Croatia Captured Showcase

- Old Town Bosiljevo -

The Old Town of Bosiljevo, located in Croatia, is a medieval castle with a rich history. Notably, it was never conquered by the Turks and was the final Frankopan family property until 1671. The castle, perched atop a rock, is surrounded by a picturesque park, though it's currently not open to visitors. It first appeared in historical documents in 1344 and went through various ownerships, including being confiscated by Austria and later passing through several families. Today, while closed to the public, it still attracts visitors for its historical significance and scenic beauty​.

Photos taken on November 23rd, 2023

Fun fact no 1

Initially mentioned in 1344, Bosiljevo was owned by the noble Frankopan family, key figures in Croatian history. The castle successfully avoided Ottoman conquest, showcasing its defensive strength and strategic location.

Fun fact no 2

The castle's last Frankopan owner, the poet Fran Krsto, suffered a tragic fate. He and his brother-in-law, Petar Zrinski, were executed in 1671, marking a poignant chapter in the castle's history.

Fun fact no 3

After Fran Krsto Frankopan's death, the castle changed hands multiple times. It was confiscated by Austria and later passed through various families. In modern times, though not open to the public, the castle and its surrounding park remain a point of interest for visitors.

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The Old Town Bosiljevo is a medieval fortified town located in Bosiljevo, characterized by its blend of Renaissance and Gothic architectural styles. As one of Croatia's most beautiful feudal architecture monuments, the castle's name is derived from the oak forest that once surrounded it.

The castle, originally fortified, was transformed into a castle by the Frankopan family, its owners for almost two centuries until 1671. Subsequent owners included the Erdödy family for a quarter-century, and from 1740, the Auerspergs.

Built on a location chosen for its deep tranquility and wild nature, the Old Town Bosiljevo is situated on a rocky cliff above a small spring, surrounded by a once vast lake, now a swamp. The area is now a protected park of horticultural architecture since 1974.

The oldest part of the fortress, significantly altered over time, is a three-story square defensive tower built on the steep cliff. Despite numerous modifications and later thorough reconstructions, the fortress's layout consists of two larger parts. The oldest section is likely the southeast tower, housing St. Anne's chapel.

Historically, the entrance to the fortress was always from the east, with special guardhouses and other significant structures within its vicinity. The fortress underwent several raids by the Ottomans but was never conquered.

After the fall of the Zrinsko-Frankopan conspiracy in 1671, the castle was extensively looted, with its appearance during the 15th and 16th centuries remaining largely unknown. The economic courtyard was located next to the fortress, although no trace of it remains today.

The Old Town Bosiljevo was once a vibrant cultural and patriotic hub under the ownership of the Frankopan family. The tragic end of the Frankopan lineage in 1671 marked a turning point for the region. The castle and its estates changed hands multiple times thereafter, including ownership by the Auerspergs, who later sold it to Count Laval Nugent.

Under Nugent's ownership, the castle was restored in a medieval style and became a cultural center for the Croatian nobility. However, after his death in 1862 and subsequent events, the castle's glory faded, leading to its eventual decline. In the early 20th century, the Kozulić family from Rijeka purchased what remained of the Bosiljevo estate. Today, the Old Town Bosiljevo stands as a testament to the region's rich history, surviving through centuries of turmoil and change.