A stark fairy-tale creation perched on a hill overlooking a lake and vast woods, it’s no wonder Trakoscan is the most popular and visited castle in Croatia. But as we discovered when we visited Trakoscan castle with kids, there’s much more to it than meets the eye.
Trakoscan Castle With Kids
I’ve seen the beautiful photos of the Trakoscan castle and its surroundings countless times. It’s an iconic image – the way you imagine castles in fairy-tales: turrets, towers, white walls, high on the hill, incredible views …
Since it’s only two hours drive from Ljubljana, it’s been on our to do list for some time.
But we wanted to visit it when Nature around it was at its best, too. That left us with either Spring or the Fall. In the end the Fall it was and it was magnificent as the falling leaves added a special piece of magic.
About Trakoscan Castle
Trakoscan was built in the late 13th century in the NW Croatia and it served as a small observation fortress.
One legend claims, Trakoscan was named after the Thracian fortress, while another says: it is named after the knights Drachenstein who in the early Middle Ages, ruled the region.
It changed owners many times, until the 16th century. Then it was given to Juraj Draskovic.
The castle stayed in the Draskovic family until 1944 when the members of the family immigrated to Austria and the castle was nationalized.
Today it is owned by the Republic of Croatia and it is the most preserved castle in Croatia.
Kids will love to see the antique furniture and old rooms. Our kids were impressed with the kitchen and all the fancy china. They also enjoyed the room with the portraits of the young members of the Draskovic family.
Surprisingly they were also very intrigued by all the different weapons on display, from pistols, to sabers and rifles…
Beside the castle itself, the two of us were impressed by the many great photographs we got to see. Photos that were taken by George VI. Draskovic and Karlo (Charles) Draskovic.
George was the author of the earliest surviving photographic oeuvre, and his great-nephew Charles is considered one of the pioneers of art photography in Croatia. His incredible photos depict life as it was in the 19th century and are a great peek into the past.
So, the castle Trakoscan is more than just a fairytale castle it’s an incredible source of history.
Planning a visit to Trakoscan Castle
The castle is open to visitors all year round, but in the period from April to the end of October it is open longer, from 9 am to 8 pm. In the Winter it closes at 5 pm.
The admission to the castle is 20 kn for kids (7 to 18) and 40 kn for adults. Kids up to 7 years have free admission.
You also have to pay for the park which costs 5 kn.
Get more info on the official website.
Plan to spend at least a couple of hours in the castle itself. The castle offers free audio guides in Croatian and English. I strongly suggest you use it.
It will give you lots of insight into what life was like in the past, how people lived, what their traditions and values were…, who they were. There are lots of family portraits to study and get a better understanding of the Draskovic family.
Don’t forget the park
When you are planning your trip, include time to explore the vast park. The path around the artificial lake is around 4 km long. There are also paddle boats available to rent.
Next time we come, we are definitely taking more time for the park.