What to see & do
Don’t miss out on the picturesque landscape surrounding Otočec Castle, the only castle situated on a rivet islet in Slovenia. The magnificent castle park was most likely formed at the turn of the 18th into the 19th century. It displays numerous autochthonous tree species, such as black alder, white willow, black poplar, as well as some examples of exotic tree species. The Krka River is home to 32 different fish species – including many rare and endangered species. Huchen, Wels and Danube Roach are the most highly valued species in angling. The white Mute Swans are special feature of Otočec. The first pair was introduced here in 1968. The present population now numbers over 50 individuals.
Active or relaxed time off
There are plenty of time-off and relaxation services available. In addition to enjoying pleasant strolls in the castle park and its vicinity, a game of golf at the nearby golf course, which also hosts golf championships, and sporting activities at the Otočec Sports Centre or adrenalin-pumping adventures at the Otočec Adventure Park you can also relax in the thermal pools and wellness centres at the nearby Šmarješke Toplice Spa and Dolenjske Toplice Spa. Otočec is an excellent starting point for excursions and sightseeing tours of the cultural and historical sights of the region of Dolenjska.
Situated on an islet in the middle of the Krka River, the castle building, together with its park, paints one of the most picturesque images in the country and is a prominent cultural and natural monument. The first historical reference to the castle dates as far back as 1252, when it was part of the Lower Carniolan Freising estate, administered by the de Werde nobles, also known as islet knights. Over the centuries that followed the castle underwent architectural and ownership changes, passing from one noble family to another. Today the castle, restored to its original Gothic and Renaissance splendour, houses one of the most outstanding hotels in Slovenia – the Otočec Castle Hotel.
Embraced by the Krka River
The origins of the Otočec Castle are veiled in mystery since not much is known about who built it or when it was built. Its primary location is also mysterious for supposedly it used to be situated on the right bank of the Krka River. One of its later owners ordered a part of the estate on the right side of the castle to be dug out in order to increase its protection.
From the Knights of Otočec to the House of Marghieri de Commadona
Home to the de Werde noblemen in the 13th century, who were also known as the Knights of Otočec, this castle is the only one in Slovenia that sits on a river island. The magnificent castle on the river Krka was for centuries both a stronghold and a gracious home to numerous noble families. Its most prominent inhabitants, apart from the Knights of Otočec, were the Villanders nobles of Tyrol, captain of Žumberak Uskoks Ivan Lenkovič, and the noble Janez Sonce, who is also the central character in a narrative by Ivan Tavčar. Before World War II the castle was owned by the House of Marghieri de Commadona.
The remains of the ancient times
Medieval structure of the castle has changed in time, yet some of the architectural details were preserved and cannot be missed out on. One of the most important ones is the Renaissance portal dating back to the 16th century decorated with two marble medallions bearing maiden profiles.
At the beginning of World War II the castle was seized by the Italians and used as a fortress. In 1942, it was burnt by the Partisans and only ruins remained of the two bridges. Castle’s restoration began in 1952 with the restoration of the roof and lasted for six years, also with the help of international work brigades. In 1959, the first restaurant was opened in the restored castle. Over the next few decades the castle changed its appearance until it was restored to its original Gothic and Renaissance splendour as it houses one of the most outstanding hotels in Slovenia – the Otočec Castle Hotel.
Otočec Castle is in addition to being the only castle situated on a river islet in Slovenia also the only one in the region of Dolenjska that was burnt down during the war and then restored.
Did you know celebrities have visited Otočec Castle?
Take a walk along the castle corridor and the Wall of Fame will reveal which celebrities have already visited the castle.