Ptuj is a Slovenian town with one of the longest histories. It is even said to be the oldest town in the country, going all the way back to the Roman times, when it was called Petovia. The town’s most famous attractions are undoubtedly the glorious Ptuj castle, with a view over the whole city and the river Drava running through it. Today, a regional museum with various collections is located inside of the fortification, reminding us of rich and precious history and cultural heritage of Ptuj and the whole country of Slovenia.
Although the Ptuj Castle has a long and alluring history, it is still one of the best-preserved castles in Slovenia. It was originally built and completed in the first half of the 12th century, even though the records show that a fortification was standing there earlier in the 9th century. The last owners of the castle were a noble family called the Counts of Herberstein, who renovated it in 1912. After the nationalisation of the building in 1945, it was turned into a museum called the Ptuj Ormož Regional Museum, which is nowadays known as one of the major tourist attractions in Slovenia.
When in Ptuj, climb up the hill, and you will arrive at your destination, where you can decide to enter the castle for a fee of approximately six euros and take a look at the interesting collections. From the old musical instruments and simple everyday objects to stunning castle chambers, old furniture, medieval weapons and beautiful Gothic and Baroque paintings. Not so long ago, in 2012, a new permanent collection has been set up, displaying the traditional carnival costumes and masks typical for the area and its surroundings. You can also take a walk and see the citadel from the outside or sit in the café in the courtyard and enjoy a traditional dessert called gibanica while observing the magnificent view. Authentic Slovenian souvenirs are available at the castle’s souvenir shop, serving as a lovely reminder of your experience in the country between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea.
The Ptuj castle unquestionably belongs to the list of fortifications in Slovenia that you should see and explore if you have the chance. The best and most common way to access it is by following the stairs leading to the top, but step-free access is also available. Observing and getting to know the charming town of Ptuj beneath the fortification, along with the interesting stories and legends about the castle, only adds to the glorious experience Slovenia’s oldest town has to offer.
Cover Photo © Credits to: Pokrajinski Muzej Ptuj Ormož
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