Castle Owners


Lože Castle: a center of history, culture, and art

The most significant personalities among castle owners and inhabitants

There's no written evidence of how people used to live and work in the castle during the Middle Ages, but we know for sure that the estate had no defensive purposes.

At Lože Castle, different noble owners succeeded one another as the region fell under different dominions. Lože Castle was mainly inhabited by noble families bound to the House of Habsburg or some lines of noble families of inner Carniola until the Cobenzl family bought it, in the 16th century.

The Cobenzls were important patrons of the arts. At Lože Castle they held a precious collection of drawings, canvases, prints and books that were partly later adopted by the Mayers.

Lords and Knights from the Middle Ages to the 17th century

Berthold V, Count of Andechs

c. 1180 – 1251

In the 13th century, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa elevated Berthold V's father, a Count from Bavaria, to a duke of Merania, and Lože Castle became a property of the Counts of Andechs. Berthold V was his youngest son, chosen for an ecclesiastical career. He inherited the region so that it passed under the domain of the Patriarchate of Aquileia when Pope Honorius III appointed him Patriarch. With Berthold’s death, his line of the counts of Andechs became extinct. He was also the last in a long line of German Patriarchs of Aquileia.

Did you know...?

Berthold V was the nephew of two queens: Agnes of Merania, Queen of France, and Gertrude of Merania, Queen of Hungary.

The Lords of Walsee


The Lords of Walsee were standing in the front row of the Habsburg court nobility, coming to great wealth and reputation and also acquired large estates. The Walsee-Enns line of the family gained the domain of Carniola, among other regions. Lože Castle was one of those estates where they used to spend their leisure time eating, drinking, playing games like chess, composing poetry, playing music, and attending the performances of acrobats and jesters but also hunting in the local forest.

Did you know...?

The Lords of Walsee were relatives of the lords of Devin (Duino) and their main heirs. They also inherited the Duino Castle, a manor with a breathtaking view over the Gulf of Trieste.

The 16th century: the Cobenzl Family

Baron Janez Gašper Cobenzl

c. 1530-1594

Janez Gašper Cobenzl was an imperial baron, Head of the Austrian Chancellery and Baron of Leÿtenburg. He was Captain of Trieste and Gradisca and Governor of Carniola in 1592-1593. He became the owner of Lože Castle in 1579.

Did you know...?

In 1588, Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, elevated Janez Gašper Cobenzl and his brother Ulrik to the status of imperial barons of Lueg, Mossau, and Leÿtenburg.

Janez Filip II Count von Cobenzl


Janez Filip was councilor and treasurer, Captain of Trieste, and Governor of Gorizia. He was born at Lože Castle, which belonged to the family of his mother, Johanna Lanthieri.

Did you know...?

In 1675, when Janez Filip and his brother Jakob Ludvik received the title of Count, they ordered the removal of the balcony above the main entrance of the castle to put the new coat of arms in its place.

Michael Coronini von Cronberg


In 1810, when Janez Filip von Cobenzl died, Michael Coronini von Cronberg kept the ownership of Lože Castle although it had been sold to dr. Josip Michael Mayer. The estate was unique with all its baroque furniture, the precious painting collection, and a vast library.

Did you know...?

Michael Coronini was married to Sophie de Fagan, a French noblewoman who also had some family ties with the Cobenzl.

The Mayer family

dr. Josip Michael Mayer


Josip Mayer graduated in medicine in 1771 in Dillingen, Bavaria, and came to the Vipava Valley as a surgeon with Napoleon’s army. Mary Teresa awarded him a noble title for his services. He married a noblewoman of Vipava, Anna Premerstein. Later, he was allowed to leave the army and operate in the village as a civil surgeon.

Did you know...?

You can still find the initials M.J. embedded in the corridor floor connecting the castle wing, arranged as a servants’ residence, to the main building.

Karolina Dolenc


Karolina Dolenc was the wife of Evgen Karel, son of dr. Josip Mayer. She came from a respectable family that owned an extensive estate and the post office in Vipava. Their service used to connect the area from Postojna to Trieste and Gorizia with postal carriages.

Did you know...?

The inhabitants of the area used to call her “Mama Loška”. She was a strong and bold woman and an early businesswoman!

dr. Ana Kansky (Mayer)


Ana Kansky was the granddaughter of Mama Loška and the sister of the last owner of Lože Castle before the nationalization of the property. She was the first woman that became a Doctor of Science (chemistry and physics) at the University of Ljubljana. She founded with her husband the first chemical factory in Yugoslavia for the production of sulfur ether, ether for anesthesia, and solvents for the varnish industry. They also included in their production flow some anti pollution processes to protect the environment.

Did you know...?

Ana graduated with honors. She strongly wished to continue her studies at the University in Vienna, despite that small-town mentality that education could be detrimental for women. In the summer, Ana organized the picking of apricots from orchards and sold them to Trieste and Gorizia. This way, she saved money and paid for her studies.

Evgen Karel Mayer pl. Leitenburg


Evgen Karel Mayer pl. Leitenburg was the last owner of the Lože estate before the II World War. His father always begrudged Evgen Karel the ownership of the castle as he expected to inherit it upon his mother Karolina's death. He also sent Evgen off to war just to turn him away from Lože. That was a dreadful experience for the young Evgen, who was a committed pacifist and idealist. Evgen was a graduated agronomist engineer, especially qualified in farming and forestry. He was an expert in planning animal environments and a passionate silkworm breeder. At Lože estate, he took care of vast orchards and vineyards for winemaking. Evgen was very proud of his vineyards of Picolit, an Italian white wine variety that used to be made into a wine served to the clergy and nobility of northern Italy. He was also a patron of the arts, as he grew up at Lože Castle that hosted many artists throughout the decades.

Did you know...?

Painters like Veno Pilon, Rihard Jakopič and Avgust Černigoj and the writer France Bevk used to live at Lože Castle. Evgen Mayer provided both Pilon and Černigoj with financial support.