Croatia is a country rich in castles and fortresses. These three castles are located in the continental “green” part of the country and make the places where they are located even nicer and more profound.
1. Trakošćan Castle
The first castle is located in a region called Hrvatsko Zagorje and is one of the prettiest castles in the country. The castle mentioned is called Trakošćan, and it is a cultural monument surrounded by a forest. The castle dates from 13th century, and its name was mentioned in 1334 for the first time. Today, the castle has opened its door to visitors. If you ever find yourself there, you will be able to see many historical objects such as the weaponry of that time, beautiful paintings, musical instruments, and more.
2. Kutjevo Castle
Kutjevo castle has three wings which close a vast backyard and a beautiful church. It was built in the first half of the 18th century and over the time, it changed owners and appearance. Kutjevo as a town is well-known for its fine wine and as a very fertile land. The castle is most famous for its wine cellars. The legend says that the Baron Trenk and Empress Marija Terezija used to meet in the cellars. The aphrodisiac performances of the wine carried their feelings away and they did not leave the cellar for a full week.
3. Castle Pejačević in Našice
Castle Pejacevic is located in the heart of the town Našice. There are a few other smaller castles by its side as well. The castle carries a Nobile’s name – Pejacevic. A very interesting fact is that Našice is a town well-known for beautiful castles, but what sets it apart from the ones in other towns is that castles in Našice are all built in the same park. If you ever find yourself there, you will enjoy yourself in many small and not so small castles, which were built in the newer times, and give this town a certain edge.
4. Old town Dubovac
This castle is listed as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved castles of the feudal architecture in the country. It is located on the edge of the city Karlovac and it got its name after the forest which once surrounded it. It was built next to the river Kupa and thanks to its perfect location, it gives its visitors an amazing fairytale-like feeling. It’s also a rich archaeological site, archaeologists found many artifacts from the late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. The castle has an amazing (and a completely new) restaurant which has that typical Middle Age feel to it and offers amazing and really tasty food.
5. Castle Lovrečina Grad
This castle can be found 4 km from Vrbovac and it was first mentioned in some documents in 1540. It was built by the Gregorians (the followers of the ideology of Pope Gregory I/Pope Gregory VII, not the famous band, don’t worry) and later on it was reconstructed in the 19th century in a neo-Baroque style. Today it belongs to the Sisters of Mercy of the order of St. VinkoPaulski, they help treated addicts there. They are open on Saturdays and Sundays, but you can visit them during the week too, you just have to announce yourself first.
6. Old town Čakovec a.k.a. Zrinski Castle
Zrinski Castle is located in the Zrinski Park, in the heart of Čakovec and it is a medieval fortification which is listed as a Cultural Good of Croatia. It’s a big part of the Croatian history thanks to its famous residents like the noble families of House Lacković, House Ernušt, House Feštetić, but most importantly the Zrinski family. Bibliotheca Zriniana, the great library of the Zrinski family was located here for a time. The Međimurje County Museum can be found in the main palace houses and the castle’s atrium serves as an open air theatre during the warm months of the year.
7. Castle Mailáth
Castle Mailáth is considered to be one of the best-preserved castles in Croatia and rightfully so, after all these years it still looks breathtakingly beautiful. It was built for the son of Maria Ana and JosipIgnac Hillderbrant von Prandauand it took 9 years to build it (1905. – 1914.). When Stephania, the daughter of the Prandaus, married the Hungarian count George Mailáth, the whole estate and the town too became the property of the Mailáth family and that’s how the castle got its name. It is surrounded by an amazing park where you can take a long and relaxing walk, or you can visit the greenhouse there which houses tropical and winter plants.
8. Castle Prandau – Normannin Valpovo
This castle is located in Valpovo, it’s a medieval-Baroque architectural complex and it is one of the biggest and oldest castles in Slavonia. It was built in the 18th century and today it houses the Museum of Valpovo. The castle’s park is known as one of the most valuable historic parks in Continental Croatia thanks to its shape and rich environment. The Prandau – Normann castle has its own ghost story too, it’s called “The White Lady”. Long story short, it’s about a young girl’s ghost who was haunting the castle right until someone decided to help her. They looked for her remains in the place she told them to and to everyone’s surprise they found a skeleton. When they buried that skeleton in holy ground, the ghost disappeared forever. Spooky, right?
9. Rauch Castle in Lužnica
Rauch Castle a.k.a. Castle Lužnica is said to be built around the middle of the 18th century in a late Baroque style. It is located in Lužnica, 20 km from Zagreb and it’s a first-category monument. This castle, just like Castle Lovrečina, belongs to the Sisters of Mercy of the order of St. Vinko Paulski who opened a spiritual-educational center there which is led by them. This castle looks amazing, it has a huge park with a walking trail, a small lake, many benches and a lot of peace so if you want to relax and let your mind chill a bit, I definitely recommend a walk through this estate. If you want to visit the castle with an organized group, you have to announce it. If you want to visit it alone or with a friend or a loved one, you can do so every day until closing hours.
10. Novi Dvori Dvorac
This castle is a very well preserved and unique monument of cultural and historical heritage and it’s only about 20 km from the capital of the country, Zagreb. It had many owners throughout history, but the most important owner was the Jelačić family. Ban Josip Jelačić built a small chapel on the meadow next to the castle in neo-Gothic style in 1855. When Jelačić’s baby daughter, Ana died they built a crypt in the chapel so they could bury the poor child there. Later on, Ban Josip Jelačić was also buried in that same crypt. The estate has a huge park around it so you can take a long walk in the park or you can sit down on a bench and enjoy nature at its best around you. It’s really up to you, both options are excellent!
Updated: April 22, 2015