Ruled by the Zrinski! Čakovec Castle is a cultural asset of national importance!

In the very north of Croatia, in the heart of Međimurje County, there is a jewel of Croatian heritage, the Čakovec castle. This ancient fortress, imbued with history and culture, is a testimony to the legacy of the Zrinski family, one of the most influential noble families in Croatia, who ruled these regions for centuries, leaving an indelible mark on the history and architecture of the entire country, as well as this region.

But before it came into the possession of the Zrinski, and lasted under their rule for as many as five generations, the Old Town of Čakovec was a fort of the Hungarian count Dimitra Čak (hun. Demeter Csák), after whom the city of Čakovec was named.



Cakovec castle, Photo: Ivo Biočina, Croatian Tourist Board


Known under the names Zrinski Castle and Old Town Zrinski, this historical place traces its roots back to the second half of the 13th century. In the beginning, it was a simple wooden tower surrounded by wooden walls, and already in the middle of the 14th century, it developed into a real fortification.

Over the centuries, the Čakovec castle underwent significant upgrades, so in the 15th century, it was transformed into a medieval water castle with a palace, a three-winged structure surrounded by an octagonal ring of wooden ramparts.


Cakovec castle, Photo: Ivo Biočina, Croatian Tourist Board


As the Zrinski were known for their efforts in the defense of the then kingdom, King Ferdinand I. Habsburg in 1546 gave Međimurje as a gift to Nicholas IV. Zrinski, with which the Čakovec castle came into their possession. As many as five generations defended the city, and the biggest undertaking on the castle was done during the Ottoman Empire when it became a strong Renaissance fortress.

Within its ramparts, it also had a rich collection of books known as the Bibliotheca Zriniana.


Cakovec castle, Photo: Ivo Biočina, Croatian Tourist Board


After the Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy (Magnate conspiracy), and the breakdown of the family, the power over the fortress changed until the arrival of the Althan counts. The Old Town Čakovec was damaged in a major earthquake that affected the area, and as a result, the count had to almost rebuild the fort completely. Then and there it got its current baroque appearance.

About 50 years later, it was sold, and from then until 1954, when it was taken over by the Međimurje Čakovec Museum, it was sold several times and underwent various modifications, both for the sugar factory and later for the needs of the economics school.



Today, the Čakovec castle is a memorial area of Međimurje, a place where history and culture meet, where you can learn more about the history of the region, view the cultural and historical collections, explore the archaeological and ethnographic department or visit various guest exhibitions.

It is also the right place for an excursion, where after exploring this magical fortress and its history, you can treat yourself to excellent coffee and cakes in the Bedem cafe and take a walk along the Zrinski garden (perivoj).






Once I saw that there was a bigger world out there, so I made myself be a part of it.

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