The mighty Katzenstein Mansion
in the centre of the village of Begunje
hides the dark story of World War II. This building housed the notorious Gestapo prisons between 1941 and 1945. A memorial museum displays cells with shocking records inscribed on their walls by the prisoners, and announcements made by the occupiers regarding executions.
The museum occupies a single-storey building in the north-western part of the residential wing of the mansion.
As many as 11,477 prisoners suffered in this prison during World War II, mostly members of the resistance movement from the Gorenjska region, but also some from other Slovene regions and abroad. From here, many were sent to concentration camps, mostly to Mauthausen and Dachau. An extreme form of the Nazi suppression of the love of liberty was the executions of hostages by gunshot; no less than 849 of the prison's inmates were executed.
In the park adjacent to the castle and in the nearby Draga Valley, a burial ground for 667 hostages and partisan fighters was arranged according to the plans drawn up by architect Edvard Ravnikar. The sculptures in the park are the work of academic and sculptor Boris Kalin.