The castle first mentioned in the year 1228 as Gräcz. It is situated in the village Gradac in Bela krajina. In the beginning, it was probably a stronghold against the Turks. The castle stands in a well-protected area of the river Lahinja. It has been declared a national cultural heritage landmark of Slovenia.
In the 17th century, the Gusičs had a magnificent park created along the river next to the castle. Its most remarkable feature was a tree-lined promenade with spruce and plane trees. The 19th and the 20th centuries saw another succession of owners. Among them was Franz Friedau, who built a foundry in Gradac, bringing the town into the industrial age. A wooden bridge connects the castle to the area where the foundry once stood. During World War II, the castle served as a field hospital. After the estate was nationalized by the Communist authorities, the park was neglected. In recent years, what remains of the park is registered as a protected area, a move designed to prevent its complete destruction until a permanent owner is found.
What to do
The castle is freely accessible to visitors,
a large portion of the castle is in terrible condition,
the building on the far end of the courtyard has tenants,
be mindful of the people living there and respect their privacy.
The gardens behind are free to walk about and view.
respect the signs and instructions of locals.
Where to discover
The castle is located on the main Črnomelj-Metlika road in Gradac, a village that shares its name with the castle. The castle is easily visible from the main road through a large portion of Gradac. The best view of the castle is from the bridge over Lahinja river. Parking is available before the entrance.