Karst Research Institute
The mansion, also called the Lower
Mansion, was built by the House
of Auersperg soon after their castle
on Sovič had burnt down in 1689.
A dominant building with a courtyard
was built on the foundations
of older buildings and has to this
day undergone several reconstructions
and has been used for different
Since 1951, the mansion has
housed the Karst Research Institute,
which is the only department
of the Scientific Research Centre
of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences
and Arts (ZRC SAZU) at a separate
location. The bronze olm on the building's
façade has been created by academy-trained
sculptor Frančišek Smerdu, and the interior
has been designed by another local, architect
Janko Omahen. In 2016, the mansion was
designated the official ceremonial marriage
location of the Municipality of Postojna.
The House of Auersperg was the most influential
aristocratic family in the area of present-day Slovenia
and one of the wealthiest and most powerful
noble families in the Habsburg Monarchy.
Janko Omahen (1898-1980) is an architect
and a disciple of Jože Plečnik and Ivan Vurnik, the
founders of Slovenian modern architecture. He was
specialised in interior design, especially furniture,
and book design.