The Rotten Walls of Zrinski Fort in Medjimurje

Total Croatia News

TCN’s Medjimurje correspondent on the deteriorating state of one of the region’s heritage treasures.

Central Europe is full of beautiful wasserburgs, and towns are proud to boast with them and show them off how renovated, beautiful and useful they can be. However, Čakovec is not such a town.

Čakovec has a fort, burg, but acts for decades like it’s its unwanted child. We tolerate it, we occasionally talk to it, or acknowledge its existence, but do little to improve it, to shape it and use it. Let’s not even talk about making it useful for future generations.
We sometimes give it some (worn) clothes, splash some water on its cheeks, and throw some into its belly.

This past week showed us what future could bring to what was left to us, to our legacy we should leave to our children. Part of the walled fortification gave in on March 25, 2016, and a huge gap appeared. For years now we’ve been hearing promises of the “European money”, promises that someone else will solve our problems.

Šibenik stepped in and did it. We didn’t.

A career director of Museum of Medjimurje, an institution that oversees the whole of the Zrinski burg, is retiring soon. His legacy will be what he has left behnd, caved in walls and dozens of promises left behind for someone else to fulfil. The word is that “they are writing EU projects” but there is almost nothing to show yet. Hopefully the future will be brighter for the hidden gem of Čakovec.

The fort that could be the town’s gem, in a year when Croatia is celebrating 450 years from Sziget battle, a battle which was manned by Zrinski warlords from Čakovec, 470 years from the family’s arrival to Čakovec, and 345 years from the deaths of Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan.
Some could say those are huge dates, big chances to move the wheels and elevate the town. However, all we have is proof that some people come, some people go and yet nothing ever happened in Čakovec.


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