Just a half hour from the hustle and bustle of Croatia's capital city of Zagreb you can travel 500 years back in time! That's in Zagorje, a hilly region filled with Medieval and Renaissance fortresses and numerous Baroque castles all blending into a memorable, romantic landscape. With more than 50 castles, some with most mesmeric parks, this is one of the richest regions in the whole of Croatia!
The most famous of all Zagorje castles, Trakoscan was originally a small medieval observation fortress (burg) until it was turned into a castle for noble families. Changing hands throughout centuries, it's most notable owners were the Drašković family, residing here for 200 years, before abandoning it right when castles were being constructed all over Zagorje. Returning in the 19th century, the family rehabilitated the castle as splendid residential premises set amidst a romantic park. Given the beauty and the mystical atmosphere of Trakošćan, it comes as no surprise that several members of the Draskovic family are known as pioneers of photography in Croatia! Today, Trakoscan features an impressive weapons collection, an ethereal music salon, integral architecture and décor of its noble times and innumerable picture-perfect moments throughout the estate.
Our tour further takes you down the baroque and rococo lane, in the lovely town Varaždin, the best preserved Croatian example of those lively times. This charming city still has a very strong baroque air about it, especially so during the Baroque music festival or the Špancir fest (last week of August), a celebration of local traditions. The stroll through the Old Town reveals its baroque facades, parks and palaces, and the Old Castle, an old feudal fort, is the highlight of our visit.
Contrasting the picturesque sceneries of Zagorje hills, the rural feel and an air of joy arising from the simple way of life, with remarkable architectural complexes of Trakošćan castle and Varaždin town, this tour is a unique insight into the rich history of this extraordinary region, much responsible for its present day allure.