Culture / heritage
The reconstruction project of mystical Medvedgrad fortress
Three years ago, Medvedgrad became part of the most extensive and valuable renovation project of the Medvednica Nature Park. A complete reconstruction of the castle was done, including the Visitor’s Centre and the surrounding area. The official reopening was on the 22nd of October, 2021.
Secrets of the ancient mountain
Sitting at an elevation of 593 metres above Zagreb, Medvedgrad is a medieval castle built in the 13th century on the southern side of the Medvednica mountain and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Croatia.
This historical monument is famous for its breathtaking views of the city.
An interesting fact about the Medvedgrad fortress is that it was never conquered. One of the main reasons might be that dark stories have always been associated with Medvedgrad.
Throughout history, mystery has surrounded the fortress, and mystical stories are still gladly shared today.
If you want to find out about all the legends and stories related to Medvednica and Medvedgrad, be sure to visit the exhibition ‘Secrets of the Ancient Mountain’.
In 2015, the Medvednica Nature Park applied to the ‘Improvement of visitor’s capacity to manage Medvednica sustainably’ project, which set a goal to establish sustainable use of the natural and historical heritage of the area.
Part of the project included the complete reconstruction of Medvedgrad.
The castle consists of the big and small Palaces (Croatian: Veliki and Mali Palas), South Tower, the chapel of St. Philip and Jacob, and the Homeland Altar (Croatian: Oltar Domovine).
The South Tower became the centre of the reconstruction project as it was converted to a Visitor’s Centre.
It is a place where visitors of all ages can learn everything about Medvedgrad and Medvednica, presenting informative content using the latest audiovisual technology.
Special programs for children include two educational programs, and interactive toys and puzzles for a fun and new approach to presenting history to children.
The Great Palace (Croatian: Veliki Palas) is now an information centre with a gift shop and a permanent exhibition ‘Enchanted history’ that will interpret the rich history of the castle and Park Medvednica. The Little Palace (Croatian: Mali Palas) hosts the exhibition Secrets of the ancient mountain, presented in the medieval pantry in the form of a shadow play.
Additionally, the reconstruction project included restored walls, paved entry and paths, and marked cycling routes. Medvedgrad now has a visitor’s counter, electric bicycles, newly designed souvenirs, and a new staff uniform within the project.
The project’s total value is 37,7 million kunas, out of which 29,6 million kunas are accepted expenses of the project.
The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds approved a non-refundable amount of 24 million kunas, funded by the European Fund of Regional Development (EFRR), within Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020.
The remaining amount was funded by The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.