Introducing Trakošćan Castle
Among continental Croatia’s most impressive castles, Trakošćan Castle, 80km northwest of Zagreb, is worth a visit for its well-presented museum and attractive grounds. The exact origin of its construction is unknown but the first official mention dates to 1334. Not many of the castle’s original Romanesque features were retained when it was restored in neo-Gothic style in the mid-19th century and the 215-acre castle grounds were landscaped into a romantic English-style park with exotic trees and an artificial lake.
Occupied by the aristocratic Drašković family until 1944, the castle features three floors of exhibits that display the family’s original furniture and a plethora of portraits. The series of rooms range in style from neo-Renaissance to Gothic and baroque. There’s also an armaments collection of swords and firearms, and a period kitchen in the basement.
After soaking up the history, wander along the verdant paths down to the wooden jetty at the lake, where you can rent a two-person paddleboat (50KN per hour) in warm weather.
No buses operate between Zagreb and Trakošćan but there are weekday connections from Varaždin, making a day trip possible.