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Institute Svitar – Rihemberk Castle

The Rihemberk Castle was built on the rocky pier of the Golec hill above Branik at the beginning of the 13th century, on the site of a much older prehistoric castle. Over the course of the last eight hundred years, the cultural monument of national importance has grown from a high-altitude castle fortress into a varied building architecture with triple castle walls. It is known for its 27-metre tall defence tower, which is the tallest castle tower in Slovenia. Visitors can climb up a spiral staircase inside a 3-metre thick wall.

As a mighty bulwark between the Vipava Valley and the Karst, Rihemberk Castle is surrounded by diverse nature, protected in two Natura 2000 areas: Branica Valley and Karst. The animal and plant species of the area, including endangered species, are presented with a wide range of interpretive tools at the Natura 2000 Interpretation Centre in the renovated premises of the castle’s entrance tower. Among the protected species of the area there are also 12 species of bats, which have their place of residence at Rihemberk Castle from spring to autumn.

Today, the castle is owned by the Municipality of Nova Gorica, which is leading the renovation of its architecture and content.

It is used by the private institute Svitar, a non-governmental organization with the status of public interest in the field of protection and interpretation of cultural heritage. The institute makes the castle accessible to individual visitors on weekends:

Based on 20 years of experience at the castle, Svitar also develops interpretive programs for visitors, such as Treasures of Rihemberk Castle for families, Costume tours for groups, team building for companies and boutique experiences for more demanding guests: