Watch YouTube Videos

Forts and manors

Most forts and manors in Croatia have been built in the middle ages. Some that are definitely worth seeing are:

Bilje

One-story Baroque manor with low tower had a side wing above the entrance. Around it are the walls and park.

Following the victory over the Turks, Eugen Savojski ordered it built, and his crest is seen in the courtyard. The single nave Church of St. Mary with portal from 1775 possesses articles from the 18-19th centuries.

Manor Bilje

Bosiljevo

In the village and its surroundings, there are prehistoric tumuli, and finds from antiquity (Roman graves). The medieval fortified town of Bosiljevo is irregular in form, and was adapted in the Romantic style (after 1825, for the Count L. Nugent, and again in the early 20th cent.).

Earlier it belonged to the Frankopans (1461-1671), the Erdödys (1684-1710) and the Auerspergs (from 1740). There is a Baroque altar in the court chapel.

Fort Bosiljevo

Dubovac

Fortified manor on the northwestern part of Karlovac. The rectangular tower was likely erected in the 13th century for the Gorički and Babonić knights. In the 15th century, the walls and three cylindrical towers were built and Dubovac received the markings of a Renaissance manor.

The owners were the Slavonian nobles Sudari (1387), the Frankopans (1442), the Zrinski (from 1544) and Gašpar Šubić Peranski (1576). From 1671 to the arrival of the French in 1809, the town was owned by the Karlovac Generals. In 1837, it was occupied by Count Laval Nugent, who renovated the manor in the Romantic style (crown on the tower and walls).

The town was again renovated from 1952-1963 (architect Greta Jurišić) according to the plans of M. Stier from 1657 and the graphical illustration from the end of the 18th century.

Castle Dubovac - Karlovac

Fort Dubovac

Bežanec

Originally built by the Count of Keglević in the 17th century, Castle of Bežanec was subsequently owned by the Barons of Kollenbach, Schlaum-Linden, and Ottonfels-Geschwind.

Due to its architectural features, landscapes garden, and its proximity to Zagreb, Castle of Bežanec is one of the finest, privately owned stately homes in Croatia. The owner, Siniša Križanec, personally supervised the renovation and conversion of the Castle into an exclusive Country House Hotel in 1990.

Castle Bežanec - homepage

Castle Bezanec

Ilok

Ilok became the center of the Odescalchi principality. They built this two-story manor in the shape of the letter ‘U’, with double arcade in the courtyard (crest above entryway). It was renovated and restored in 1793, 1839 and 1889.

The County Museum is housed within the manor (collection: archeology, ethnography, cultural-historical and Odescalchi collection). Surrounding the manor are a spacious park with exotic plants and a wheat storage facility.

Castle Odescalchi - Ilok

Manor Ilok

Klenovnik

Settlement 9 km northwest of Ivanac. The medieval fortified manor of Klenovnik was a gift from Bela IV to the Varaždin prefect Mihalj in 1244. The new rectangular Renaissance castle was erected by the Counts Draškovic in 1616.

There are three series of arcades (walled) in the internal courtyard; and a rich stone rail on the staircase. The manor was adapted and added on to, and in 1927, turned into a health sanitarium (H. Ehrlich). The manor grounds are a park.

Some of the wall paintings in the rooms are from the 19th century. The luxurious manor chapel has arches decorated with stucco, and bears three altars (1738), a pulpit (1740-41) and the Drašković family grave. In the Baroque parish Church of the Holy Trinity (1726) is the pulpit and altars (main altar from 1733) with the Drašković family crest.

Manor Klenovnik

Mali Tabor

Manor 3 km from Hum na Sutli. This manor, first mentioned in 1490, was destroyed in the 16th century; in its place a four-nave church with internal courtyard was built at the end of the 17th century. Of this structure, only two wings with three cylindrical towers at the corners remain.

The castle was owned by the Ratkaj family (1524-1793), and later by Baron Kavanagh.

Manor Mali Tabor

Novigrad na Dobri

The ruins of the old city near the bridge over the Dobra River are the remnants of the Frankopan’s town; after the conspiracy, it was plundered.

Later it belonged to General Herberstein, who donated the town to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who then sold it to the Patačići family. It was abandoned and destroyed in World War II.

Fort Novigrad na Dobri

Ozalj

The Middle Ages town Ozalj, situation on a plateau above the Kupa River, was renovated into a court in the 18th century. The town was entered by means of a drawbridge (until 1821 it was raised and lowered), under which was a column with shooting holes for the defense of the town. The entrance tower was erected in 1599, on orders by Juraj Zrinski. The town is referred to in 1244 in the King’s hands, later it is owned by the Babonić family, from 1398 the Frankopans and from 1550 the Zrinskis.

Due to many additions and alterations, only a small part of the old core has been preserved, including the rectangular tower, likely the old defense tower, the Gothic chapel and the rectangular palace of Nikola Zrinski, with Gothic details (1556 written above the door). In this section of the town, wall paintings and Glagolitic graffiti have been found.

Numerous precious items were taken from the town after the ution of Petar Zrinski (1671). The town ruins were ordered rebuilt by R. Perlas (works conducted by Captain Verned 1742-53). From 1766-1872, the town was under ownership by the Batthyanya family, the first of them, Theodore, added a second floor to the northern tower and built a new Baroque tract. Later, it was owned by members of the Thurn and Taxis families, until 1928, when the Croatian Dragon Fraternity saved it from ruin.

The town bears the County Museum (established 1971). In the Baroque Church of St. Vitus (from the mid 18th century) is a part of the inventory from the old Chapel of St. St. Anthony of Padua (1890).

Ozalj Old Town

Fort Ozalj

Ribnik

Fortified town southwest of Ozalj. The Ribnik estate was owned in the 13-14th centuries by the Babonić family and Ban Mikac. From 1394, it passed into the hands of the Frankopans, for whom the town today was erected. From 1576, it was under Zrinski ownership, and later by Count Petazzi. From 1839, it was owned by F. Vukašović, builder of the Lujzinska road and J. Gall, who maintained the manor in the 19th century, and as such, it is still under roof today. Ribnik is situated in the Obvrh Creek Valley, and is surrounded by a moat with a fish farm.

It could be entered only by drawbridge. It was build on two stories, partly from well cut stone, and its basic form is an irregular circle, with a courtyard arcade in the center. The defense tower (near the primary entrance) bearing the Frankopan coat of arms was very tall, and opposite it was the pentagonal tower with the fire pit.

Between the two towers was a series of buildings in the form of a ring. A number of late Gothic and Renaissance architectural details (door-post, windows, drains) have been preserved.

Fort Ribnik

Trakošćan

Trakošćan castle is one of the most attractive in Croatia. It was erected as a small borough within the system of the forts of the Zagorje Principality; however, during the period of its construction it was not walled. The castle possesses the elements of the simple Romantic style from the 12-13th centuries. Of the numerous feudal lords of this estate, Celjski, Jan Vitovec and Korvini stand out, while following the fall of the Zagorje Principality, the Gyulayi family take over ownership and in 1568, the Drašković's come to own the estate.

It was expanded and altered several times. One significant addition was conducted in 1592, when Drašković had the artillery tower built with the roof (plaque with crest and name of Ivan II. Petar Drašković from 1592 on the western tower). At that time, a floor was added on, the central tower raised and the courtyard received arcades.

Another period of reconstruction ensues in the 18th century when the towers receive a crown, the main tower receives separate lantern and a series of defensive structures are built around the castle, walls and towers. The abandoned citadel was turned into a residential renovation castle in 1850-60 by Juraj Drašković.

The renovation, in the Romantic spirit, was conducted in the neoGothic style with a simultaneous restoration of the grounds, where the park-forest was enriched with rare plants, an artificial lake and garden area. Exceptional parts of the renovated castle: the entry tower with drawbridge and Drašković-Malatinski plaque from the 18th century, the knight’s hall with complete sets of armour from the 16th century and flags from the 18th century, collection of weapons with heavy halberds (Hackenbuchse), guns and rifles and Turkish weapons, a collection of portraits of Drašković and their relatives (Nikola Zrinski) from the 16-19th century, a cycle of paintings by painter Julijana Erdödy-Drašković from the second half of the 20th century, a cycle of the Four Seasons by M. Stroya, piano of C. Graff, preserved castle kitchen and library.

In the park is the Chapel of St. Ivan (Januš) from 1752 with late Baroque furniture. As of 1953, the castle is a museum, which in addition to the excellent reconstruction of the period ambient displays valuable examples of Baroque furniture and small pieces.

Castle Trakošćan homepage

Castle Trakoscan

Veliki Tabor

Middle Ages town in the Croatian Zagorje region, 3 km east of Desinić. In early references it is called Vingrad and Vrbovec.

It would appear that this structure was erected by Ratkaj after Korvin I donated the land in this region of Zagorje in 1502. The town remained in the family’s ownership until the end of the family line in 1793, after which time it alternated between state and private ownership. Between the two World Wars it belonged to O. Iveković. The late Gothic fortress stands on a small hill, pointed at the front.

Later it was surrounded by walls and four wide semicircular towers; along the majority of the belt is a second story on a series of consoles. The town was not significant altered, and in general retained its original form. Late Gothic and Renaissance details have been preserved on the walls: stone crest and stone markings, distyles, bay windows, double story arcades in the courtyard.

The entire structure was once belted with an exterior defensive wall, part of which was the today well preserved pentagonal bastion.

Castle Veliki Tabor homepage

Fort Veliki Tabor

Vis

The ruins of the town belted with walls (size about 10 ha) is situated on the southern slope of Gradine, on the western and eastern side are the graveyards Martvilo and Vlaška Njiva.

On the Pirova Peninsula lie the remains of the Roman theatre (where the Franciscan Monastery was later erected). To the east side along the sea was the main town square (agora - forum), and the monumental thermals on the west side.

Issa is the first city of antiquity on the Croatian coast built upon the regular urban matrix.

Fort Vis

Newsletter

Be the first one to receive news, tips and offers from the Croatian camping world