Fužine Castle

O gradu

Na obrežju reke Ljubljanice, umaknjen od vrveža mestnega središča, obdan z naravo in grajskim parkom, leži na očarljivi in mirni lokaciji grad Fužine. Edini še ohranjeni renesančni grad v Ljubljani, katerega podoba in lega očarata vsakogar, ki ga pot zanese mimo …

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Zgodovina gradu Fužine

The Fužine Castle was erected between 1528 and 1557 by members of a Ljubljana burgher family, the Khisls. The construction was launched by Vid Khisl and finished by his son, Janez Khisl.

The rise of the Fužine Castle is closely associated with the growth of wealth, prestige and political power of its first owners, who expanded the Fužine seigneury through smart purchases, inheritance and land trades. The last castle owner from the Khisl family was Janez’s son Jurij. From the late 16th century to the early 19th century, it changed hands several times.

In 1825, the castle was bought at auction by Fidelis Terpinc, an industrialist, politician and patron, who renovated the building and revived the local economy activity. He erected a cloth and blanket factory on the banks of the Ljubljanica, and turned the mills operating next to it into sawmills and an oil mill. In 1851, he founded a paper factory, the predecessor of today’s Vevče Paper Mill. After Fidelis Terpinc’s death in 1875, the castle was owned by Terpinc’s heirs until 1938, when it was bought by the Joint Paper Mills of Vevče, Goričane and Medvode, a joint stock company. During World War Two, the castle was used as a residence by the Italian army, which left it in a state of devastation. After 1945, it was converted into a multi-apartment building.

In 1984, the Fužine castle complex was declared a cultural monument and a monument of designed nature. In 1992, it became the seat of the Architectural Museum, which in 2010 was declared a national museum and renamed the Museum of Architecture and Design.

 

Architectural history

 

The Fužine Castle is a typical example of Renaissance architecture in Slovenia. It is a single storey building with four wings and corner towers, of which three are square and the fourth  round, and an inner courtyard with a water well. It is partly a fortress with preserved loopholes and partly a residence with typical big windows on the upper floor and Renaissance double mullions in the east and west wings. The only façade decorations are typical Renaissance projecting eaves cornices. The castle entrance, accessed via a bridge across the water moat (drained in the mid-18th century), is marked with a turret supported by a double console and decorated with a double eaves cornice.

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.

 

Arcade courtyard

 

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.

Power plant  

 

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.

 

Castle park

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.

Venue Rentals

The museum’s rooms with fragments of Renaissance murals, the castle park, and the courtyard represent a unique venue for various business and social events. Whether you’re throwing a business meeting, reception, promotional event, conference, wedding party, or any other social or business event, the Fužine Castle can accommodate up to 800 guests. We the rental of rooms, the courtyard, and the park, as well as other services.

Castle guests can enjoy a free parking lot, wireless internet in all rooms, and all infrastructure and services needed to carry out the event. Your event at the Fužine Castle can include a viewing or quick guided tour of our current exhibitions; alternatively, why not choose your promotional gifts among the many products by recognized Slovenian designers found in our shop.

 

Info:

najemi@mao.si

+386 (0)1 548 42 89

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