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.
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.
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.
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.
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.