Juraj Drašković restores the Trakošćan Castle

The beautiful Trakošćan castle would be a ruin if it hadn't been for Count Juraj Drašković, who decided to renew it in 1853 and make it the most beautiful castle south of Bavaria, admired by generations of visitors.

The old castle, built on a strategic hill under Ravna Gora, was first mentioned in 1334 and it came into the Drašković family's possession in 1527, when the Croatian Ban and the Archbishop of Zagreb, Juraj Drašković, bought it and its 46 belonging villages from King Maximilian II for 22 000 forints. When they acquired the Count title, they added the word “Trakošćanski” to their family name.

However, the castle decayed over time, so it was seriously damaged in the middle of the 19th century. The destiny of other castles in Zagorje, abandoned and ruined, threatened to it as well. But thanks to Juraj Drašković, Trakošćan wasn't only saved from decay, but it was also thoroughly renewed in the then-popular Neo-Gothic style.

To raise one million forints that he needed for the renewal, Juraj Drašković, the royal chamberlaine and King's secret advisor, was forced to sell his estate in Kleenovnik, a palace in Varaždin and the Čalinec estate.

The renewal was started in 1853 and lasted until 1856. The old fort was supported by stones, the terrace on the southersn side was renewed, the castle got big new windows with painted glass, neo-gothic elements were added to the facade and little towers were added to the castle. Juraj Drašković decorated the interior very luxuriously with new furniture, paintings and guns, thus fulfilling his vision of turning an old castle into an elegant building that would amaze generations of visitors.

The Trakošćan estate stayed in the Drašković family for almost four centuries, until 1945.

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