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Travelling across Hrvatsko zagorje and not visiting its castles, fortresses, churches... It is almost impossible because Hrvatsko zagorje has an extremely rich cultural - historical heritage. Given the fact that I love history, historical events, buildings, legends, stories, and I also love to travel and document seen with camera – I have merged myself with pleasure and that’s how my "Castles of Hrvatsko zagorje" were created!

Main article photo by: Irena Trkulja


Castles of Hrvatsko zagorje

Photo by: Irena Trkulja 

My very first time I have travelled to Pregrada, to the small town Desinić, located in the Northwestern part of Hrvatsko zagorje. Near this town, on the hill, proudly stands – castle Veliki Tabor! Why this castle? In fact, town Desinić and castle Veliki Tabor are related to the legend of beautiful Veronika Desinićka. It is believed that the castle was built in the second half of the 15th century, at the time of first Turkish raids on Croatian territory. At that time, the property of the castle was in hands of Counts of Celje. This is where the story begins.

Hrvatsko zagorje and Veliki Tabor Castle

Photo by: Irena Trkulja

According to legend, once upon a time this area was ruled by Count Herman of Celje. He had a son, Frederick. Frederick fell in love with Veronica, beautiful girl with golden hair. Old Count Herman wasn’t thrilled about it so he tried to separate them. Knowing that their love was not accepted, Veronica and Frederick secretly got married in Fridrihštajn (a city near Kočevje in Slovenia). But the old Count found out and sent an army to capture and separate runaway lovers. Veronica initially managed to escape, but soldiers captured and imprisoned Frederick in the Celje Tower. Veronica was soon arrested and taken to Veliki Tabor. Count Herman accused Veronica for being “coprnica” (a witch) who seduced his son. He asked for a trial, but the judge said that the girl has no guilt, except the love for his son. The Count was not happy and he gave orders to kill poor girl!

Veliki Tabor Castle

Photo by: Irena Trkulja

They set a large bowl filled with water in the courtyard of Veliki Tabor and drowned her. Veronica’s body has been walled-up in the wall that connects the pentagonal tower with the entrance to the castle. People say that even today, during long winter nights, Veronica’s screams can be heard along with the howling of wind!

Details from Veliki Tabor Castle

Photo by: Irena Trkulja


Like every legend that goes around, there are several versions of this one too, take your time to explore it!


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