Old Town Samobor: Exploring the Ruins of a Historic Croatian Fortress on Tepec Hill

I have been to Samobor many times and visited the Old Town Samobor only two times – this was the second time. It didn’t change at all! There are signs someone takes care of this place, but I think they (the local community or the city itself) could do a better job. At least – it isn’t forgotten!

Since I like places like this one, the Old Town Samobor has won my heart!

Let’s now see what the internet says about it.

Old Town Samobor, a fortress in ruins located on Tepec hill in Samobor, Croatia, is a site of significant historical and cultural value, recognized as a protected cultural property. The fortress, built between 1260 and 1264 by supporters of Czech King Ottokar, is constructed of stone atop living rock. Its layout is irregular, consisting of three parts, with the central section being the oldest.

The southeastern part of the central area features a high defensive tower (now in ruins), which is the primary remnant of the original Ottokar’s castle. Additionally, there is a semi-circular tower with a small Gothic chapel of St. Anne from the third decade of the 16th century located on the first floor of a three-story tower (also in ruins).

In the 16th century, the fortress underwent rebuilding and expansion northward, resulting in an elongated trapezoidal courtyard encircled by strong defensive walls and a pentagonal battery tower at the ends. Over the 17th and 18th centuries, further additions and reconstructions were made. The last structure built within the fortress was a three-story house on its southern side, featuring a courtyard with arcades and Tuscan columns, transforming the fortress into a baroque-style manor house. By the end of the 18th century, the fortress was abandoned, and the stone structure began to deteriorate.

Historically, the first known rulers of Old Town Samobor were the Babonići family, followed by the Hungarian-Croatian king, and later became the property of the Counts of Celje in the early 15th century. In the early 16th century, it was owned by the Frankopan family. Subsequently, the castle changed hands multiple times, with families such as the Tržac, Tahy, Auersperg, Kiepach, Erdödy, and Kulmer being some of its residents. In 1902, the Samobor municipality purchased the castle from its then-owner Montecuccoli, and since then, it has been a popular excursion spot.

An ongoing restoration project aims to preserve Old Town Samobor. Restoration efforts have included work on the chapel’s walls, utilizing stone from the collapsed parts of the fortress, cement, and slaked lime.

Structurally and stylistically, Old Town Samobor is a layered agglomeration built from the 13th to the 18th century. The oldest part is a defensive tower from the 13th century, followed by a Gothic tower with a chapel, a palace built in the 15th and 16th centuries, and two battery towers and a suburb with a pentagonal bastion. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the castle underwent remodeling, receiving a baroque courtyard arcade with Tuscan columns, but it was eventually abandoned in the 18th century. The fortress is constructed from rough stone with carved details, many of which are preserved.

Registered under the code Z-3834, Old Town Samobor is an individually, legally protected cultural property, classified as “secular architectural heritage.” For those interested in historical ruins with a rich past, Old Town Samobor offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s architectural and cultural history.

Check the Showcase page of The old town Samobor by clicking HERE.

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