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Mali Grad: High Medieval Castle in Kamnik

Mali Grad: High Medieval Castle in Kamnik

By Benjamin Stular

Ljubljana: Opera Insituti archaeologici Sloveniae; 15 (2009)

Introduction: The town of Kamnik is very old. In page times the area was inhabited by three castles, yet it lacked a town; the area upon which the town stands today was covered by a large lake that stretched from Kamnik all the way to the surrounding hills. The three castles was positioned as follows: one was on the higher and one on the lower hill that overlook the town, whilst the third was located on the Menges hill. The castles were inhabited by three pagan brothers who could never agree on anything: they constantly fought and disputed one another. And then a dragon appeared. He moved so vigorously that he cracked the hollow mountain that held the lake and the lake spilled across the fields surrounding the hill. As the water ran out the dragon died in the middle of the field. After this the area that used to be covered by the lake became pleasant and friendly and a town was built upon it. When the disciples of St. Mohor and St. Fortunat arrived they converted the townspeople to Christianity. When they say the beautiful miracle they decided that St. Margaret should be the town’s patron saint for she could protect the town from the dragon; St. Margaret remains within the town’s coat-of-arms even today. The remains of the three castles can also be seen today; two are still standing, while the third – the Menges castle – has been flattened to the ground. Mali grad (that is today surrounded by the town of Kamnik) is full of vaults, caves and treasures.

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