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Excursion to Trakošćan castle

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Trakošćan was created at the end of the 13th century in the defense system of northwestern Croatia as a small observation post for monitoring the road from Ptuj to the Bednjan valley.

According to the legend, Trakošćan got its name from the Thracian fortress (arx Thacorum) which allegedly existed in ancient times. Another surviving tradition says that it was named after the Drachenstein knights who ruled the area in the early Middle Ages.

The toponym Trakošćan was first mentioned in written documents in 1334. The owners of the fort in the first centuries are not known, we only know that from the end of the 14th century the owners were the Counts of Celje, who at the same time ruled the entire Zagorje County. Soon this family dies out and Trakošćan shares the fate of their other towns and estates, which are being fragmented and changed by various lords. In this division, Trakošćan, as a unique estate, belongs first to the military leader Jan Vitovac, then to Ivaniš Korvin, who presents it to his sub-chief Ivan Gyulay. This family kept the castle for three generations, and it died out in 1566, and the manor was taken over by the state.

For the services rendered, King Maximilian granted the manor to Juraj Drašković (1525-1587), first personally, and then for hereditary enjoyment. Thus, in 1584, Trakošćan was finally acquired by the Drašković family.

During the heyday of the construction of castles in Hrvatsko Zagorje, in the second half of the 18th century, the people of Trakošćan left. Abandoned, it begins to decline rapidly, so it was not until the middle of the 19th century that the family became interested in its titular city again, in the spirit of a new time, a romantic return to nature and family traditions. In this spirit, Sub-Marshal Juraj V. Drašković is renovating the town into a residential castle, and turning the park environment into a romantic park. The next generations occasionally stayed in Trakošćan until 1944 when they emigrated to Austria, soon after the castle was nationalized.

In 1954, a museum with a permanent exhibition was founded. Today the castle is owned by the Republic of Croatia.

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