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The Old Castle / Stari grad

The castle is situated on a naturally protected slope, at the top of a steep hill above the Lešnica stream. It was first mentioned in 1300 in relation to its masters, the Altenburgs. In 1350, Jakob Altenburg sold the castle to the Ortenburg family; in 1418, the Counts of Celje inherited it and confided its managing to Jurij Scheyer and Peter Obračan who later bought the castle. Among its owners, the family Breckerfeld has also been mentioned; Janez Sigismund (1689-1760) who wrote about his homeland regarding the economic, political, legislative and genealogic aspects, leaving many manuscripts dealing with the states and nobility of Slovenian land and its regions as well as a dictionary of four main European languages. The lexicographer and topographer Franc Anton Breckerfeld (1740-1806) wrote the Appendix to Valvasor's Topography and the Novo mesto Topography. In the 19th century, the castle was inherited by the Counts of Marghera di Commandona; they gave it as a gift to the monastery of the Brothers of Mercy between the World War I and II. The oldest part of the castle has an original early Gothic tower from the 13th century, yet in the 14th and the 15th century, two flanking residential wings were added, and a connecting arcade staircase from the 16th century. In 1632, an early Baroque chapel was built inside the castle outline; it was rebuilt in the 1930ies. The castle was burnt down during World War II and partially rebuilt in the post-war period.  
Count Franc Anton Breckerfeld It was testimony to the rich history of winemaking in Dolenjska when in 1135 Peregrine, patriarch of Aquileia, donated a winery named Weinhof (today Bajnof), the neighbouring vineyards and the Church of the Mother of God at Trška Gora to the local Cistercians, and Franc Anton Breckerfeld deserves a prominent place in this history. Inclined to physiocracy and the beneficiary of an all-round education, as ruler of Stari Grad he wrote a letter to the agricultural society of Ljubljana on 1 March 1780. In it he described all the grape varieties planted in the vineyards in nearby Grčevje. In those days the monasteries and castles of Dolenjska produced high-quality varietal wines, while the smaller local winemakers tried to maximise yield on their small plots of land. They therefore planted red and white varieties that produced large grapes, and harvested them together. This is how cviček came to be made. Breckerfeld did not agree with the official local practice of setting a single date for harvesting grapes of all varieties. He was committed to picking each variety when the grapes were perfectly ripe. In his letter to the agricultural society he also described the making of three varietal wines (tičenska črnina, bela tičina and zelenika) and their character. Breckerfeld’s description of grape varieties was studied 124 years later by Bohuslav Skalicky, head of Grm School of Agriculture in Novo Mesto and the man behind the rise of the Grm winery, a model for its time and the only winery of its type in Austro-Hungary, where cviček was first produced using professional winemaking techniques.  

GPS Northing (N) : 45,8441 
GPS Easting (E) : 15,2072 
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Administrator : Zavod za turizem Novo mesto | ++386 7 393 92 63 |
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