Trakošćan is the castle located in the far north of the Zagorje (Croatian Highlands region), surrounded by a landscape of exceptional beauty. When we talk about the name "Trakošćan", this is how the story goes... It is thought that in the distant past the castle on the rocky peak of the hill looked amazingly like a dragon, and the name was formed from drako (draco-latin), and stayn (German-stein or stone).
The owners changed often in the first centuries of Trakošćan's existence, but afterwards for almost 400 years it was the property of the Croatian aristocratic Drašković family. The Trakošćan complex is currently owned by the Republic of Croatia, and is administered and managed by the museum institution Trakošćan Castle.
In the past, Trakošćan was a small fortress built at the end of the 13th century in response to fortification needs for control of the border and important routes in this region. It lost significance after the end of the Turkish Wars, and it was saved from complete ruin by its owners in the 19th century when was renovated in the Romantic style and turned into a residence.
Today, Trakošćan is a cultural estate, a protected historical site consisting of the castle, the buildings below the castle, the gardens, and the forested park with a lake. The castle is one of the rare historical structures in Croatia with preserved original material that is historically closely related to the architectual context and the loves of its owners.
Today it contains a museum with valuable collections of the paintings, furniture, weapons and the other objects that are permanently exhibited in the original rooms and present a view of aristocratic life through the history of Trakošćan and the Drašković family.
Even though Trakošćan is definitely the most "popular" castle in Croatia (and there are more than 50 in general), (unfortunately) it is not crowded by the turists like the ones abroad (Austria, Germany, France...). Here in Croatia, people (and the Government) are still only mainly focused on our coast and not much money, time or effort in general is focused on the continental part of Croatia and its beauties. So, if you decide to visit Trakošćan, you'll be very pleased to know that you can really enjoy in peace and quiet of the castle and its lovely surroundings. Also, the prices are more than affordable (around 5 Euros for entering the castle) and the food in the nearby restaurant is really delicious. When we speak about the restaurant (and there is only one :/), the prices are a bit higher but still not like the ones on the coast, but there are other "problems"... very kind waitress doesn't speak English so if you would like something extra to be done with your meal, well... you won't get it (if there isn't someone who will give you a hand... like we did to the lovely Portuguese couple). Also, there are not many dishes offered but the ones they have on the menu are really delicious. If you are a vegeterian, I'm sorry to inform you but it is more likely that you'll be leaving hungry (there is some fish and pasta on the menu but not much). :)
I haven't visited Trakošćan since my primary school so despite the awful weather (it was constantly raining), we had the most amazing time. Regarding my outfit, I wanted to wear a very special dress that would look great on the pics with the castle and all that, but in the end, because of the rain and cold I'm happy to have chosen more comfy and sporty look.
Hope you'll enjoy this post and will visit this lovely castle that surely deserves to be on your "to visit" map. Kisses
For more information visit : http://www.trakoscan.hr/