The castle appears for the first time in written sources in 1329 as Haus Pischaetz (in German), followed by vest Pischatz in 1346, in 1426 vest Pischecz and in 1443 as gesloss Pischecz. Pišece is in mediaeval sources referred to as Bischaez which supposedly means “bei der Schanze” – at vallums, which could indicate a very old fort, “šance” in old Slovenian language. On the other hand, the name may be derived from the word for “wind” – “piš” in Slovenian – which blows around the castle and across the valley all year. The third explanation is that there were once 21 mills on the nearby Gabernica creek; the name Pišece may have come from the Slovenian word “pšeno”, which is part of the mill.
The Castle was built to serve the Archbishopric of Salzburg who had estates in the area. It was here that the turbulent border between the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and Kingdom of Hungary was located, with constant fighting, looting, destruction and arson taking place. The castle – as a heavily fortified outpost – played an important defensive role in these battles.
The Archbishops kept the feudal rights over the castle until 1803, although the castle had been bought in 1595 by the Moscon family. A lawsuit determining the proper ownership of the castle was not concluded until 1637, however; it ruled in the favour of the Moscon family. The family owned the castle until the end of World War II. In Slovenian art history, for example, there is a very well-known painting, called Three Ladies of the Moscon Family, painted in 1829 by the Slovenian painter Jožef Tominc (1790-1866). The last male descendant of the Moscon family and the last owner, Alfred Moscon (1839-1927), was a politician, as well as a very popular mayor of the village Pišece. After his death, the castle began to decay, and after World War II it was nationalized, rich equipment was dispersed, several families were settled there, but the castle was increasingly decaying. It is only in recent years, in 2001, that reconstruction work has begun.
Otherwise, the castle was reconstructed throughout its history: the castle building itself is shaped like an irregular polygon, the result of centuries of development and reconstructions. Important reconstruction works were carried out as early as 1568. In 1573, at the time of a peasant revolt, led by Matija Gubec, the castle was not affected, but in 1661, on Christmas day, the subjects killed Hans Jakob Moscon and his wife Elizabeta, who ruled in a cruel way, imposing high taxes, etc. The story continues that their son Johann Baptist Moscon was saved by mere coincidence and afterwards his revenge against peasants was severe.
The reconstruction then continued during the Baroque era and in 1867 and 1884. The origins of the castle’s oldest element, the Romanesque era tower, could be dated to the 12 th century or at least the early 13 th century, but despite the later Baroque and historicist extensions and renovations the tower dominates the rest of the walls. The complex, which exhibits many major reconstructions, especially Renaissance ones, also partially retains the Romanesque castle chapel with its apse. Also, four memorial plates are located in the parish church, one of them representing more than 300 years long period of Barons Moscon in Pišece Castle. The castle got its present appearance in the 19 th century.
In 1999, the area of Pišece Castle was proclaimed as a cultural monument of national importance. Today, its renovated outer appearance and indoor hall function as venues for various cultural events. In front of the renovated castle, a beautiful park with a 50-metre tall sequoia and a pond stand out that give an aristocratic touch to the castle. A forest footway leads from the centre of Pišece to the castle which is a wonderful choice for a pleasant walk in nature.
- Grad Štanjel website
- Pišece_Castle Pišece Casle on Wikipedia
- Grad Pišece on sl.wikipedia.org
- Pišece Castle on Gradovi.net
- Pišece Castle on Gradovislovenije.si
- Pišece on Discoverbrezice.com
- Pišece Castle presented by the Seviqc Festival