Celebrations marking the 505th anniversary of Brdo Mansion, a renaissance mansion now used for protocol events, started last evening with the opening of an exhibition of the “Treasures of the Castle Library”.
A number of events are planed until 18 October and access will be enabled to parts of the mansion usually off limits to the public.
Špela Munih Stanič, who is in charge of running the estate, described the “mansion as one of the treasures of our country and the nation’s heritage”.
Also on hand at what has been the state’s central protocol venue since independence was President Borut Pahor, who said he was surprised by the treasures in the mansion’s library.
Two of the major books from the library, which are usually not on display, will be exhibited for a short period during the celebrations.
They are Protestant Jurij Dalmatin’s translation of the Bible from 1584 and the “Glory of the Duchy of Carniola”, the 1689 encyclopedia of Slovenian history, folklore and natural science by polymath Janez Vajkard Valvasor.
Visitors will also be able to roam the mansion’s salons and halls, which are ornamented with sculptures, paintings by Slovenian artists, stylish furniture from different historical periods, elaborate chandeliers and carpets.
The highlights of the celebrations include Saturday’s staging of some of the episodes the mansion saw in the past 500 years.
There will be fighting between knights and the Turks, a show by the famous Lipizzan horses, the staging of a 17th century court scene, and a visit to the 17th century wedding of Adam of Brdo.
Adam was the last Brdo landlord from the knights of the Egkh (Brdo) line of nobility, who built what was the first Renaissance mansion in the Carniola region.
An insight will also be provided into the world of the Zois family, which took over the estate in the mid 18th century to give Brdo international fame over the course of the next 150 years.
The mansion saw a series of owners after that, including the “Executive Council of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” and thereby Yugoslav leader Tito. He passed the rights of ownership onto Slovenia in 1961.
Many more events are meanwhile planned and the celebrations will culminate on 16 October with a major charity concert featuring a number of acclaimed Slovenia singers together with the RTV Slovenija Monophonic Orchestra.
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