Medvedgrad Castle, those name translates as "bear town" is situated in Medvednica Mountain. Medvedgrad Castle is located just West of Zagreb, capital of Croatia.
Constructed: 1249- 1254 by Philippe bishop of Zagreb
Entrance Fee: 15 KN
Open: 11am- 7pm Tue- Sun
The story of Medvedgrad Fortress starts in the 13th century. Mongol hordes invaded Eastern Europe and eventually managed to penetrate as far at the shores of the Adriatic Sea in 1242. Their advance was too sudden and too unexpected for the comfort of the European monarchs and common people alike. Conventional European tactics and technology failed to achieve much success on the battlefield. Zagreb was quickly captured and torched to the ground.
The bishop of Zagreb Philippe decided to construct a safe haven for his own precious life and his possessions. In 1249- 1254 these plans came to reality in form of Medvedgrad Castle on top of Mount Medvenica. Unlike other castles in the region, Medvedgrad was owned by a member of the Catholic Church Phillip Turie, bishop of Zagreb. Since no one knew if Mongol hordes were coming back any time soon the castle was erected to last for centuries. Medvedgrad became an important protected residence of notable bishops and nobility. Croatian/ Hungarian poet Janus Pannonius (Ivan Cesmicki) is said to have died and buried here on March 27, 1472.
Medvegrad castle was acquired by the Gregorijanec family in 1562. They undertook massive reconstruction project at the towers and walls of their new residence. Unfortunately military fortifications were badly damaged by an earthquake in 1590. Medvedgrad citadel lay in ruins for subsequent four centuries until it was reconstructed in the 20th century.
Today part of Medvedgrad fortress have been restored. You can get to Medvedgrad by taking a rental car or taking a bus 102 from Britanski Trg and follow a well marked hiking trail (number 12) from Lagvic to Medvedgrad. Small Roman Catholic chapel of Phillip and James was erected to honor soldiers that were killed for Croatia's independence. Additionally it houses a museum dedicated to Medvedgrad history and a restaurant. You can also climb the main tower of the castle. It offers a great view of the surrounding mountains. On a clear day you can see as far as Croatia's capital of Zagreb.