Branik Castle (Slovenia)
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The Rihemberk Castle, locally known as Grad Rihemberk or Grad Branik, is located above the village of Branik in Slovenia.
It is said that the mountain slope on which Rihemberk Castle is located was occupied by a Roman fort in earlier times. The Rihemberk castle was probably built in the 12th century and controlled the crossroads of important routes through the Karst in the direction of Trieste and the Friuli plain. Its first owner was the Patriarch of Aquileia, who appointed guardians to the castle.
In 1232 the Reifenberg family was guardian of the castle. When this family became extinct in 1371, the castle passed to the Counts of Gorizia. When the last count of Gorizia died in 1500 all his possessions, including the castle of Rihemberk, were taken over by the Hapsburg emperor; Massimiliano I.
In 1528, the Archduke and King Ferdinand I of Habsburg lent the castle to the Counts Lantieri. In 1649 the Counts Lantieri acquired the ownership of the castle and added the palatio. During the Renaissance, the residential stretch was added to the inner circle and a courtyard was formed. They retained ownership of the castle until the end of the Second World War when the castle, among other properties, was confiscated by the Yugoslav communist authorities. At the end of the Second World War the castle had been badly damaged due to the extraction by the partisans. Some sources say that this was done because the Germans used the castle to keep the ammunition, others say that the "Serbian" partisans did not have a real reason. During the post-war period the castle was partially restored.
This is a very beautiful castle, which offers beautiful views of the Branica valley. It seems to have been used for cultural activities in recent decades. When I visited the castle it was closed, and it was for several years I think, and it was not possible to visit it. But recently I received an email from a castle coordinator who from 2017 to the castle was again open to visitors, on weekends and holidays during the summer months.