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Market and castle Pilštanj

NAME: Beilenstein, Pilstain, Pylstein, Peilstain, Paylnstain, Payllenstain, Pilštanj

Pilštanj
Georg Matthäus Vischer (1628–1696)

LOCATION
Country: Slovenia
Region: Styria
Municipality: Kozje
Settlement: Pilštanj
Object: castle Pilštanj
First mention: in the year 1185
Preservation: partial residues

HISTORY
*By the folk tradition, first alleged mention of the castle is from the 10th century and was built on the location of a previous fort.
*The castle is indirectly mentioned in 1158 when ministerial knight Ernest de Bilenstain is mentioned.
*The castle is directly mentioned in 1185, as castrum de Pilstain.
*The church of St. Michael was first mentioned in 1167 and still stands in the middle of market.
*According to the legend, Hemma from Gurk, the only Slovenian woman saint, was born to Count Engelbert and his wife Tuti in castle Pilštanj.
*In the year 1404 in Pilštanj a new market was mentioned. The old market was abandoned for unknown reasons and had six fairs a year.
*The school was mentioned in the market Pilštanj already in 1466.
*Turkish invasions on fortified market occurred in 1476 and 1494 but were unsuccessful.
*In 1431 the market Pilštanj received right to one fair a year and in 1505 the right to another.
*In 1515 rebellious farmers captured and plunderd the castle Pilštanj. In the year 1573 in another peasant revolt, they were unable to take it, because it was newly fortified.
*In 1646, around 2,000 people died in Pilštanj and its surroundings from plague.
*The second, Dren castle (Hartenstein) stood on the other side of the market Pilštanj, about 500m away from Pilštanj castle.
*In the time of the Turkish invasions, an intelligence station was situated at Pilštanj, which warned of impending danger.
*Castle was abandoned by the end of the 18th century.
*The church and other market houses were built from the ruins of the castles
Pilštanj and Dren.
*In the middle of the market still stands a shame stone.
*There was once an underground entrance to the castle by the road, which was closed with iron gates but was covered with dirt when the road was widened.
*Interestingly in the middle ages between the Pilštanj hill and the opposite hill Bredič, the river Bistrica was walled in and an artificial lake was created to protect the valley from the attacks of the Turks. In the event of an attack, the dam would be blown and the water would rush the attackers. Today some of the stones of this massive wall can still be seen.
* In the vicinity of Pilštanj, there is a pure water spring.

LEGEND
At the foot of the market Pilštanj there is a large stone, which is supposed to be a giant woman holding a child. She was turned to stone because she cursed the sun. Unfortunately, today the “child” has already fallen off.

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