The Most Magical Castles in Croatia

We are always on the hunt for the most beautiful castles in the world and for awhile, we’ve been searching for the best castles in Croatia. Since we recently published the Game of Thrones film locations in Croatia, we thought you might light a small dose of their beautiful castles.

 

Beautiful Castles in Croatia

In recent years, Croatia has established itself as one of Europe’s most alluring and intriguing holiday destinations. Although this is largely down to its incredible coastline, beautiful beaches and balmy climate, the country’s fascinating history also has a lot to do with it.

But aside from Zagreb’s mesmerising architecture and the remarkable walled city of Dubrovnik, you can discover a great deal about Croatia by visiting its plethora of castles. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, these fortresses also convey countless stories from the country’s past.

So, for those looking to visit Croatia in the near future, here is a quick look at the country’s most amazing castles.

 

Trakošćan castles in croatia

Trakošćan

Trakošćan Castle

The most famous and photogenic in Croatia, Trakošćan Castle was built in the 13th century and is one of the best examples of European feudal fortification systems. The first owners were the Counts of Celje, who ruled over the surrounding region and even parts of Slovenia.

After the Celje family, it had several owners and even fell into a period of neglect. But today’s neo-Gothic style was implemented by Count Juraj V. Drašković in the 19th century. Trakošćan is now a museum, where visitors can uncover age-old tapestries, portraits, weapons and furniture.

 

Veliki Tabor Castle castles in croatia

Veliki Tabor

 

Veliki Tabor

Legend says that Veliki Tabor was situated on top of an island, which was once in the Pannonian Sea. However, most agree that it was in fact built in the 12th century. Having said that, construction continued throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.

The most interesting (and gruesome!) feature of Veliki Tabor is the skull of Veronika Desinić, which is kept in the castle walls. This local girl was drowned by her father, who didn’t approve of Veronika’s love affair with the son of a count. Apparently, you can still hear her screams at night.

 

Dvorac Bezanec Castles in Croatia

Dvorac Bezanec

 

Castle Bezanec

Even though this was once turned into a legal city dump after being devastated by World War II, Castle Bezanec is awash with lavish decor and stunning antiquities.

But as opposed to simply being a cultural attraction, this particular castle is now a high- end hotel, where guests can pretend they are kings and queens. Even if you don’t stay here, be sure to visit the hotel’s restaurant for some delicious traditional cuisine cooked with locally sourced ingredients.

 

Castles in Croatia Varazdin Stari

Stari Grad Varazdin

 

Stari Grad Varazdin

The old Baroque town of Varazdin is well worth a visit on its own, but make sure you take in the Stari Grad castle as well. This medieval fortress was built in the 12th century and used to be home to some of the region’s most influential families.

These days, it houses a museum full of historical documents, incredible glass work and pretty ceramics. If possible, coincide your visit with the Špancirfest, a 10-day event where Varazdin is filled with street performers, musicians and artists.

 

Thinking of booking Croatia flights soon?  Go for the coastlines and climate, but stay for the castles and cultural attractions.

 

Images by laBalzaDennis Jarvis, and Pero Radoš, under the Creative Commons license and Pudelek under the Wikimedia Commons license.

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day.

“It’s never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams.” -Christa Thompson

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