The castle of Kostel with the corresponding market forms the second largest castle complex in Slovenia, after the Celje Castle. With renovation and reconstruction, which began in the 1990s, the castle has re-gained part of the former look.
The state took care only for the castle re-building, while the Municipality of Kostel invested almost 40,000 euros in its renovation in the last four years.
Castrum Grauenwarth or the Count of Guards
The first written mention of the castle as castrum Grauenwarth or the Count's Guard dates back to 1336 – interestingly, Kostel has the exact same modern local postal code. When exactly the construction of the castle began, is not known – probably around 1200, and its builders used the formerly fortified prehistoric castle to build the original tower building.
Due to the exposed position above the Kolpa River and difficult accessibility, the castle served during the period of Turkish invasions as an important obstacle and defensive point in the defence system against the Turks. At the same time, Kostel Castle was part of the fire-warning system, which was used to quickly inform about the emerging danger.