HISTORY OF THE CASTLE

1478

In Maribor in 1478, upon the orders of Emperor Frederick III, an administrative court was built at the north-east corner of the town walls. It was intended to provide the town with stronger fortifications and better provision in the turbulent times of Hungarian and Turkish threats. The lower ground and ground floors of the court were arched and the upper floor had a level ceiling. The original height of the building is shown by the painted wreath made up of overlapping pointed arcs in the roof space.

1555 - 1562

In the north-east corner of the walls a bastion was built, one of the four defensive constructions in Maribor, in line with plans by Domenico dell’Allio. The defensive strength of the bastion was increased by the filling in of its north-east part, which was removed in 2007. On the ground floor, five of the former six arrow slits have survived and below them are metal rings for securing cannons. Judging by depictions, the upper floor also served for the placement of cannons. In 1750, the bastion was bought by Count Brandis and a residential floor was built upon it.

1620 - 1640

The Khisl Barons (from 1623 onwards Counts, owners of the castle to 1686) began to transform the court into a residence when they inherited ownership in 1620. They built a hallway through the building, upgraded the four corner towers, of which only the south-east one survives, and after 1640 on the south and west sides built covered, arcaded walkways. On the west side a vestibule with a staircase tower was also added.

1655

The Loretto Chapel was built upon the orders of Jurij Jernej Khisl and consecrated in 1661 by Bishop Vaccano. A niche contains a statue of a Black Virgin and Child, and on the walls are the tall wooden candlesticks with the coats of arms of the Khisl Counts from the 17th century. The oratory added after 1727 was intended for the castle family. The preserved votive images show that the chapel was also visited by townspeople.

1668 - 1682

On top of the town walls a castle lodge was built. Count Hans Jakob Khisl had roofing supported by arcades built over the east tract. The east tract was made up of stables for horses (before 1590), and the north a dairy pantry and storage place, with above them a meat store (1590–1591).

1680 - 1763

The ceiling of the Knights’ Hall from around 1680 was decorated with stucco work by Alessandro Sereni  and his assistants, while the painter Laurenzo Lauriga painted an allegory of the four seasons, the Roman gods Jupiter and Mars, scenes showing Odysseus’s return to Ithaca, and two battle scenes of the war against the Turks.  In 1763 the castle painter Joseph Michael Gebler painted in the centre of the ceiling a scene of a battle against the Turks. The hall has hosted some famous individuals, including Pope Pius VI (1781) and Franz Liszt (1846).

1747 - 1749

In place of the old staircase tower the Brandis Counts (owners of the castle 1727–1876) completed a new building as a festive entrance of the Knights’ Hall. The exterior is playfully varied and decorated with Rococo stucco ornamentation, as well as the allied coats-of-arms of the Brandis and Trauttmannsdorf families. The interior has a stone balustrade enhanced by stone statues (young boys symbolising various disciplines, economic activities and art, the goddesses Ceres and Diana, niches with allegories of the seasons), while iron lamps in the shape of tulips and sunflowers have also survived.

1933 - 1938

In 1933 the Municipality of Maribor bought the castle from Vilko and Berta Berdajs (castle owners 1921–1933) and in 1938 the Regional Museum Maribor moved in. The building was adapted for the needs of the museum and in the inner courtyard a raised walkway was built.

IMAGE GALLERY