Clan Leslie Society    
Australia & New Zealand


Ptuj Castle, Slovenia - James 2nd Count Leslie was the nephew of Count Walter Leslie who was made famous by his execution of the Austrian Field Marshall Albrecht von Wallenstein. Count Walter Leslie brought his nephew, James over to Austria and made him his heir. When the Emperor Leopold succeeded in 1658 Count Walter was promoted to Field Marshall and was given, in hereditary right the fortress Castle of Ptuj in Slovenia. It dominates a broad section of the Drava River and valley, which was one of the main invasion routes into Austria.

Count James Leslie joined the Imperial War Council in 1681 when the Turks under the Grand Vizier of Turkey, Kara Mustafa invaded Austria. On the 12th September 1681, James Leslie's artillery engaged the Turks and then engaged in an overall assault on the Turks who were completely defeated. With all the booty from the Turks, Count James Leslie bought a castle, Schloss Pernegg on the River Mur near Graz. When his nephew Francis James married he gave Schloss Pernegg to his nephew and retired to Ptuj, where he died in 1694 and was buried in the Leslie vault in Vienna. The Leslie's owned Ptuj Castle from 1656 to 1802.

Because of its strategic location, Ptuj was inhabited as early as 3000 BC, but the Castle as it is now seen was begun in the 11th century, when both the town and castle belonged to the Archbishop Konrad of Salzburg. The Lords of Ptuj, who also founded the Minorite and Dominican Monasteries, rented the property for over three hundred years. The tombstone of the last Lord of Ptuj, Friedrich IX was built into the castles ground floor.

On the top of the hill are the living quarters, while the western area was reserved for military buildings, among them a tower, which is part of the oldest preserved part of the Castle. The central part of the building was built in the 12th & 14th centuries to resist Hungarian invasions and was then extended in the 16th century, when the Leslie's were in occupation, to resist the Turkish invaders, Today, Ptuj Castle is a museum with many artefacts from the Leslie years.