AN OVERVIEW OF THE CASTLE AND ITS GROUNDS
A sense of the past magnitude of the whole property
A Venetian-style estate with a unique view
The Castle of Lože stands on a hilltop in the Vipava valley, just above a village bearing the same name, with a spectacular view over the valley of bora and sun.
The Vipava Valley is in Slovenia, mid-way from the Karst and Selva di Tarnova forest, between Mount Re and the Isonzo river, close to the Italian border.
It was originally built in the 12th century. In the 17th century, it burnt down, and the Counts of Cobenzl rebuilt it (before 1675) as we see it today.
The whole property developed over the centuries based on the needs of the residents and the historical events.
It was rebuilt as a holiday villa in Venetian Style with a central mansion and a house for servants with a connecting courtyard.
Later on, the estate was expanded with terraces overlooking the valley. New courtyards and a baroque park added value to outdoor spaces. They were also equipped with more services and new facilities for livestock. If you take a look at the castle ruins now, you can easily imagine how majestic it was, at times when the Mayers lived there, from 1826 until 1945.
About the estate
- Architectural style: Venetian Gothic
- Location: Lože, Vipava, Slovenia
- First built: in the 12th century
- Rebuilt in: before 1675
- Overall surface: 3,700 sqm
The main building is a residential estate with a chapel. It forms a U-shaped complex with a stable and a wing for the servant's accommodation unit that encloses a courtyard where there used to be a fountain.
The main facade presents two diamond-shaped towers but the building was never intended for defensive purposes, despite fortification on the ground floor and architraves on the first floor. The main facade has a central stone portal and faces southeast. Above the main portal, there used to be a coat of arms that had been stolen not long ago.
The ground floor in Venetian style develops along the central spacial axis, starting with the entrance portal, through a vast central salon with multiple side rooms on each side and a large staircase at the far end of it. The rooms facing west open in the woods.
From a staircase located on the right side of the building, you can access an arched wine cellar that stretches across the salon. The castle wing for domestic servants consists of a ground floor with rooms such as a kitchen, a laundry, a dining room, and bedrooms upstairs. It's connected to a barn and a stable.
On the east side of the estate, there's the wall of the fenced yard with stairs leading to the upper terrace. In the property area, you can also see what is left of a smithy, a large garage for wagons, a carpenter's workshop, and a shed for livestock.
- A - residential building
- B - stable
- C - household building
- D - inner courtyard with entrance to the basement
- E - upper and lower terrace
- F - bridges
- G - forge
- H - chicken breeding buildings
- I - gardens arranged by the Mayers
- L - baroque staircase
Between 1946 and 1961, when the agricultural school operated at the castle, the structure of the building experienced the greatest architectural interventions. At the back of the main building, they added a new entrance to the staircase on the ground floor and a bathroom on the first floor, and they also installed a wide wagon door.
On the north side of the building, a new entrance to the wine cellar was made, where the stairs on the ground floor of the northeast tower lead. The attic and the wing for servant's accommodation were converted into living quarters for workers and employees.
The smithy was converted into garages for agricultural machinery. A terrace with a beautiful view of the Vipava Valley was arranged on the roof.
After the school closed, the castle began to deteriorate rapidly. From 1966, the castle, which came under the administration of the Vipava Agricultural Cooperative, was for a short time an inn, and later the warehouse of the companies Fructal and Lipa and living quarters for workers on the farm. In 1987, the castle was finally emptied and abandoned. In the 1970s, the idea of converting the building into a museum of the national liberation struggle for the entire Primorska region arose. After 1990, the idea of arranging a casino was also relevant, but it died out at the beginning of a long denationalization process.
In 2003, the municipality of Vipava, with the financial help of the Ministry of Culture, installed a new roof, new windows and doors. They have been essential to prevent damages from weather and time, even though such restoration works didn't respect the coherence of the original architectural ensemble, as we can see from the roof tiles and the shutters.
Since then, vandals have broken into the central wing several times, destroying the remaining furniture, fireplaces and decorations. They stole the baroque door with wrought iron trim, the coat of arms above the main portal, and also the floor mosaics and marble stairs, just to name a few.