Ljubljana Kodeljevo Castle – where the story of a great inventor begins!

Ljubljana Kodeljevo Castle – where the story of a great inventor begins!

As a Ljubljana kid back in the 1980’s I used to spend a great deal of my summer school holidays at the Kodeljevo swimming pool. Just like pretty much all the other kids from my neigborhood did.

Back then I had no idea that this part of Ljubljana got its name after a family – the Codelli’s – who once also owned a castle in the area. Further more, the last male descendent of this bourgeois family was a very notorious baron Anton Codelli, who was – among much rest – the first to own an automobile in Ljubljana. In fact, his life has all the ingredients for a real movie epic.

A carriage with no horses

It was in 1898 when a 23-year old  Anton Codelli brought a first car down to Ljubljana from Vienna. He was first spotted driving his new Benz Velo on November 15th. Many people claimed this was one of the biggest sensations Ljubljana recorded in decades. The car really looked more like a two-seat horse carriage, but with no horses in sight. Everybody wanted to see the new technological miracle. The children were always running behind him as he was driving through the town. But many Ljubljana residents were terrified by the speed it was going at 20 km per hour.

Anton Codelli ( 1875 – 1954) was the last male descendant of the Italian-German noble family, which in the 16 century resided in Slovenia and since 1700 in Ljubljana.

A year later the free spirited aristocrat took a drive with his benz to the French Riviera, where he was a regular visitor of the casinos. In Nice he gambled away his car and had to return home to Ljubljana on a train. However, later on he designed his own car with a six horse power single-cylinder machine.

Anton Codelli is one of Europe’s leading radio engineers of the early 20th century. He is known as a man who built the first long-wave radio communication between Africa and Europe for the German telecommunications company Telefunken.

Kodeljevo castle today

Located on the outskirts of the Ljubljana city centre, Kodeljevo castle and its park today attract many local visitors. It’s especially popular among young families, since in the castle’s park there’s a large children’s playground.

Kodeljevo castle is a perfect place to come for a coffee, even in the winter.
Many local families come here because of the children’s playground in the castle’s park.

In the main building a lovely restaurant called Finisterra Grad Kodeljevo is to be found, serving great food and pizzas.

But visitors who come here because they’re familiar with the castle’s famous last resident won’t leave fully satisfied. Although the castle is still in a relatively good shape, there’s no much attention to Anton Codelli’s life and work. We were hoping to find a memory room, which would tell us more about his innovations and contributions to radiotelegraphy and television technology. But this was not the case.

For such an extraordinary and eccentric castle’s historical resident – he even planned to build of a metal-hulled air vessel, which could transport up to 20,000 passengers and was at some point also involved in the African film industry – a memory room would be something visitors would expect to find here.

Still, visiting the Kodeljevo Castle is a great experience. Dining in such a great ambient and with such a great historic background is pretty special, too.

At Finisterra Grad Kodeljevo we had the best pizza Napolitana in Ljubljana.

What about the legendary Kodeljevo swimming pool?

The swimming pool is still there and still a great part of the Kodeljevo neighborhood, especilly in the summer.

There are two large swimming pools and two children’s pools. Olympic swimming pool with dimensions of 50 mx 25 m and a water depth of 2 m has a platform that can accommodate up to 500 spectators. The pool has lighting and provides evening training and competition in aquatic sports. 

To learn more about visiting Kodeljevo swimming pool visit THIS WEBSITE.

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