Prem Castle, Slovenia

Prem Castle, Slovenia

We visited Prem Castle in Slovenia with our kids in October 2021. The small village of Prem is close to Ilirska Bistrica which is the first Slovenian town after Croatian-Slovenian border.

Even though it wasn’t a long drive from our home I prepared sandwiches and snacks for my kids. My son asked repeatedly in the car when can he eat his snacks (he clearly takes after me, I always have to eat snacks while on a road trip). Anyway, as soon as we parked below the castle I had to give snacks to my kids so that we can proceed with the sightseeing.

It was a sunny but cold day. We walked towards the castle and came across a few people. The little house with information/buy tickets sign was closed but I figured that there must be a possibility to buy the tickets inside the castle since Google had assured me that the castle was open to visitors.

my poor, hungry kids

We stepped through the large wooden gate and saw the small castle ahead of us. The kids ran around for a while and we climbed up the tower. We could see the local church in the distance. Then we circled the castle and found the entrance. Soon, we found ourselves in the castle’s elegant courtyard. There was a tourist group of elderly people. I bought our tickets at the souvenir shop and then we waited a while for the tourist group to finish their visit so that we could enjoy our exploration of the castle more leisurely.

Prem castle was built in 13th century. It changed hands over the centuries between many noble families such as Walseeis, Hallers and Habsburgs. Zuccolini family from Trieste (Italy) were its last owners before the castle became a museum. Later additions to the castle are the Renaissance arcades and exterior Renaissance walls. Prem Castle was renovated in 20th century.

We started our exploration of the castle following the suggested tour indicated by numbered signs on the walls and/or on the floor. Kids loved the suit of armours in the first room. There were some swords too. We went upstairs to discover the exhibits showcasing the castle’s history. The large hall on the upper floor has some impressive frescoes painted by Mario Lannes in 1932. The frescoes are depictions of astrological signs and of life in the area. The little chapel from 14th century is beautiful too. It is open for weddings too.

Castle offered views of lush, green landscape surrounding it as well as the village below. Since our castle ticket was also valid for the small museum dedicated to Slovenian poet and Impressionist Dragotin Kette (1876–1899) in the village we decided to go there too. After all, it was just a short stroll from the castle down the main road.

We passed through Prem village. My kids saw cows and farm machinery. Some angry dogs barked at us when we passed them. To enter the poet’s birthplace we needed to punch in the code we got at the castle. Very modern! We were the only visitors inside this former school house which has a memorial room dedicated to Dragotin Kette. We saw old furniture and some poems by Kette. My kids wondered whether the small bed by the big bed was for a baby or a cat. After our visit we walked towards the church of St. Helena and the graveyard.

who slept in the small bed? a baby?

St. Helena church

After looking around the church we returned to our car below the castle. My kids had another chance to run around and eat (my gosh!). So, we were ready to go back home to Croatia. It was a lovely day trip convenient for two small kids because the drive wasn’t too long and the castle wasn’t too big. Slovenia has many interesting sights that I’d like to show to my kids such as Bled Lake for instance.

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Linking up with Museum Mum for #CulturedKids72

33 thoughts

  1. What a beautiful castle – the wall paintings in particular are stunning! I hope to visit Slovenia one day. In the UK, beds at this time were smaller as people say up right to sleep. I’ve heard they thought you might be mistaken for dead and your soul taken from your body if you lay down flat. I’m not sure if it was the same in Slovenia. Thanks so much for joining in with #CulturedKids

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only ever had a brief time in Slovenia (i.e. less than three hours running around the capital Ljubljana), but I really want to return to explore more of the country. Prem Castle looks absolutely gorgeous and cute, and it’s great that it was such a convenient trip over from Croatia!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s great that your kids take an interest in the things they see on these outings – you’re giving them a good start while young to be curious travellers when they grow up 🙂 The St Christopher painting fascinated me (I always look closely at them because my husband is a Christopher!) I guess he is carrying the car across the broken bridge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d like to visit Slovenia sometime and Prem Castle looks very interesting. I especially liked the views from the top of the tower across the surrounding countryside. That small bed does look very tiny indeed. Unusual for a baby as you’d think a cot would be safer.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! It’s also an interesting twist to how he is often portrayed. I just looked him up, and realized that the vehicle there stood for his role as the patron saint of travelers. Witty!

        Liked by 1 person

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