Medvedgrad castle provides beautiful views of Zagreb and its surroundings. An impregnable Zagreb castle, situated on the plains of Medvednica Mountain overlooking Zagreb for 800 years.
TIP: IN OVER 300 YEARS MEDVEDGRAD WAS NEVER ATTACKED, BUT IT WAS DEVASTATED BY 1590 EARTHQUAKE. FIND THE CURSED TREASURE, GUARDED BY THE NOTORIOUS BLACK SNAKE QUEEN.
Medvedgrad is a medieval castle located on the slopes of Medvednica Mountain (Bear Mountain). As a matter of fact, it has been overlooking Zagreb for the past eight centuries.
It has a viewing platform in the castle placed 500 meters high. Therefore, providing beautiful views of Zagreb and its surroundings.
Parts of Medvedgrad castle have been reconstructed, along with it the octagonal chapel of St. Philip and Jacob, the south defensive tower.
At the present time, historical festivals and knight tournaments take place in the castle.
Homeland Altar (Oltar domovine)
Its eternal flame honour Croatian heroes killed in the Croatian War of Independence. Homeland Altar was made by sculptor Kuzma Kovačić and it is situated under the southern Medvedgrad tower.
Medvedgrad castle history
Built in 1254, encouraged by Pope Innocent IV. Right after the Mongol invasion which destroyed Gradec and Kaptol. It has been overlooking Zagreb for 800 years!
With this in mind, they made the castle with double walls, three gates and towers without doors on the ground level. Making it impregnable!
In over 300 years Medvedgrad was never attacked due to its great strategic significance. Although it was built to protect, its lords were terrorizing and pillaging neighbouring villages. The most notorious being, countess Barbara of Celje, the Black Queen.
It was won or lost through marriage, intrigue and plotting by many lords throughout history.
Story of the Black Queen
Barbara Celjski was unhappily married to the mighty Hungarian king Sigismund. The legend says she had long black hair. She rode a wild black horse and always wore black clothes. The Black Queen was always accompanied by her black raven. The raven was her protector, attacking anyone who wronged the queen, ripping their eyes out.
The Black Queen discovered an interest in astrology and alchemy. Because of her viciousness, some say she was in a relationship with the Count Vlad Dracula of Transylvania and became a vampire. She supposedly took baths in the blood of young girls and boys to stay young and beautiful forever.
In order to save her treasure, the Black Queen allegedly sold herself and Medvedgrad to the devil.
Afterwards, she tried to break the agreement, only to die in 1451 of plague, the “black death” of the Middle Ages.
Medvedgrad was later devastated in 1590 earthquake and deserted since.
The legend says that cursed the treasure is still buried within its walls, guarded by the snake queen.
Even though the Black Queen is thought to be Barbara Celjska, it is not certain. Two more medieval queens also lived on Medvedgrad – the wife of Bela IV, and the first wife of King Sigismund.
Then again, another legend says the fortress was built to be a treasury for Church treasures.
Be as it may, no treasure was found in the meantime.
Medvedgrad castle opening hours
April to September
September to January
Closed on Monday
January to March
Saturday and Sunday 10:00-17:00
Closed during weekdays
Medvedgrad castle ticket prices
Individual ticket – 15 HRK
10 or more people – 25 HRK/person
Group visits must be announced to the Nature Park Medvednica by phone or e-mail.
What can you see and do at Medvedgrad castle?
Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery while hiking up the mountain. With its viewing platform, Medvedgrad offers breathtaking views of Zagreb. It is a small fortress and doesn’t take long to explore.
Under the south tower, you will find the Homeland Altar and its eternal flame, honouring Croatian heroes.
It is a marvellous and unique site hosting Medieval Days at Medvedgrad and Medvedgrad Music Evenings.
Medieval Days at Medvedgrad
Starting on the last weekend in September, Medvedgrad brings the Black Queen back to life.
Enjoy a medieval tournament, try knightly battle skills, and mint your silver coin. Experience food and drink prepared with medieval recipes.
Listen to medieval music, meet witches of Medvednica, and even try the original medieval instruments of torture.
Medvedgrad Music Evenings
Refresh yourself in July. Medvedgrad offers refreshing mountain concerts, complete with the unique atmosphere and the beautiful view of Zagreb lights and a starry sky!
The gates of Medvedgrad open one hour before the concert so that visitors can stroll among the ancient walls, have a peek into their secret corners and listen to their stories soaked in history.
You can bring along your own pillow, blanket or fishing stool and enjoy the music with the view of Zagreb by night. Don’t forget to bring along a sweater or a jacket, the nights on Medvednica may be fresh even during summer!
How to get from Zagreb to Medvedgrad castle?
From Mihaljevac to Britanski trg take the bus no. 102 to the church (blue church) in Šestine, then walk on the hiking trail no. 12 (from Lagvić to Medvedgrad) – about an hour walk
If going by car, go from Lukšići via Himper. The return route takes you from Medvedgrad to Šestine which goes via Kraljičin zdenac.
NOTE: The roads to and from Medvedgrad are one-way roads!
Taxi or UBER is always an option.
- Eko Taxi, tel:+3851 1414 (charge 2,49 kn/call) or download app [Apple], [Google],
- Taxi Cammeo, tel:+3851 1212 (charge 2,50 kn/call) or download app [Apple], [Google],
- Radio Taxi, tel:+3851 1717 (charge 2,50 kn/call) or download app [Apple], [Google],
- UBER, Get UBER or download app [Apple], [Google], [Microsoft]