Velenje Castle is a historical monument of the industrial city of Velenje. The city emerged in the mid XX century, while the Shaleshka Valley has been inhabited since ancient times. On the territory of the major trading settlement, people erected feudal castles and churches: Ekenshtayn, Šalek and Velenje. There were about twenty fortresses in total which have been built on the main merchant routes from Celje to Carinthia. The Chaletszki valley was called the valley of castles. The Velenje castle has been built at the beginning of the XIII century on the hill above the valley and was of great strategic importance. The thick outer walls formed a large courtyard with a well in the shape of a pentagon. At the northeast corner of the courtyard is a triangular defensive tower. In the south-eastern part of the fortress there were living quarters with the deep cellars.
The castle changed owners several times during its long history of existence. The first castle owner was the German feudal, the lord from Kinshperk. Later he sold Velenje to the wealthy family from Ptuj. The next owner of the castle was Hans Liechtenstein. Each new owner changed and added something into the guise of a castle. The Wagens strengthened, expanded and restored the fortress completely in the XVI century. Since then, the castle has become one of the most beautiful buildings in the Renaissance style. The new owners were living there for 200 years.
After the Second World War, the castle was nationalized and turned into the ordinary dwelling. After the settlement got the status of the city, the castle got in demand as a museum. After the restoration of Velenje Castle in 1957, it became one of the best preserved Slovenian castles. You will find the most amazing and diverse collections in the museum’s galleries. Near the castle is the Slovenian Museum of Coal Industry. If you decide to go there on an excursion, you will be taken to the underground part of the museum by an elevator. Then, in a special trailer, you will be transported to the Velenje mines.