Trakošćan is a village located in the Varaždin County, in northern Croatia. The village is located on an only one-hour ride from the capital city Zagreb, and it's on a halfway between Krapina and Varaždin. Trakošćan is well-known for its majestic citadel and amazing green scenery. So, let's discover Trakošćan with its magnificent castle, and I will tell you a secret - where to play the 19th-century piano.
But, see it from the bird's perspective first:
Trakošćan Castle is around 800 years old - yes, eight hundred years. It's also the most beautiful Croatian castle (not the biggest) and one of the most visited historical spots in the country. When speaking of castles, the first thing that comes up to our mind is the Cinderella's castle in Germany (Neuschwanstein Castle), but this beauty looks like the one from a Disney cartoon. Trakošćan Castle initially was a protecting tower in a very good position. Later, how the centuries were passing and art styles changed a few times, the rulers of this region changed as well. Trakošćan Castle has all those layers in itself. Long story short, Trakošćan Castle's first stone was set back in the 13th century, and it was owned by the rulers of Celje. Year by year, and century by century, the castle was changing its owners. The next significant detail is that in the 17th century, a noble family Drašković bought this castle. It was in their hands until the mid 20th century, when this marvelous place was nationalized. Before that, in the 19th century, the majority of final works and changes was made. In the period of romanticism, when the aristocracy wanted to be close to nature, family Drašković made its own piece of paradise, that you can enjoy today as well.
The castle is fully decorated with stone and wood. Therefore, it fits perfectly in the scenery around it. When you come close to the castle, a long path will lead you to the entrance. A white castle welcomes you on its huge iron gate with its beauty and richness. The castle consists of the ground floor and two more floors. On the ground floor, you will visit a nice kitchen and see how crafty hands were preparing the meals for special guests. Next to the kitchen is an old well with a nice view, where a wooden stairway dominates. On the first floor, you can find the Hunters hall, Knights Hall, a little library and a dining room. All rooms are decorated with luxurious wood, carved doors and amazing wooden ceilings. Each room has its own style and specific painting or statue exhibition. There is also a music room - fully isolated with thick walls, carpets, and opulent draperies, and - there is a piano from the early 19th century. And yes, that is the room where one can sit and play this lovely piano. From the second floor, you can go out and enjoy the view from the lookout tower.
And the most photographed room is definitely the Knights salon.
If you come in spring or summertime, the green scenery will leave you breathless. Nature is well-preserved, and the silence of the forest nurtures your brain and your senses. Around the castle, you can walk through a huge park and visit a lake. On the lake, there is a cafe, a souvenir shop and a parking space. Close to the castle, there is a small 18th-century chapel (St. Cross chapel).
As I said in the begging, Trakošćan is located on the north of Croatia, only a few kilometers from the Slovenian border. It takes around an hour from Zagreb or 45 minutes from the best Croatian city - Varaždin. If you are coming from Slovenia, the closest towns are Maribor and Celje. Don't forget to visit Krapina and its neanderthal museum because it's only 20 minutes away from Trakošćan. Whether you come to play the 19th-century piano in the Trakošćan castle or just to see its splendidness, you will enjoy it, and it will definitely become one of your favorite places in Croatia.
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