- Posted Nov. 28, 2011 by Agnes Felber in Travel. Viewed 2837 times
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The date of the castle's construction is unclear; its existence is first implied in 1269, by way of mention of its owner Meinhard von Schneberg (Slovene: Majnhard Snežniški). The castle itself is first mentioned in 1461, as the manor of Sneberk; at the time it was a possession of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, with the Schnebergs as their ministeriales. The family fractured the estate through multiple heirs; by the late 14th century the castle had several co-owners. In 1393, a quarter-share of it and several neighboring farms was purchased by Wiiliam II von Lamberg, a relative of the Schnebergs; his descendants increased their share through the 15th century until they owned the entire estate, giving the castle its more-or-less current renaissance appearance as well.
In 1707 the estate was taken over by count Jurij Gotfrid Lichtenberg, who in 1718 permanently joined the Lož and Snežnik lordships. The house of Lichtenberg held the estate for 140 years, a period marked by the centralist policies of the Habsburg monarchy, in particular the constant diminution of the rights of the nobility. By the early 19th century, the Lichtenbergs came upon hard times. In 1832 the family was forced to accept a lottery loan; the main prize was the entire Snežnik estate, or 250,000 florins. The lucky winner, a poor Hungarian blacksmith, took the cash, while the Lichtenbergs went on to sell the estate in 1847 to a Viennese couple named Karis, who went bankrupt shortly thereafter. The estate was purchased at auction in 1853 for 800,000 florins by the German prince Oton Viktor Schoenburg-Waldenburg.
Prince Jurij, the third son of Oton Viktor, inherited the castle in 1859 and heavily remodeled it for use as a summer home and hunting lodge. In addition to adding a story, two turrets, a terrace, and elevating the defensive walls, he also richly furnished the interior and established a surrounding English-style park.
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