The Trakoscan is one of the headlining tourist attractions Croatia has to offer. Hailing from the thirteenth century, this is a site of historical importance that has been preserved with great care by government authorities over the years. A visually astounding and ages-old building, the Trakoscan is today one of the most popular attractions in Croatia, with tourists flocking from all over the world to experience its fairy-tale splendor.
Situated in the Varazdin county of Croatia, the Trakoscan Castle was originally built in order to strengthen fortifications in the northwestern region of Croatia, helping soldiers keep an eye on the road that led from the settlement at Ptuj to the Valley of Bednja. Surprisingly, given its size and magnificent appearance, it was only deemed of moderate importance to the defense of the region—a small-scale lookout rather than a vital fortress. Yet as the years passed, the Trakoscan Castle took on greater significance, watching as a number of important moments in the history of Croatia occurred between its walls.
As the Trakoscan in Croatia grew older, it inevitably changed in its architectural makeup. While the early construction of the castle had been largely functional, it was later modified and reconstructed to make it more aesthetically pleasing. That said, the Trakoscan only lost its primary purpose of fortification in the nineteenth century, when it was made over in a whitewashed neo-Gothic style by the family into whose hands it had fallen.
Following more years of turmoil thereafter, during which the Trakoscan in Croatia again faced ruin, the structure was finally placed under the control of the country’s government in 1953. Since then, it has been preserved by the state, with authorities successfully maintaining the various traditions and architectural styles that have gone into the building over the years.
Thankfully, the building is today open to the public, and visitors to this part of Croatia (the Trakoscan Castle is situated about a 90-minute drive from central Zagreb) can roam its many buildings, which include a wondrous large library; bedrooms decorated in baroque, rococo, and classicist styles, and a basement that used to serve as a dungeon.
For tourists who pay a visit to the Trakoscan in Croatia, there are other places of interest located nearby as well. Many visitors also head to the Veliki Tabor Castle, for example, which is a picture-perfect structure situated on a hilltop not too far away. The museum that this castle houses is home to many medieval weapons and tools that make for fascinating viewing whether or not you’re naturally inclined to such paraphernalia. Also a short drive away is the Mirogoj Cemetery, which is the resting place of many celebrated Croatians.
While there is a hotel in the vicinity of the Trakoscan, many tourists treat it as a day trip, getting a coach or a car rental early in the morning from Zagreb, and then returning to their Zagreb hotels in the evening.