In many countries, such as Ireland, the UK, France, Spain or Germany, castles are one of the most important elements of the tourist offer. In the Croatian Zagorje are large number of castles, fifty of them, especially from the Baroque period. Croatian castles are reminders of the high level of cultural life and architectural art over the past century.
Croatian castles with history and impeccable own architecture is a true jewel of our region.
The highest number of castles in our area was created during the Middle Ages. Timeframe formation had the greatest impact on the lavish beauty which we know today. Numerous of castles today are museums and open to the public. Unfortunately, there are still those who are crying out for restoration and return of the former original glory. Wishing you more closely approach of the historic buildings of these ancient times, we have selected for you ten most beautiful castles of our region. Our choice was not easy, but we believe that there will be neither yours, if you choose to visit only one of them.
Trakoscan Castle is one of the most attractive in Croatia. It is located in the Croatian Zagorje; Trakoscan Castle is one of the most visited Croatian castles, also.
The castle was built in the 13th century as a small borough in the system of forts of the Zagorje principality. Several times was expanded and upgraded. His final look, which adorned it today, gets in the mid 19th century. Namely, then Draskovic family decided to transform it into a residential castle. The family was decided to design the landscape and creates beautiful park after the English parks of that time. Artificial lake, which still leaves you breathless, is also work of count Draskovic and one of the most beautiful aesthetic additions to this castle.
The best preserved medieval town and a representative example of fortification architecture were built in the second half of the 15th century. Despite refurbishment in the 17th and 18th centuries, which turned fortress into a castle, Veliki Tabor retained and preserved late Gothic architectural composition.
With Veliki Tabor are linked many stories and legends. One of them says that young Count Fridrich Celje, because of love for the beautiful Veronica Desinic, gave to kill his wife Elizabeth, the only child of Prince Stjepan I Frankopan. When Fridrich’s father found out, Prince Herman of Celje gave to choke on Veronica, and then the wall up into the rock above the salon of knight’s castle.
Castle Marusevec beauty and attractiveness is one of the greatest jewels of Croatian Zagorje, alongside castles Trakoscan and Veliki Tabor. Today its appearance is a mere pale snapshot of the wealth of this ancient medieval burg whose existence historical sources record already in the middle of the 14th century, when in this region was the family nest royalty Vragovic. It is likely then, on the site of the castle there was a wooden house that is over 600 years of its existence been changing their appearance. Sometime in the 16th century was built a stone castle, which was protected by a water-shielded (Wasserburg), which was a protection against the frequent incursions of the Turks in this region.
The castle Marusevac is surrounded by beautiful park with more specimens’ rare kinds of trees, especially pines. Within the park it is nice lake, and in front of the facade of the mansion is a gorgeous fountain. Today, the park Marusevec is protected horticultural monument.
Pejacevic castle is located in the centre of Nasice. The castle is in the park, now a city park. The castle attracts the attention of passers by the beauty of a small castle and outbuildings. The foundations of the original castle were set in the beginning of the 19th century. For several decades later the castle was restored and received its current neo-Baroque appearance. With a large castle was built and the lake and park in that gives the castle a special charm. The castle is open to the public.
The medieval town of Ozalj is situated on a cliff above the river Kupa. It was built and upgraded in different epochs. Town gets a look as it exists today in the 18th century. You can enter in the castle through a bridge that once served as a defence of the city. Many noble families, certainly the most famous ones Zrinski and Frankopan, often stayed in this historic building. Today these interiors are a museum open to the public.
Prandau – Normann is a unique medieval-baroque ensemble of the extremely picturesque and stylish layered. The castle is located in Valpovo near Osijek in Slavonia. This unique architectural unit never really ceased to be a fortress; neither is completely become a castle. It is a true museum in the open air, this is a single large exhibit that can be walked, in which you can enter and walk through history?
Like everyone else, and Valpovo castle has its legend about the spirit that visited the castle. Legend tells of a tragic love affair and its end. The old Valpovo castellan had a daughter Catherine who loved Nicholas, commander of the city crews to fight the Turks. But Catherine was loved by Antonio, imperial envoy who was at that time in the fort. In order to avenge the happy couple, Antonio passed to Turks. In the conquest of Valpovo Nikola was killed. Antonio captured Catherine and buried her alive upside down between the city and the tower of the chapel. Three hundred years later, in the castle was situated seriously ill lieutenant, who is at night saw the spirit of a young woman in white. She told him how she was killed and promised him if he dig up her bones and bury them in consecrated ground, his illness will disappear. The lieutenant done all as it is the spirit of the white lady sought and he was recovered from that moment.
Bela is the name of two castles in the village of Bela, composed of Novi Marof in Varazdin County.
Castle Bela II was probably built in the 17th century. Two manors were mentioned already in 1648, so the Bela II was built probably before that time. The castle is located in the plains, and along with the chapel and outbuildings, is a unique example of preserved cultural landscape, and integration of cultural heritage and nature.
On the hill above the Pregrada in the 18th century was built four-winged building with an internal courtyard. In the 19th century it was renovated in the Classicist style, and belongs to the first category of monument.
You can approach to the castle along the avenue of maple which is long hundred meters, and is surrounded by landscaped gardens at different times.
The estate was owned by the Counts Keglevic and then aristocratic owners were often exchanged. Today’s owner Sinisa Krizanec, the castle was converted into a hotel with a restaurant and a favourite resort, and often is used for recording various productions.
Festetic Castle is located in Pribislavec near Cakovec. Over the centuries it was owned by several masters, among whom were members of the family Zrinski (16th and 17th century), and Festetic (19th century and early 20th century).
At the time of the Zrinski, castle was surrounded by a yard and a garden. Today’s appearance was given the mid-19th century, when it was restored in neo-Gothic style by Count Juraj Festetic. It was built of cut stone, with richly decorated Neo-Gothic architectural elements.
Today, the castle Festetic is in relatively good condition, and considered by many is the most beautiful and most romantic of all the castles in Medjimurje.
Mailath Castle was built in the hunting style in the area of the municipality of Donji Miholjac and is one of the last castles built in the early 20th century. The castle has numerous towers, high roofs, decorative chimneys and terraces neoclassicism. It is considered one of the best preserved castles in Croatia, and besides the castle’s fairy construction structure it will surely enchanted you with beauty of the historic gardens in the vicinity. The interior of the castle is not open to the public, but we believe that architecture of the exterior will be more than enough to fascinate you.