Updated:
16-dec-2009



We visited this castle in 2006.

Rihemberk Castle, locally known as Grad Rihemberk or Grad Branik, is situated above the village of Branik in Slovenia.

The mountain slope on which Rihemberk Castle is situated is said to have been occupied by a Roman fort in earlier times. Rihemberk Castle itself was probably built in the 12th century and controlled the crossroads of important routes across the Karst in the direction of Trieste and the Friuli Plain. Its first owner was the Patriarch of Aquileia, who appointed guardians at the castle.

In 1232 the Reifenberg family were guardians of the castle. When this family died out in 1371, the castle went to the Counts of Gorizia. When the last Count of Gorizia died in 1500 all his possessions, including Rihemberk Castle, were taken over by the Habsburg Emperor; Maximilian I.

In 1528, Archduke and King Ferdinand I of Habsburg loaned the castle to the Lantieri Counts. In 1649 the Lantieri Counts gained ownership of the castle and added the palatio. During the Renaissance the residential tract was added to the inner wall- circle and a courtyard was formed. They kept ownership of the castle until the end of World War II when the castle, amongst their other possessions, was confiscated by the Communist Yugoslavian authorities. At the end of WW II the castle had been severely damaged as a result of mining by partisans. Some sources say this was done because the Germans used the castle to store ammunition, others say that the 'Serbian' partisans had no real reason. During the post-war period the castle was partially restored.

This is a very cool castle, which offers great views of the Branica valley. It seems to have been used for cultural activities in the past decades. At present the castle is closed, and has been for several years I guess, and can not be visited.

The exterior and the interior of the keep.

Back to top.