Located inside the castle complex, the late gothic church of Saint Daniel was built in the middle of the 15th century and reconstructed in the 17th century, when especially outstanding church tower was built. The church is architecturally quite unusual. Despite its baroque exterior it preserved its basic gothic elements and thus remains one of the finest examples of this style in the Karst region.
In its interior, there is very interesting marble slab on the high-altar, showing the image of the castle at the end of the 17th century.
During the 15th century the small sepulchral church of Saint Gregory was built just outside the village, which is now the final dwelling of the famous architect Maks Fabiani.
The castle was built at the end of the 15th century as a defence installation against the Turkish invasions. The oldest remains of the castle reach back into the Middle Ages. In 1508 Štanjel was for a short time under Venetian rule, while after the decay of the Counts of Gorica it became a property of the Habsburgs.
The final appearance was given to the castle by the Counts of Cobenzl at the end of the 17th century, who made the castle their residence. During World War I the castle was turned into military hospital for officers of the Austro-Hungarian army, while during World War II it was badly damaged.
You can experience the Karst from a different perspective in the renovated part of the castle. Its halls host a collection of the famous Slovene painter and graphic Lojze Spacal. There's a nice patio with a bar where you can seat outside, have a drink and let your thoughts take you to another time :)
Stanjel is often a place where differnet art colonies take place. While I was exploring the catle of Stanjel, I found one room with some wall paintings. These were the remains of such an art colony from couple of years ago. I was surrprised to find something like that when I entered that room. The place is a ruin and is waiting to be restored as the most of the castle still does. Who know what will happen with paintings then? But with the speed Stanjel is being restored, those painting will still be there for several years :-).
The castle Rihemberg is a quite old castle which first was mentioned in 1230 and situated about 6 km far from Štanjel. It looks great with its gothic tower, especially if you come from Komen down the mountain. Unfortunately it’s only opened at weekends in the afternoon, so we couldn’t visit it. We only took a little look from outside, it would have been interesting to see more!
St. Gregors church with its stone roof is found on the hill next to Štanjel. It’s part of the Fabiani path and you’ll find on its cemetery the graves of the Fabiani family. Interesting is the grave of Charlotte Fabiani (see the photo), the mother of Max Fabiani. He honours her in German, since her family were Germans, in Slovenien, because she learned this language, and in Italian, because the karst region was under Italian rule at that time.
From the church you have a great view on Štanjel, only the trees are disturbing a bit. Also there have been so much lizards on the cemetery, walking around on the graves, very nice!
Max Fabiani (1865-1962) was one of the most important personalities of the karst, mainly as architect and townplanner. He also was the mayor of Štanjel for 10 years. There are several footpaths between Štanjel and Kobdilj with interesting natural and cultural sites, named after Fabiani. You can get some information about this path and the sights in the tourist office, also there are information signs at some of the places in Slovenian, English, German and Italian.
A nice walk is to start at the south-eastern tower, pass Ferrari’s Garden and at the crossing go up to the church St. Gregor from where you have a nice view on Štanjel. If you go down the other side and turn right to go back the lower path, you’ll pass a niche called ‘Chapel’ with a statue of St. Mary.
The name of this garden has nothing to do with the Ferrari car, but is named after Enrico Ferrari, a well-known doctor from Trieste.
The garden was built in the 1920s and 1930s by Max Fabiani, next to the villa. It’s a very nice park, well cultivated, with an interesting Venetian foot-bridge and some nice views on the surrounding area. There’s no admission.
On the top of the hill you’ll find some few ruins of the former watchtower. Actually nobody knows if this really was a watchtower, it also could be part of a Roman forth. From there, you have a fantastic view on the surroundings, unfortunately some trees obstruct the view a bit.
The church of Saint Daniel was build between 1455 and 1460 and contains a mixture of gothic and baroque elements – at least that’s what I’ve read as we wasn’t able to go inside as it was always closed.
It has a remarkable steeple which was build 1609. It look s a bit strange - just see the photo, it was taken from our apartment in Štanjel.
There had been very early a castle at this place, however like most castles it changed during the time. It has the current form since 1661. It was badly damaged during the WWII, but was renovated afterwards. Inside you’ll find a gallery and there's also a snack bar with some places in the yard.
There several typical Karst houses in Štanjel, like the one on the photo. You can see the stone rainwater drains and a cistern made of stone. It’s typical for a Karst house to be made completely of stone, including the roof.
You can visit the inside of such a Karst house, they’ve made a little museum, just ask in the castle.
The village has two gates, one in the west and one in the south-east. The western gate today is the main gate to the village - and if you stand in front of it you hardly believe that locals really drive through this narrow gate with their cars!
If follow the path from the other gate, the south-eastern gate, you’ll come to the neighbour village Kobdilj. The south-eastern tower has been restored after it was half ruined in 1944 and today there’s a gallery and a small souvenir shop.
This well kept 600 year old house (Kraska Hisa) is part of the tour. If you're on your own get the key from the cafe inside the castle.
The roof is all made of stones to protect it against harsh bura winds. There's an old stone well right outside the house.
The Tower near the Ferrari gardens has a gift shop inside and various exhibitions. When I was visiting they had some large, colorful puppets and looked like Jim Henson on acid - totally unexpected but cool.
Wander through the tower's archway and you are heading on the path to Kobdilj village.
Very beautiful garden. I was quite surprised to find such a large garden layed out in such a small town. I especially like the small pond complete with tiny bridge and island.
It was designed by Max Fabiani, the town's mayor at one point, and named after his brother.
You can get a good view of Karst region from here. There's even a path leading to the village where Fabiani was born. It's only an hour walk and the tourist info office can help you out with any questions.