Marshal Radetzky Walk
Where the Radetzky March began
What is it about Tržič that is so inspiring that the famous Marshal Radetzky - the same one whose famous march is played by the Vienna Philharmonic every New Year's Day as the international cream of society claps enthusiastically in time to the beat - decided, after taking the time to get married during the Napoleonic Wars, to buy a mansion in this place from his stingy mother-in-law for 60,000 guilders? He liked it here! Believe it, the man had good taste!
- 1 / 8 Marshal Radetzky Walk
- 2 / 8 Germovka Forge
- 3 / 8 Neuhaus Castle
- 4 / 8 The coat of arms of Marshal...
- 5 / 8 Iron shutters
From the parking area at Tržič Olympians Arena take the stairs up to Neuhaus Castle.
Neuhaus Castle is set on a hill behind the Church of St. Andrew. Below it is the site where the original settlement of Tržič developed. Its most famous owner was surely Count Johann Josef Wenzel Radetzky von Radetz, an Austrian field marshal of Czech descent, who bought the castle together with its estate from his mother-in-law and lived here occasionally between the years 1807 and 1819.
When Tržič was hit by a terrible fire in 1811, not even the old castle of Neuhaus was spared. After the fire Emperor Napoleon allocated funds to Tržič for reconstruction and Radetzky, in a telling gesture that demonstrated his generosity and affection for the town, instructed the caretaker of Neuhaus Castle to employ Tržič locals in constructing the new castle, and used the whole of the funds that he had been allocated for the fire-destroyed castle to pay their wages.
On the saddle between Neuhaus and the slope of Kamnik there is a castle sign, better know as a French sign, where French soldiers were supposedly buried during the time of Napoleon. Walk past the sign along the footpath to the village of Slap and return along Cankarjeva Road to Kurnik House, then turn right onto Partizanska Street.
On Partizanska Street you can see many stones along the side of the road, called opestniki, or "hubstones". They are named after the hub of a wagon or cart wheel, which would hit the roadside stone and thus be prevented from damaging the houses and their facades.
The walk continues downhill along the main street of Tržič, Trg Svobode. After the 1811 fire the appearance of the town changed, and has remained essentially the same since. Marshal Radetzky contributed a significant portion of his own wealth to rebuild the town, while commanding that fire safety measures be respected in the rebuilding process - firewalls, stone frames and balconies, and iron doors and shutters.
From Trg Svobode turn onto Kovaška (Smith) Street, which takes you to Germovka Forge (2 Kovaška Street), the oldest forge and smithy after 1811, as well as the only one of the formerly numerous forges and furnaces that has been preserved in this part of the town to the present time. By reconstructing after the fire Radetzky hoped to restart crafts and mandufacturing activities.
Continue by the water chutes along the street Za Mošenikom, which takes you to the Tržič Museum (11 Muzejska Street). From here walk along the street where the fire started in 1811 back to Koroška Road and Pod Gradom Pizzeria, then go through the renovated entrance to the castle grounds and back up to Neuhaus Castle.
Time permitting and if you're wearing appropriate footwear you can climb up to the top of 873-metre-high Kamnik Hill, a lookout point that affords a lovely view of Tržič, and in clear weather also of the nearby and more distant surrounding area.
Kamnik was once a bare area, but Radetzky saw to its afforestation. After the fire he had a variety of trees planted on Kamnik, thereby also providing work for many impoverished fire victims and giving them an opportunity to earn at least enough to buy food.
To go up Kamnik Hill from Neuhaus Castle continue straight in the direction of Radetzky Walk. Continue the climb along a gently ascending path, then turn right at the arrow on the tree. Above the gardens the path enters the woods and begins to climb steeply. A well-marked trail will take you past a few crossroads, then you'll gradually emerge onto an increasingly more open ridge. Bear slightly right and after a few minutes walking you'll arrive at the summit and viewpoint.