Sitting proudly above the town, Mali Grad is worth every one of the steep steps you must trudge in order to reach it. The 11th or 12th century castle itself may lie in ruins, but who doesn’t love some castle ruins? The baroque-style chapel of St. Margaret is perfectly preserved however, and it rests peacefully on top of an old Slavic burial ground. Not only that, but the crypt is supposed to be guarded by Veronika (she of half-woman half-snake fame), keeping would-be thieves away from her treasure. Truth be told however, it is the views of Kamnik that really make Mali Grad a must-see when in the town. From the ruins of the castle you get a true idea of just how breathtaking Kamnik is. It is all understated yet colourful building and red roofs protecting narrow streets. Oh, and the Kamnik Alps lurking (can mountains lurk?) in the background, providing the most dramatic of backdrops to a sight you’d be foolish to miss.
Stari Grad (Old Castle )
Kamnik has a ‘Little Castle’, which surely hints at the existence of another castle, right? Sitting atop Bergantova gora are the remains of the Stari Grad (Old Castle), a 13th century strategic palace built by the Counts of Andechs. It happens to be one of the oldest castles in Upper Carnolia. In 1511 it was badly damaged by an earthquake however, and has been in irreparable decline ever since. To reach it, head on a 30-minute walk out of the city up Maistrova ulica and you’ll reach some of the finest panoramic views in all of Slovenia.
Zaprice Castle and Regional Museum
The views just keep on coming. A short walk up a hill just off of Sutna brings you to Zaprice Castle, which sits opposite Mali Grad on the other side of the train tracks. The small grassy area in front of the castle gives jaw dropping views of Kamnik, both the narrow streets of Glavni Trg and the more lived in side to the west. The castle itself was constructed in the 14th century and has been through many renovations and even more owners in the seven centuries since. Situated inside the castle itself is the Kamnik Regional Museum. Now, we can all be honest, sometimes regional museums that span thousands of years of history can often drag, as fact after fact after fiction after fact flies by, leaving you none the wiser to a town. Somehow, the museum inside Zaprice Castle avoids this by keeping the displays interesting and providing plenty of interaction. The museum tells the story of Kamnik from the early ages all the way through the 19th century, with items aplenty from the various centuries. You are also given the opportunity to mint your own medieval Kamnik money, as well as creating your own Kamnik myth. The ground floor focuses on Kamnik through the millennia, the first floor on furniture (including a supremely comfy looking rocking chair) and the second floor is kept for exhibitions.