When you say „castle“ to an average Croat, the first thing that will come to their mind is the famous Trakošćan castle. A symbol of some past time, different eras, and, above all, magnificent architecture.
This castle changed a lot of his owners, and today it serves as a museum that is open to the public, so everyone is welcome to see what the walls of this fantastic monument hold.
Trakošćan Castle is mentioned for the first time in 1334, and its name is linked to two legends. The first refers to the Drachenstein Knights, who in the early medieval period, allegedly possessed this area, and the other was related to the Arx Thacorum fortress allegedly in this area at the time of antiquity. It was established that the central part of the building was a Romanesque fort which was a residential building, tower, and yard.
After the death of the last male member of Herman Celjski (1360 – 1435), the possessions of these wealthy families were divided. Thus, Trakošćan transferred to the property of Jan Vitovac (died 1468), later Ivanus Korvin (1473-1504), who also donated to him Ivan Gyulay. This family had a castle in their possession until 1566 when the last male member died, after which Trakoscan was handed over to state ownership.
Shortly after that, King Maksimiljan (1459 – 1519) donated it to Juraj Drašković (1450 – 1490), and from 1584 the castle became a family inheritance. Due to the dangers of Ottoman attacks, the castle is being rebuilt and strengthened.
At the time of Juraj V. Drašković, the castle was restored in Neo-Gothic style from 1840 to 1862, in the process of the first restoration works in Croatia. The environment was transformed into a walking area, and, by building a dam, it was turned into a lake. There were upgrades later, and Drašković family lived in Trakošćan until 1944 when they moved to Austria. After nationalization, a museum was founded in the castle in 1953, which still operates today.