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  • Writer's pictureServus Zagreb

Trakoscan Castle - a place where history and nature turn into fantasy 🏰🤴👸 🇭🇷

Updated: Aug 8, 2020

Do you like castles? It is very likely that there are not many who during their childhood did not fantasize about being princes or princesses living in a castle, knights conquering or defending a castle, and numerous other fantasies related to castles. The castle actually provokes the creation of fantasy and magical moments from our childhood, and maybe that's why today when we travel, in addition to swimming in the sea, visiting cities, visiting museums, etc., we also like to visit castles.

Croatia, although a small country, can boast of its natural and cultural riches. In addition to the diverse nature that spreads over a small area, there you will find numerous "witnesses" from the past in the form of various buildings. Some of these buildings are castles, especially in northern Croatia. One of the castles that stands out and which is a seductive way combines history with the beautiful natural environment in which it is located is Trakoscan Castle.

History of Trakoscan Castle

Trakoscan Castle is a castle located in northern Croatia and dates back to the 13th century. It was built as an observation fortress for monitoring the road from Ptuj to Bednja Valley. According to a legend, the Castle was named after another fortification (arx Thacorum) that was alleged to have stood in the same spot back in antiquity. Although the first written mention of the toponym Trakoscan is dated to 1334 and it's not known who were owners in the first years. At the end of the 14th century, Counts of Celje become owners of the entire Zagorje Country including Trakoscan Castle. As the family of Celje soon became extinct, a period of frequent changes of Trakoscan Castle owners followed. The next owner was Jan Vitovec, a Czech noble and Count of Zagorje in 15th century, then in the same century, John Corvinus became the new owner. John Corvinus was the illegitimate son of Matthias Corvinus, the King of Hungary, but as John died at the age of 31 he gave the Castle to his deputy warden Ivan Gyulay and the Castle was in their property until the second half of 16th century, after the family became extinct. The ownership of the Castle was taken over by the state.

In 1584, King Maximilian gave the estate to Juraj Draskovic for services rendered, first personally, and then as family heritage. This was how the Draskovic family came into possession of Trakoscan. Throughout history, the Draskovic family has renovated the Castle several times. However in the 18th century, the Draskovic family abandoned Castle but in the middle of the 19th century, they renewed interest in the Castle, restored it, and returned to live in the castle. This restoration of the castle from the middle of the 19th century is creditable for the castle as we have the opportunity to see and enjoy its surroundings, but also the interior that preserves the spirit of history. Well, the Draskovic family-owned Trakoscan Castle until 1944th when they immigrated to Austria and soon after the castle was nationalized. From 1954, Trakoscan Castle serves as a museum with a permanent exhibition and it is owned by the Republic of Croatia.

What you can find in Trakoscan Castle?

Inside the Castle, it is possible to enjoy the permanent exhibition that is exposed to the ambient and the original function. The objects date from the 15th to 19th century and deployed in different areas. During the visit to Trakoscan Castle, a visitor enjoy different castle collections that include weapons, furniture, books, painting, prints, and photographs. The exhibition covers all areas of the castle, the representative of housing to technology (kitchen), and the castle consists of four levels: low and high ground, and the first and second floor.

The low ground includes Castle’s kitchen that is a separate part of the castle to prevent the spread of fire, as well as the smell of food. Also, in the low ground, you can find a dungeon where is shown torture using stocks.

By visiting high ground a visitor can enjoy different rooms that tell a story of the social and ceremonial life in the past. This ground includes Hunter hall (a hall that symbolizes hunting tradition of the Draskovic family), Vestibule (with an impressive large-sized painting of the Draskovic family from 17th century), Library (workspace with furniture and bookshelves in neo-Renaissance), Knight’s Hall (the most representative part of the Castle bring us back to medieval romantic past and evoke the virtues of chivalry and it symbolizes military and defense past of Trakoscan and Draskovic family, whose many members distinguished themselves in the wars against the Ottoman Empire), Family Hall (exposed portraits of the first members of the Draskovic family) and Small courtyard (a yard with a rectangular-shaped thank).

The first floor is the most comfortable furnished because it has been serving for residence. Inventory in Castle mostly dates back in the 19th century and it’s interesting how above all doors on the first floor you can find carved coats of arms of families with whom the Draskovic’s come in a marital relationship. The first floor includes following rooms: Dining room, Small lounge, History of Traskocan room, Photography and Draskovic family room (from this room you can enjoy Castle’s terrace and a view on surroundings), Dormitory, Dormitory anteroom, Small library, Room for praying, Music lounge and Julijana’s room.

The second floor was used as a dormitory for guests who came to visit, and all rooms on the floor are distributed by stylistic periods from Baroque to Renaissance. By visiting the second floor a visitor travels back to the past touring the following rooms: Baroque room, Rococo room, Room with painted wallpapers, Room with portraits of officers, Classicist room, Biedermeier room, Neorenaissance room, and Picture gallery.

Trakoscan Lake & Park

Trakoscan Castle is surrounded by beautiful nature dominated by an artificial lake and a forest park. In the park, there is a chapel dedicated to st. Cross and it was built in 1754. Trakoscan Lake is a great spot for taking amazing photos and collecting numerous likes and followers on social networks as such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. This artificial lake was used as a fish pond but today it is used for pleasant walks and (pedal) boating). It measures about 1.5 kilometers in length and its average depth is 2.5 meters.

Well, this is a short introduction to one of the most beautiful and most visited castles in Croatia. All interesting legends and stories related to this castles could not fit into this text, but if you follow the link and book Amazing Castles Experience Tour, you will find out all about Trakoscan Castle, as well about Veliki Tabor. Stay safe & see you soon!

Live it & love it! 😎😍

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