Welcome to Kunšperk! Take a moment and imagine a special time machine suddenly appearing before you, inviting you on a journey. But the time machine just can’t decide where to take you, since the village where you currently are has such a rich history. Maybe, it could take you far back in time, to pre-Christian times, to a time of good-natured giants Ajdi? Legends tell that the friendly Ajdi walked along Sotla, like you today, passing a hammer from one hill to another, and building mighty, opposite castles: Kunšperk Castle and Cesargrad Castle.

Well, Ajdi may only be stuff of legends, but written sources confirm that, as early as 1201, Kunšperk, which today lies pressed against the shady hillside, was a very important centre of activity in the Middle Ages. But the village with the fair did not remain a simple village. Since it was important for one of Slovenian oldest castles, it gained special rights and a new title in 1405 – a market. They had a tollhouse for border fees, their own cemetery, a defence tower, and even a Church of Saint Jacob.

The time machine would undoubtedly also take you back to 1167–1178, when, at the side of the even older castle, a new Kunšperk Castle with a great guard tower and a nice chapel was built. From within this castle, Knights of Kunšperk, who owned also Stopnik Castle and Velenje Castle, protected the Hungarian border that ran along Sotla. In 1395, the Counts of Celje took over the castle, then the Tattenbachs, who also controlled the Bizeljsko Castle. From 1858 and until the end of the Second World War, the castle was owned by the Windischgaetz family. 

Stories also tell of a brave knight Kun, and that the Kunšperk Castle and Cesargrad Castle, now located on the Croatian side of the border, used to be connected by a suspension bridge, which served as a walkway for the castle aristocracy. Another mystery remains unsolved: there is supposed to be a special, underground tunnel under Kunšperk Castle, filled with golden coins, which have remained untouched for many centuries.

However, if the time machine dropped you off in 1573 in the middle of the village, you would quickly run for cover in the woods. Kunšperško polje was the site of one of the largest peasant uprising in Slovenia, and the fields and rivers ran red with their blood. Under the leadership of Ilija Gregorić and Matija Gubec, the local peasants fought, in the famous Croatian and Slovenian uprising, against the aristocracy of Štajerska and Kunšperk.

And how did a local farmer live? For that piece of history, you do not need a time machine, as you can visit the Kravarič homestead and discover a typical, straw-covered home from the 19th century. Smoke kitchen, pigsty, granary, basement ... a farmer had to make do and use anything and everything available at the time, to survive the harshest times. And locals here have always been exceptionally sensible and wise: they built their homes on the slopes for protection and to ensure that good, arable land was left for growing food.


Operacijo delno financira Evropska unija iz Evropskega sklada za regionalni razvoj. Operacija se izvaja v okviru Operativnega programa krepitve regionalnih razvojnih potencialov za obdobje 2007−2013 za obdobje 2012-2014, razvojne prioritete »Razvoj regij«; prednostne usmeritve »Regionalni razvojni programi«.