Discover Croatia: Bosiljevo Castle is a post about an abandoned, interesting castle in central Croatia.
Last September my husband and I had a mini weekend break in northern Croatia. We spent a night at a castle hotel and did a bit of sightseeing around region of Hrvatsko Zagorje. On the way back we left the main Zagreb-Rijeka motorway at exit Bosiljevo to find an abandoned castle. Even though Bosiljevo Castle isn’t opened to the public we still wanted to find it. I’d read about it in a book about castles and fortresses in Croatia years ago and wanted to see it.
About Bosiljevo Castle
Bosiljevo was first mentioned in 14th century. The last owner of Bosiljevo Castle was a poet Fran Krsto Frankopan from the famous Croatian noble family Frankopan. He participated in a conspiracy against the Habsburg rule in 17th century when Croatia was a part of Habsburg Empire. He was imprisoned and beheaded. After that Bosiljevo Castle came into hands of Austrian nobility until 19th century when it was sold to an Irishman Laval Nugent who also bought and restored Trsat Castle in Rijeka. Later, the castle belonged to several Croatian families until World War II when it was confiscated by the government. The castle was a restaurant and a motel between 1960 and 1980.
Visiting Bosiljevo Castle
After we exited Zagreb-Rijeka motorway at Bosiljevo we duly followed GPS. We soon saw Bosiljevo Castle surrounded by a forest in the distance. We didn’t know how far we’d be able to go by the car but in the end we parked right outside the castle gate. Of course, there wasn’t a car park or a ticket booth but just tall trees. We were lucky and found the castle gate unlocked. There is a sign that prohibits entry but there were also visible marks of other furtive visitors who weren’t there just for the photos.
We walked around the castle grounds and took some photos. It was eerie to be there to be honest. I wondered how the castle looked in its glory days. I also felt sad that such beautiful heritage is decaying. Clearly, the castle had seen better days but now it seemed like someone was there celebrating new year’s eve with fireworks and lots of booze and cigarettes. Unlike those people, we left no trace of our visit except from our footprints. We even ventured inside some of the buildings to have a peek around. I wouldn’t recommend that since the steps and the ceiling in some places looked very unstable. I soon left the tower and found myself walking around the castle courtyard again breathing in the clean, forest air. Unfortunately, the only dragons left there were the stone ones in the coat of armour which I saw on one of the towers.
Bosiljevo Castle is just one of many abandoned castles in Croatia. If you like exploring castles you can read my other blog posts about Croatian castles which can be visited regularly and you can even get married in one of them (Empirej Castle).