Medvedgrad, a 13th century medieval fortress located on Mt Medvednica above the Croatian capital Zagreb, has this year set a 5-year visitor record…
Medvedgrad fortress was visited by 13,000 people this year, the largest number in one year since 2010 as the Croatian capital enjoys a tourist boom. Medvedgrad fortress has also ridden on the back of Advent in Zagreb which has proved popular and has attracted tourists from all over Europe in December.
“Medvedgrad was open since the middle of March this year, and we are closed (last weekend) just before Christmas, even though last year we closed at the end of November,” said Denis Kovačić from Medvedgrad fortress.
Built in the mid 1200s to guard the city from Tartar invasions, Medvedgrad is one of Zagreb’s most important medieval monuments. For defensive purposes it was built on a hill, Mali Plazur, that is a spur of the main ridge of the mountain that overlooks the city.
On a clear day the castle can be seen from far away, especially the high main tower. Below the main tower of the castle is Oltar Domovine (Altar of the homeland) which is dedicated to Croatian soldiers killed in the Croatian War of Independence.
The last Medvedgrad owners and inhabitants was the Gregorijanec family, who gained possession of Medvedgrad in 1562. In 1574, the walls of Medvedgrad were reinforced, but after an earthquake in 1590, the fortress was heavily damaged and ultimately abandoned. It remained in ruins until the late 20th century, when it was partly restored and now offers a panoramic view of the city from an altitude of over 500 meters (1,600 ft).