The Brestanica Museum of Political Prisoners, Internees and Deportees is housed at
Rajhenburg castle in Brestanica , the oldest medieval castle
in Slovenia. It was mentioned already in 895. It was
demolished at the beginning of the 10th century, and, Bishop Konrad of
Salzburg had it renovated between 1131 and 1147. The most prominent
castle's owners were the Rajhenburgs, the noble Moscons, the knights
Gradeneck, barons Gall Galenstein, Counts Attems, and Trappists monks, who
converted the castle into a monastery. In April 1941, the Germans transformed it into the central camp
for deportating Slovenes
from which around 45,000 Slovenians were sent into exhile. There were prisons in the castle after the war, and since 1968, it has housed a museum.
Today, there are three permanent exhibitions in the castle:
The exhibition on Slovene deportees,
which was arranged by Dr. Tone Ferenc in 1968, illustrating the German imperialist tendencies towards the Slovenian territory, dismembering of Slovenia, German denationalisation policy, deportation camps and exiling to Serbia, Croatia and Germany, arrival of Kocevje Germans to the emigratory territory along the rivers Sava and Sotla, life in exile, and comming back of deportees to their mother country.
The exhibition on political prisoners and internees, arranged by the Museum of Modern History in Ljubljana (Marjeta Mikuz, Natasa Urbanc, Ivo Vranicar) illustrates the occupier terror on the territory of the entire Slovenia, imprisoning, torturing, killing, and deportation to concentration and death camps.
The exhibition on Trappist monks was
opened in September 1993 and arranged by Mrs. Irena Fürst, curator at the
Brestanica museum. The exhibition illustrates the foundation of the
Trappist order in France, the arrival of Trappists in Rajhenburg, the
order organisation, life in the monastery, economic and industrial activities of the monks, as well as their close link-up with time and space.
The castle itself is an important cultural and historic monument
. The Renaissance tract and the frescoes from the beginning of the 16th century, with a presentation of a legend on Kunigunda of Bamberg, have been restored for visitors.