The rest of the old castle that belonged to croatian counts and warlords Zrinski is a must see when visiting Cakovec. The castle was built from 16th to 18th century under the Governor Nikola Zrinski, who rebuilt the Cakovec Castrum into a strong Renaissance fortress in the face of the Turkish threat. The new single-storey palace was encirkled by a system of strong defence walls, next to the existing walls with semicircular towers Renaissance bastions were erected.
Unfortunatelly, the wall on the right side is pretty ruined now.
The castle is situated in the centre of the city and around it is a huge park and one can make beautiful walks through it.
- Family Travel
Crkva i Franjevacki samostan
The Franciscan Order was invited to Cakovec by Nikola Zrinjski jr. in 1659. Unfortunatelly, his sudden death in 1664 stopped him to built the church and the monastery as he have promised. He built only a small chapel in 1691.
In the beginnig of the 18th century, Nikola's son Adam left to the Franciscans amount of money for the construction of the church and the monastery which was completed in the mid-18th century.
- Family Travel
The Museum of Medjimurje, housed in an Old Town mension, consists of ceveral departments: Archaeological, Cultural-Historical and Ethnographic. Collections includes about 19.000 exhibits originated from Medjimurje.
The permanent display of the museum occupies the north-western wing of the first and the entire second floor of the Pld Town mansion.
- Family Travel
Wander the castle....
Even if the castle itself is closed (and the museum within) you can still wander through its courtyard, and around its walls and grounds.
Although the walls mostly date from the 16th-17th century the gateway through which one walks to/from the town square seemed to me to be older than the rest. Perhaps it dates from the earlier castle (13th century) or maybe they just re-used the stones.
The walls are pretty impressive: the perceived threat from the Ottoman empire must have seemed pretty serious at the time.
Worth an exploration...and the surrounding parkland is shady and pleasant.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Stari Dvor (The Old Castle)
If you visited any Croatian town, you have probably noticed that one of its most important parks, squares or streets is named after Nikola Subic Zrinski. The Zrinskis noble family ruled from Cakovec in 16th and 17th centuries, and were famous not only by their fights against the Ottomans but also as important names in Croatian literature and culture.
Within the fort of Old Town of Cakovec there is an Old Castle (Stari Dvor) that was built by Nikola Subic Zrinski in the 16th century, when he became the owner of the Medjimurje area. The new fortress was encircled by a system of strong defense walls with semicircular towers and Renaissance bastions. The fortress was surrounded by water ditches and linked to the land by a long wooden bridge.
In 1556 Zrinski won a series of victories over the Ottomans, culminating in the battle of Babócsa. He was killed in 1566 when his small force (2,300 soldiers) defended the little fortress of Szigetvár against the whole Ottoman host (90,000 soldiers), led by Suleiman the Magnificent.
Stari Grad (The Old Town)
The Old Town of Cakovec lies in the center of town, surrounded by a large park. The first fortress built at this place dates back to the 13th century when Count Dimitrius Chaky, the Court Magistrate of King Bela IV, had built a wooden defence tower. The tower was named Chaktornya (meaning Chak's tower), and gave the name to today's Cakovec.
Soon the real town developed around the tower and in the Middle Ages a fortress was built at this place.
Novi Dvor (The New Castle)
The Baroque New Castle was built next to the Old Castle by a Viennese court architect Lucchese. It is an imposing two-stories baroque palace with a courtyard that has preserved its original appearance to the present date.
In the 19th century it was even used as a sugar factory. After the World War II the palace was reconstructed and became the museum. Today the Cakovec Museum of Medimurje consists of the following departments: Archaeological, Cultural-Historical, Historical, and Ethnographic, and also includes the Art Gallery, the Exhibition Hall, and the Museum Library. Important restoring workshops are also located here.
The museum is closed on Mondays and holidays.
The Old Town of Cakovec is surrounded by a large park named after the Zrinski family (no surprises here). It is a typical 19th century park with its main entrance at Trg Republike, that connects to main pedestrian street of Cakovec.
On its southern part park offers few children playgrounds and a modern fountain, opening to the southern suburbs. In the northern part, next to the cultural centre, there are few modern open air sculptures.
A nice and popular place for walking, jogging and children playing.
St. Nicholas Church and Franciscan Monastery
The Franciscan Monastery was built in the beginning of the 18th century at the place of the older wooden building that was demolished in fire.
The new Baroque church was built in 1728 and surprisingly does not have the name of St. Francis. (I wonder if the fact that Nikola Zrinski was the main patron has anything to do with the fact that the church is consecrated to St. Nicholas?).
The church now dominates the Franciscan square that connects to the system of pedestrianized streets of central Cakovec.
The Main Square(s)
Cakovec is rather small (30,000 inhabitants) so its center is quite compact as well. Next to the park that surrounds the Zrinski's Castle is a system of several pedestrian streets. This is town's living room, full of cafes and street terraces. But, it seems people of Cakovec prefer some real outdoor activities - like fishing on Drava river, wine tasting on Medjimurje wine roads etc. so the place looked quite deserted when we were here.
(I didn't mind that since this meant I had an unobstructed views of the colorful houses lined up along the streets and squares of central Cakovec.)
Trgovacki Casino (Merchant's Casino) was built in 1903 in Hungarian Secession style. Although the main function of its main room was card playing, this Casino has nothing to do with gambling. The purpose of this building was primarily social gatherings of Cakovec's upper and middle class citizens: besides the cards room there was a special room for the ladies, reading room and a ball room.
The building was financed by Merchant's Union, the architect is Hungarian Odon Horvath.
The building of Children's Hospitium was built in 1789 and served as a lodging for apprentices who were learning their skills at one of Cakovec's craftsmen. It was also sort of a hotel since it offered lodging for travellers who hapenned to pass by.
Between the two world wars the building was turned into a hotel. I'm not sure what is the purpose of the building today, but there is a nice cafe/pizzeria in its green courtyard.
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