The chapel and its wall paintings
A protestant family, the Khisls arranged a chapel in the upper storey of the north wing, in which 16th century Renaissance murals are now preserved. On the east wall there is a mural depicting the adoration of the magi. The north or the altar wall is decorated with the scenes of the adoration of the shepherds and the circumcision. The west wall shows the scenes of prayer on the Mount of Olives and the last supper.
The chapel’s wooden coffered ceiling is decorated with the scene of the four evangelists surrounding an oval blank field. Running around the perimeter of this field is the inscription Tota pulchra est a]mica [mea, et macu]la non est in te cant (You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. – Song of Solomon, 4:7), showing that the centre field contained a painting of Mary Immaculate. The use of Marian iconography suggests that the painting was made after 1583, after the protestant family had leased out the castle.
The castle walls were once entirely covered in paintings. The preserved fragments of paintings reveal that they were made by different artists who are presumed to have come from Italy.
Around 1600, an arcade was added alongside the northern wing of the castle’s courtyard, to replace the original, presumably wooden galleries. Today, arcades run along the courtyard’s northern and eastern walls, but there used to be one along the western wall, too. During the renovation in the early 1990s, the rectangular piers that supported the ceiling along the entire north wing upper-level corridor were replaced with arcades. On the castle’s upper level, both side wings are decorated with four Renaissance mullioned windows each. On the western wing there are visible remains of three such windows, while the fourth was covered in 1895, when a cylindrical staired tower was added in the north-western corner of the courtyard. A spiralling staircase leads to the upper level; at the top of the stairs there is a wrought-iron crown bearing an initial B, which was supposedly relocated from the castle well in the courtyard.
Part of the Renaissance Fužine Castle complex, the power plant on the Ljubljanica river, was the first alternating current hydroelectric plant in Slovenia. It was built between 1896 and 1897 to serve the Vevče Paper Mill. The famous cascades of the Ljubljanica were dammed, old mills next to the castle pulled down, and the main power plant building with two turbines was erected along the castle’s south wing. The exterior of the cubic structure, which was built over water, was designed in a classicist style with pilaster strips and segmented window apertures. Between the two world wars, an additional power plant building was erected on the opposite bank of the Ljubljanica. The power plant is still functioning and is owned and operated by Vevče Paper Mill.
In the 19th century, Fidelis Terpinc, who owned the castle at the time, had the green areas on the north, northeast and east side of the castle arranged as a park. Plane, cypress and carob trees were planted along with other exotic trees and shrubs. A small fishpond was also installed. Until the beginning of World War Two, there were also an empire style monument bearing the inscription Fidelis Terpinz, Josepine Terpinz 1875, and a stylised garden pavilion standing in the park.
During the renovation in the early 1990s, the park was enclosed by a low wall running the entire width of the castle’s north side; on one side a metal fence interspersed with massive pilasters (the fence previously surrounded the army barracks in Bežigrad) was added to it, while on the other three sides it is flanked by a hedgerow.
In keeping with its original 19th century layout, the park is divided by two straight paths, one running in line with the axis of the castle entrance and the other intersecting it perpendicularly. Their intersection is designed as a circle. The types of trees planted in the four symmetrical fields are different. This type of park layout is typical of the so-called late landscape garden style of the second half of the 19th century.