Rihemberk Castle Opens its Doors for Tourists
The Rihemberk Castle, located in the village of Branik in the Vipava Valley, will soon be available for visiting. On 15 June, the municipality of Nova Gorica and the local community of Branik will solemnly open it after the restoration, which has been lasting for almost 17 years.
The Rihemberk Castle is a real pearl of Slovenia with a challenging fate. For a long time, this monument of culture belonged to the state and its future was unclear. In 2013, the castle became the property of the municipality of Nova Gorica, and with the help of the Branik local community, the process of its restoration started. The Mayor of Nova Gorica Matej Arčon admits that one of the conditions for transferring the castle to the ownership of municipal authorities was its opening for visitors until 2023.
On 15 June, visitors will be able to see the castle walls, its gardens and terraces. Gradually, the interior of the castle will be restored. Part of the building will be allocated for the information service and a small cafe in the entrance tower, the repair of which was officially permitted a few years ago. After the repair, part of the castle rooms will remain closed to visitors. The municipality of Nova Gorica plans to equip them with premises for special study projects. In 2016, the municipality of Nova Gorica joined the Restaura project, which provides for designing a public-private partnership model for the long-term development of the castle.
In one part of the Rihemberk Castle, colonies of bats settled, which nest there from late spring to autumn. Since there are representatives of two rare species among them that are threatened with extinction, it was decided not to restore or open this part of the castle to visitors.
To date, the municipality of Nova Gorica has already invested 100,000 euros in the castle. This year’s budget for repair and restoration involves another 30,000 euros. According to the head of the project management in the municipality of Nova Gorica, Andrej Trojar Lapanja, this year, a plan for the conservation and general restoration of the castle will be developed, which will form the basis for obtaining an official permit.
According to the project, the total restoration of the castle will cost 8–10 million euros. This sum is beyond the finances of the Nova Gorica municipality. Therefore, its authorities will try to receive investment through participation in various programs related to the protection of cultural heritage.