special feature we have to tell you about is the biggest and it is the grounds of the castle.. they are very special indeed. The views from the massive front door and the battlements are fantastic, down to the town and over the stunning Sava river. Stone lions guard the walls and you absolutely must take time to go around the corner ito the gardens to see the castle from outside and the array of different trees and flowers, especially a lovely rose garden!
And standing outside the castle, looking down at the river & terraces of vines and wondering what other secrets are hidden after the river bend.. we can tell you that there is another wonderful castle just several km to the left called Brestanica castle. Totally different to Sevnica but also amazing and well worth a visit..
So why not create your own adventure and spend the whole day with these 2 castles for your landmarks and travel between the two, maybe cycling along the river and back.. wow what a day that would be! .. you will return home and tell people about your day and these special castles and your folks and friends may well look blankly at you and maybe say, so did you go to lake Bled?! But you will know and we will know what a truly special day you had on the banks of the Sava river..