The Old Castle/Smlednik Castle
|Region||Central Slovenia Statistical region|
|Starting point||Post office parking lot / the Smlednik Local Community (Krajevna skupnost Smlednik) parking lot|
|Route length||1,39 km (0.15 miles)|
|route duration||0,5-1 h|
|Best time to visit||All year|
|Appropriate for||Baby Strollers , Baby Carriers , 3-6 years of age , 6+ years of age|
|Level of difficulty||Moderately demanding route|
East of the Zbilje Lake, you can see the interesting ruins of a certain castle. The Old Castle (also called the Smlednik Castle) is one of the most popular locations for a family trip around here, as the trail is also suitable for toddlers, and the view at the top is simply stunning.
How to get to the starting point: Exit the motorway at Vodice and turn left right away. Drive through the villages of Zapoge and Hraše into the town of Smlednik. Leave your car at the Smlednik Local Community (also post office) building. Here you can already see the Valburga Calvary and a beautiful cherry orchard. Walk for 20 meters (21 yards) along the main road, turn right and you will see the markings pointing you towards the Old Castle. You can access the top using different trails, we chose the one going past the Valburga Calvary and then descended from the castle on a macadam road.
Its first owner is believed to be Wdalricus de Fledinich (Ulrich Smledniški) in 1136, and then the castle was passed on to the Counts of Celje and the House of Habsburg. Starting in 1695, it was owned by Janez Adam, a nobleman from Pernburg, also called the Baron of Flödnich, whose family was replaced by the Barons of Lazzarini in 1795.
The castle was built in the Romanesque period to protect the area against invaders. At the time, it only had an independent defence tower and a moat. The castle was renovated and changed in the Gothic period and then again after the 1511 earthquake, when the renaissance-style living areas and defence towers were added. The castle was renovated up to the year 1610 and is a beautiful example of medieval castle development in Central Slovenia.
Today, the Old Castle is an extremely popular location for a family trip. The beautifully landscaped paths are easy enough for children aged 3 and older. Parents, with enough muscles and cheerfulness, you can even push your baby strollers to the very top ;)!
There is a snack bar and a playground at the foot of the castle. Zbilje and Trboje Lakes are only a stone’s throw away and there you can enjoy a refreshing drink while relaxing after a long family trip.
Johann Weikhard von Valvasor mentions the castle (as Flednigg Castle) in his famous book the Glory of the Duchy of Carniola. The Slovene writer Simon Jenko wrote a poem about this fortress.
The Valburga Calvary complements the castle trail with 14 rococo-style chapels portraying the Way of the Cross, and it ends with a composition of three crosses. It was built in 1772 in connection with the estate of Valburg Castle. It was renovated twice, in 1872 and 1992, as well as upgraded in 2001.
With a rich coffee menu, daily fresh homemade cakes and desserts, accompanied by the beautiful view of Trboje Lake, one can quickly forget about all one’s problems and simply enjoy nature. The children’s playground, a real sandy beach, sports activities and an excellent strawberry fruit bowl with ice cream had us wanting more.
Trboje 1 A,
+386 4 259 12 99
Vita, Olja and Juna Recommend
Valvasor wrote that the castle "was once solid and well equipped for serious defense, but now it is all barren and abandoned and has been a ruin for many years."
Many "Smlednik legends" talk about the castle. One of them is portrayed on beehive panels and even painted on glass and walls. Some stories, however, have even become the subject of literary adaptations.