Play with counts
As far as we remember, we have always played counts in Celje. For more than a half of a millennium, we have been guided by the three gold stars. We are proud and obstinate heirs of the Counts of Celje, the most powerful noble and ruling dynasty that has ever lived here, in the Slovenian territory.
We like to imagine them, victorious, strong as steel, dressed in medieval clothing or joining us at our present delights. A good coffee, a friendly chat or a sport game can make us feel invincible for a moment. Therefore, visit Celje and get in to the counts’ shoes.
Still nowadays, Celje inhabitants grow up with myths and legends about the Counts of Celje. Come to see how the famous counts and dukes, who built the town on the ancient Celeia foundations, lived in the Middle Ages. Feel the spirit of these horsemen, who grew up from mercenaries on battlefields into talented politicians, becoming a thorn in the flesh of Hapsburgs and other dynasties of medieval Europe.
Come to play with counts to relive the greatest three – father, mother and son, who cofounded the mysterious dragon order of the knights. Don’t leave Celje until meeting them: the most influential and charismatic Herman II Count of Celje, who paved a path to the stars to his children as well as to all Celje inhabitants; Herman’s daughter Barabara, the most highly ranking crowned head in the Slovenian history, who was a Czech, Hungarian and German queen; and Herman’s son Friderick II, Habsburg duke, who consolidated the town on the ancient Celeia foundations and built the ancient Rome artworks in medieval walls.
On the photos, two famous Celje inhabitants – handball player Miha Žvižej as well as dancer and choreographer Gea Erjavec, lent their faces to brother and sister, Friderick and Barbara, in modern disguise. The role of Veronika, love of Friderick’s life, was played by Tija Ocvirk, one of the most talented young athletes of Celje and Slovenia at this moment. All of them are wearing the clothes created by the Celje fashion designer Milanka Močnik alias Solo Mile, who soaked the medieval spirit of the Counts of Celje counts with the modern character of Celje town, which is still unique and rebellious as it was then.
Friderick II remains grounded in the heart of Slovenians not because of his humanistic spirit, but for his tragic love for Veronika of Desenice. Being miserable in marriage, which was politically arranged by his father, he opposed him and married young Veronika, who had stolen his heart in the middle of flowering meadow, while he was riding on the horse. Father punished his son’s disobedience by sentencing Veronika to death and imposing a house arrest on him.
The most famous Slovenian love story of the Middle Ages has kept the myth of the Counts of Celje alive, regardless of the fact that Celje dynasty died out with Friderick’s son, Ulrich II, insidiously murdered by grudgers as the last male descendant of Celje dynasty. The locals in Celje have never ceased to believe in their counts and myths. Ultimately, the story about the Counts of Celje has been staged as a spectacular outdoor musical in the courtyard of the Old Castle Celje by the House of Culture Celje art team. Come, join us and play with counts!