Discover Veliki Tabor Castle in Croatia, an architectural wonder shrouded in mystery

une veliki tabor
January 1, 2021

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une veliki tabor
– © Stjepko Krehula / Wikimedia Commons

Veliki Tabor Castle, located in the Hrvatsko Zagorje region, is among the most attractive and best-preserved monuments of medieval fortification architecture in Croatia. Being both a castle and a museum, this magnificent building has been recently renovated, and it is breathtaking.

A prime location in Croatia

Veliki Tabor is a fortress and a museum dating from the 12th century. It is located in the northwest of Croatia, in the region of Zagorje. The current appearance of the castle dates back to the 16th century. Much of the castle was built by the Croatian noble family Rattkay ; but now the castle belongs to the state, which manages it as a museum and tourist site. The oldest part of the castle is said to be the tower with five angles, built in the 12th century. It should be noted, however, that the castle’s actual age is unknown, and even its history is shrouded in legends and mysteries.

The castle covers more than 3000 square meters and its interior contains, among other things, galleries decorated with circular columns, a chapel, a wine cellar, a large well and a splendid large rustic room. The castle is also home to many collections, including old vehicles, pottery and a well-stocked ethnographic collection. You can also see a visual arts gallery, a presentation of the first drug factory, and many other wonders.

Since 2005, the castle of Veliki Tabor figure on the indicative list of World Heritage sites of theUNESCO. While the castle gates were closed to the public between 2008 and 2011, the site is currently open to the public for a guided tour or for a visit to the museum. For cinema lovers, it should also be noted that since 2002 the castle has hosted the Tabor Film Festival, an international festival of short films.

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The legend of Veronika de Desenice

Strategically perched on top of a hill, at an altitude of 333 meters, the fortified castle offers an exceptional view of the surrounding landscape. But one of the most interesting facts about the fortress being the legend which states that the building houses the skull of Veronika from Desenice, a poor girl from the village who, according to local history, was punished for her love affair with the son of the owner of the castle, Fridrik. According to legend, the Count Herman II of Celje would have disapproved of her son’s marriage to Veronika from Desenice.

His disapproval was so great that he locked his son in one of the castle towers, and had him arrested Veronika for witchcraft. While the young woman’s trial proved that she was not a witch, the Earl Herman Still had her executed, and the count’s guards drowned her in the castle lake. Also according to legend, the body of Veronika would have been buried in one of the castle walls. Some locals say that the spirit of Veronika still haunts the castle and we can still hear his cries in the surroundings.

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