It was quite the adventure to reach the Zwilling castle, as Google Maps and road signs plotted against me with some contradictory information… I was even driving through the woods with no signs for about 20 minutes, and almost gave up, but…
I did finally reach the gate of the Crna Mlaka ornithological reserve. Their sign said ‘cars not allowed’, so I started walking.
It took me about 15 minutes to reach the castle on foot. The first sight of Zwilling, also known as Ribograd, was rather sad as the place is almost in ruins. It took some effort to pass through the overgrown surrounding area.
The castle was built in the early 20th century by Kornelius Zwilling in Art Nouveau style. At the time Zwilling was the owner of the surrounding fish ponds. He was cooperating with the most renowned architects at the time Honigsberg and Deutsch, who provided the layout plans. Most notable features are the high towers and a loggia that must provide a wonderful view of the whole area.
The marshes were turned into a special ornithological reserve in 1980, which inspires the idea of the castle becoming a hotel for many visitors that enjoy nature and practice bird-watching. There are at least 235 bird species to be spotted in the area, the most recognisable being the ferruginous duck. (Merica Mikuličin & Agata Juran / ViaNobility)