Krupa Castle, once the most famous mansion in Bela krajina, no longer exists today. Unfortunately, we can no longer walk around its rooms and peek into his five unbeatable defence towers. Nevertheless, we know a great deal about it; it can still be vividly painted by the oldest inhabitants of the villages of Krupa and Stranska vas in their memories.

The mighty castle stood on a plain on the right bank of the River Krupa on the edge of the settlement Stranska vas. It was surrounded by a characteristic defensive ditch. Today, we can only see the ruins of the castle granary, which are clearly visible when we drive from Stranska vas towards Gradac. 

A medieval depiction of the castle can be found in the work of Janez Vajkard Valvasor, and the Semič Museum Collection even has a photograph of the castle from the beginning of the 20th century. The mansion withstood the test of time until it was burnt down in 1942.

Krupa Castle was built in the early 15th century by the eminent Hohenwart family. We do not know the earlier landowners of this narrow space, so we can only assume that a court or a small fortified building may have stood on this site before.

The most important landowners of the castle were the noble Purgstalli, who ruled it for more than two centuries. This military aristocratic family excelled especially in the battles against the Turks. Their tombstones are today seen in the shed of Martin’s Church in the town of Metlika. There are very few such tombstones preserved in Slovenia, so they are extremely valuable. They depict the entire physique of individual knights with many details showing their strength, reputation and wealth.

According to folk tradition, the castle had a secret tunnel. Rumours among the people had it that gold was hidden somewhere near the castle. The last owner of the castle, Josip Zurc, allegedly searched for it persistently but unsuccessfully.

Krupa Castle is important today also because of the preserved medieval land registers. They offer an excellent insight into the former feudal times in this area. The true value of this castle is certainly its cultural and historical heritage!


Foto: Uroš Novina