Čakovec – Csáktornya


Čakovec is the economic, administrative and cultural center of Medimurje County. The city is located at the crossroads of international traffic routes connected with Hungary (the crossing at Goričan is 22 km away) and Slovenia (The crossing at Mursko Središće is 15 km away and Trnovec is 12 km from the city). The Croatian capital, Zagreb, is 90 kilometers south of the city. The City of Čakovec has 15.185 residents according to the last national census in 2011.

Although there are divided opinions today on the existence of a Roman settlement called Aquame in the area of Čakovec, it is well known that during the 13th century a wooden fort was at the location. This fort was built by Count Dimitar Čak, the Supreme Court judge and Palatine of King Bela IV. It is considered by many that the very name of Čakovec originates from the name of Count Čak.

The economic and cultural blooming of Cakovec, as well as the entire region of Međimurje, began with the rule of Zrinski family which gained possession of the city in 1546. The city remained the seat of the family for 150 years. The fortress of Cakovec at the time of the Zrinskis was strengthened through construction works. At the same time, the magnificent renaissance square in the palace was built. The Čakovečki type fortress was considered a mix of the old Wasserburg and renaissance style fortresses. Today, the fortress is simply referred to as the Old Town of the Zrinskis or Stari grad Zrinski. It is considered a monument of the highest importance and one of the most important attractions not only in Medimurje County, but also in continental Croatia.

At the time of the Zrinskis, Čakovec was an important trading center. Count Juraj IV Zrinski issued a charter on May 29, 1579, which gave residents of the suburbs of the Čakovec fortress the privilege of free trade; thus, ensuring the economic development of Čakovec. Apart from this, during the reign of Nikola VII Zrinski in Čakovec the Zrinskis financially supported the Franciscans to construct the monastery complex within the church of St. Nicholas. It was completed in the mid-18th century.

Although these attractions are the most important in Čakovac, the tourism offer includes the Musuem of Medimurje Čakovec, located within the Old Town of the Zrinskis, the memorial collection of Ladislav Kralj Medimurec and the architecture of the city center, such as the Art Nouveau building of the former commercial casino. There are events that take place throughout the city year round including the Medimurje Carnival, “Summer in the City of the Zrinskis” and the street festival Porcijunkolovo.