The Ljubljana Castle gained its present image in the 15th century when Duke (later Emperor) Frederick III of Habsburg rebuilt it. The first wooden castle on Castle Hill was in the 12th century and the first stone castle was built in the 13th century. It has now been ‘renovated’ to form a sort of cultural centre that includes art galleries, museums, restaurants, ‘under the stars’ movie nights, weddings, etc.
I prefer to see castles that still look like castles and that have been renovated in a manner that preserves the original appearance. Much of the interior of Ljubljana Castle has been fitted with modern flooring, railings and glass panels that, for me, distract from the historical appearance. There aren’t too many sections of the castle that retain an original appearance without modern touches.
Access to the castle was via a funicular, so no walking up steep hills for this visit. An entry ticket plus return ride on the funicular was 8.50 Euros, but I opted to include the ‘Time Machine’ guided tour, bringing the cost to 12 Euros. The tour lasts about one hour 15 minutes with a guide leading the way around the castle and explaining different elements. Along the way, there are six ‘time stations’ where actors portray characters from the castle’s history. The tour was quite well done and I would say that it is worth the additional 3.50 Euros. It provided some interesting historical context.
As far as castles go, I was not at all impressed with this one. But I’m glad that I visited for the historical context that I was able to gain from the tour.