Medieval nobles built several rural mansions and castles on Semiška gora mount. They are not here anymore, but some ruins remain here and there. Fortunately, a lot of information and interesting facts about the local lords of the manors and their lives are preserved in historical documents. The mansions in the Municipality of Semič were already outlined by Valvasor.
The Semič Museum House features medieval depictions of manors, and the coats of arms of individual families are also very interesting. The Semiška gora mountain was once ruled by the masters Semiči, Semenič, Lichtenberg and the Kuralt family. The robber knight Sterniša once lived in a lowland manor at Vrtača at the base of Semiška gora. The manor stood until the Second World War. It was named Vajda manor after the last owner, and today the Iskra factory stands there.
The local lords of the manors owned farms with subjects throughout Bela krajina, and they also owned wine from Semič vineyards. Did you know that the first vineyards were planted on this mountain as early as the 14th century? The Marvin wine from these area was famous far and wide.
The ruins of individual manors can be explored on foot or by bike, as pleasant hiking and cycling trails lead past them. You can guess about the remains of the ancient fortress on Semenič hill, and you will find some more medieval remains on nearby Smuk hill. The larger castle of Smuk stood there. An information board about this manor stands at the hunting lodge.
Smuk Castle was built by the noble Semenič family, the most important family in the history of Semič. In the Military Frontier (Vojna krajina), they fought against the Turks for three centuries and were heroically celebrated several times in the battles. They also showed courage during the time of Protestantism, when they resisted Catholic pressure for a long time.
When reading the medieval records, we quickly find that the local lords of the manors in the turbulent medieval times rarely enjoyed the luxury of their castles. They were dealing with the plague, cholera, and Ottoman invasions, which brought plenty of challenges.
The mansions of the Semič lords stood on the hills, from where the nobles had a beautiful view of Bela krajina. It is also offered to you from Semiška gora mountain—enjoy it on a beautiful day!