Just a stone’s throw away from the mighty Renaissance Bogenšperk Castle, above Šmartno pri Litiji, lie the remains of the former Lihtenberk Castle, built in the 12th century. The castle was one of the smallest castles in Slovenia, and stood on a steep hill below the ridge of Strmec nad Dvorom.

The castle is first mentioned in written sources with its original German name, Lichtenberg, in the first half of the 13th century. Over the centuries, it was owned by powerful lords; first, the Counts of Višnja gora, and then the Counts of Andechs, and it was inhabited by the knightly family of Lichtenberg. Around 1470, Veronica of Lichtenberg married Boltežar Wagen, and their descendants built Bogenšperk a few decades later. The Wagen family also gave the castle its name – it was named Wagensperg (Wagen mountain), hence the Slovenian name, Bogenšperk. The history of Lihtenberk Castle is therefore closely connected with the construction of Bogenšperk Castle. Due to its position on a narrow hill, the expansion or additional strengthening of the walls of Lihtenberk Castle was not possible, so the Wagen family built a new residence on the site of today’s Bogenšperk, and set up a new family headquarters there. In the 17th century, Lihtenberk was inherited by Yuri Kheysell, who demolished it and used its ruins to fortify and repair Bogenšperk. It was bought by Janez Vajkard Valvasor, who also bought Bogenšperk and Črni Potok in 1672.

Today, the remains of Lihtenberk are barely noticeable. There are only a few ruins left, and an excavation along the path where the castle fountain used to stand. The chapel of the Blessed Mary Help of Christians now stands on Lihtenberk, built from the remains of the ruins by the Windischgrätz family in 1866. Positive energy points can be felt in this area.

A modern trim trail, which is 2.3 kilometres long, and continues all the way to Bogenšperk Castle, also passes the chapel. There are twelve stations on the trail with nineteen strengthening and stretching exercises, which are depicted on signboards with a description of their correct implementation and the recommended number of repetitions.More information: Bogenšperk Castle (Grad Bogenšperk), Bogenšperk 5, Šmartno pri Litiji, T: 01 898 76 64, E: grad@bogensperk.si