Castle and market Kostel

Kostel, Grafenwarth, Castell, Khostl, Castellum

Litography of castle and market Kostel made in 1679 by Johann Weikhard von Valvasor.

Country: Slovenia
Region: Lower Carniola
Municipality: Kostel
Settlement: Kostel
Object: castel and market Kostel
First mention: in the year 1333 as (castrum Grafenwarth)
Preservation: ruin

* The name Kostel derives from the Latin word Castellum (fortress)
*The name Grafenwarth comes from german word meaning Counts guard.
* The area was already inhabited in the Stone Age and belonged to the former people of the Iapydes who were subjugated by the Romans only after 200 years of fighting.
* The first written mention of the settlement was from 1248 as Grafenwarth and in 1337 as Costel.
* Kostel had its own court where condemned to death were hanged on the main road just out of the market on a small hill called gavge.
* The castle served as a border fort in the defense of Lower Carniola on one of the main roads to the heart of Slovenia.
* The city and the market were unsuccessfully attacked by the Turks in 1469, 1476, 1480, 1491, 1522, 1528. In April 1578, Turks dressed up as the neighboring Croatian farmers under the pretext that they were refugees fleeing from the Turks entered the fort. Carniolian soldiers saw small children amongst so called Croats and let them inside the market walls. During the night disguised Turks opened the doors and let the rest of the Turkish army inside which was hiding in the forest. The market and the castle were completely vandalised and burned. Neighboring people from 300 farms found refugee inside market and only people from 7 farms remained after the attack. Most of the farmers, soldiers and nobility were killed. Children were sent to brainwashing training as a Janissaries and women were sold as sex slaves to harems. The Carniolian knights went after the masive Turkish army and confronted them in Croatia at the settlement Topolovič. After ferocious battle Carniolians were victorious.
*After the Turkish devastation the Uskoken refugees were settled in the area. Further unsuccessful attacks continued in 1540, 1545, 1558, 1561, and twice in 1578
* Due to the high tax which Carniolians had to pay under the French occupation, the Lower Carniolians rebelled and killed a large number of French garniers. In 1809, the French army retaliated burned down and robbed market and castel Kostel, mansion Predgrad, castle and market Poljane, castle and city Kočevje.
* During the second world war in 1943, the castle was again burned down. Today only masive ruins remain which are second largest in Slovenia.


Images made by Vigilant Knight

Nobleman from Reifniz (1056 – 1206)
Nobleman from Auersperg (? – 1247)
Counts of Ortenburg (1247 to 1425)
Dukes from Cilli (1427 – 1456)
Habsburg the House of Austria (1457 – 1666)

Source: Gradovi v Sloveniji
Source: Občina Kostel – Wikipedija
Source: Občina Kostel
Source: Slovenski gradovi in legende

Latitude: 45 ° 30’31.08 “S
Longitude: 14 ° 54’37.18 “V

2 thoughts on “Castle and market Kostel

  1. i was under the wrong impression that Castellum was Castle in English and castello in Italian, thank you for clarifying.

    Liked by 1 person

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