Veliki Tabor Castle: A Journey Through Time in Croatia’s Architectural Marvel

I was here sometimes during elementary school, so I don’t remember anything! But, I must admit, when I came there, I asked myself why I didn’t come any time sooner. The Veliki Tabor Castle is a cool place for anyone who likes history and architecture because it combines those two very nicely.

There were only kids on a school trip, so I felt I had an entire castle to myself, which was pretty cool. That’s why I walked around all the spaces within it – twice!

If you’re visiting, be sure to check the south side, where you have a beautiful view of the landscape surrounding the castle.

So, what does the internet say about the Veliki Tabor Castle?

The Veliki Tabor Castle, located in Hum Košnički in the Desinić municipality in Hrvatsko Zagorje, Croatia, stands about 8 km west of Pregrade at an elevation of 334 meters. It is a first-class monument of zero category and a protected cultural heritage site, representing one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the region and an exemplar of late medieval fortification architecture.

Dating back to the second half of the 15th century based on architectural forms, construction techniques, and fortification methods, Veliki Tabor underwent transformations into a castle in the 17th and 18th centuries but retained its late Gothic forms and architectural composition.

The castle changed hands among many illustrious lords, including the Counts of Celje, Matija and Ivaniš Korvin, the Rattkay family, and the famous Croatian painter Oton Iveković.

In the medieval and Renaissance periods, Veliki Tabor was the westernmost point of a fortification system that stretched to the eastern slopes of Ivanščica, including fortresses like Mali Tabor, Kostelgrad, Goricu, Cesargrad, Lobor-grad, Oštrc, Pustu Belu, Milengrad, Greben-grad, and Konjščina.

The castle was built on a narrow, long plateau of a hill. According to the 1861 cadastral map, the entire plateau was surrounded by a wall, with the entrance to the town guarded by a tower.

The largest eastern tower was initially designed for heavy artillery, evidenced by the gun loopholes absent in other towers. The upper floors of the castle were broader as they were built on stone consoles, varying in their construction and design features.

The castle’s layout is an elongated pentagon with uneven sides, with its largest part initially intended for economic purposes. It was a predominantly residential late Gothic building, with fortification features primarily in its triangular section.

The castle underwent several renovations and additions, especially during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, adapting to changing architectural styles and functions. The Renaissance phase saw the addition of a ring with semi-circular towers and the transformation of the central pentagonal building into a more residential space. The Baroque phase included the vaulting of the northwestern area in the central building and the construction of a second floor in the entrance tract and the eastern tower.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the castle saw further modifications, including the extension of the entrance tract and the construction of new staircases and internal partitions. As a protected cultural property under the code Z-3072, Veliki Tabor Castle is classified as “secular architectural heritage,” highlighting its significance in Croatia’s historical and architectural landscape.

Check the Showcase page of the Veliki Tabor Castle by clicking HERE.


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