Celje, with its turbulent past, has a very rich history. The city is proud of its cultural heritage, and the castle of Celje itself. Slovenians consider it the most beautiful castle in all of Slovenia. Its competitors are Bled Castle and Ljubljana Castle. Nowadays, not only do local tourists travel to the city, but the number of foreign visitors are growing every year.

The most famous of Celje's sights is the 12th-century fortress built on top of a rocky hill. It offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding area.

In addition to the sight of its partially renovated walls and towers, the rest of the country’s castles can retreat modestly.

Castle of Celje Details
Country Slovenia
Slovene name Stari grad Celje
Region Celje area, Savinjska region
Distance from Ljubljana 1 hour / 80 km
Address Stari grad, Cesta na Grad 78, 3000 Celje, Slovenia
Opening hours 09:00 - Closing time vary
Admissions 6 - 2 Euros
Website Website

Photos

Map - Where is Celje Castle?

Address, map, parking, distance, entrance

The castle was replaced by a hill in the town of Celje. You can park anywhere in the city. There is no parking lot next to the castle. From the city, you have to walk up the not too high mountain.

  • Address: Cesta na Grad 78, 3000 Celje, Slovenia
  • Distance from the centre of Celje: 4 km / 8 minutes by car
  • Distance from Ljubljana: 82 km / 1 hour

History of the castle

In the 12th - 13th century, the castle was built by the Heunburg family. There are several part of the castle, which have survived from this era: the fortified western walls, the central residential buildings surrounded by internal walls and the ditches.

Much of the original castle was demolished shortly after its construction by families fighting for land and power.

The lords of Sanneck became its owners in 1333, who in 1341 became known as the Counts of Cille. It was under this name that they became the most important aristocratic family in Slovenia, transforming, expanding and renovating the castle over the next century. Their last heir was murdered in 1456, and the castle then fell into the hands of the Habsburgs under an earlier agreement.

This castle was the main fortress of the Eastern Alps for two centuries, but its leading role soon became zero. Unfortunately, at the same time, its condition began to deteriorate.

The castle was inhabited until 1795, and a few years later it was bought and used by a farmer. Its ruins were purchased by the territorial governor in 1846, when a huge restoration began (which became the longest renovation project in the history of Slovenia, and is still going on to this day).

Today, more than 70,000 visitors visit the castle each year. In addition to foreigners, Slovenes are often come here. Weddings are held almost every weekend at the romantic venue.

Description of the castle

The elongated shape of Celje Castle also contributes to its imposing appearance. The grassy courtyard of the castle is surrounded by huge double walls. In some parts of the wall you can walk around on a wooden-covered, roofed route.

The castle complex includes the courtyard of the eastern palace, on a promontory with the tall square tower of Frederick, and in the courtyard of the western palace you find agricultural and military facilities. Of course, there was also a well in the castle.

The central residential areas were protected by an internal ditch. The oldest part of the building was developed from a residential tower from the first half of the 13th century with a walled courtyard. Between the 13th and 16th centuries, the castle buildings spread over the castle hill and thus originated in one of the widest medieval castles in Slovenia.

The castle had triple defensive walls and wide moats. It was rebuilt, supplemented and repaired at the end of the century. With its renovation and conversion, it has been given a summer theatre and viewing terraces. The interior does not accurately reflect its original purpose.

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The castle also has a modern tourist information center, a café and a toilet.

The Celje Castle complex is the most important and largest medieval fortress in Slovenia, an extended Gothic castle with a Romanesque core and a Renaissance-style fortified district.

Celje Castle

Opening hours

The castle is open every day of the year. It opens at 9 a.m. every day except December and January. Closing time varies every month. You don’t have to memorise the monthly opening hours, just keep in mind that the castle will definitely be open from 10am to 5pm.

The cash register closes 30 minutes before closing. After that, it is no longer possible to enter the castle.

Castle of Celje Opening hours
January 10:00 - 16:00
February 09:00 - 17:00
March 09:00 - 18:00
April 09:00 - 19:00
May 09:00 - 20:00
June 09:00 - 21:00
July 09:00 - 21:00
August 09:00 - 21:00
September 09:00 - 20:00
October 09:00 - 18:00
November 09:00 - 17:00
December 10:00 - 16:00

Programs, events, festivals

There are many programs, exhibitions, and festivals in the summer. The biggest festival takes place on the last weekend of August. This is when the traditional medieval festival, Dezela Celjska vabi, is held.

Prices

Tickets can now be purchased online at the castle. There is a children's discount, which you can also take advantage via online. You don’t have to pre-select an hour, only the day.

  • Adult ticket: 6 euros
  • Children up to the age of 15: 2 euros