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Hrvatski dvorci


After the remodelling of the castle in the fifties of the nineteenth century, the grounds were also remodelled. This is confirmed by the plan of the park (fig. 500) from 1858, signed in 1861 by Franz Risy. The plan is drawn in Indian ink on hard drawing paper, 51 x 73 cm, and is painted in water-colours. There is no key; although some of the structures in the park are marked with the numbers 1 to 12. That the park was really laid out as planned can be seen from the old 1858 cadastral map that matches the plan, Czerny's lithograph (fig. 498) from the second half of the nineteenth century, and today's park. The plan includes the hill on which the castle stands, its foot with estate buildings and the immediate area around the lake. Trakošćan park is a typical mid-nineteenth-century romantic park. It has retained its original appearance more than other Zagorje park, which gives it especial value. The plan shows a play of meadows and wooded areas that has partly disappeared because of planted or self-sown trees. It is the balance between the wooded and the empty, and the views that the park affords, that are an essential feature of a romantic park, although the impression is partly spoiled because the vegetation has grown too thick. In spite of that, Trakošćan park still provides a rewarding and impressive picture that draws the full attention of visitors. It evolved in part from the indigenous durmast oak (Quercus petraea) and hornbeam (Corpinus betulis) forests, of which some solitary old oaks still stand. Various exotic trees were planted later, which give it special colour and life so characteristic of a romantic park, especially in autumn.
On a hill in the park stands the castle chapel of St John. It was probably built in the seventeenth century and renewed in the neo-Gothic style, together with the castle. The chapel has late baroque and neo-classical furnishings.
A special and widely-recognized feature of Trakošćan is its large artificial lake, about two kilometres long and covering an area of about 56 acres. It was made in the middle of the nineteenth century as part of the romantic reshaping of the whole park. The lake is filled by the streams that run down the slopes of Macelj, the largest among them being the Čemernica. From the day when it was made, the lake had a double role - it was both a fish pool and a decorative element usual in romantic park architecture. The most recognizable motif of Trakošćan has become a picture of the castle mirrored in the lake.
Trakošćan has three parts: the castle, the garden beside the castle and the forest park. All
three combine into a historic, architectural and compositional whole. Most of the Trakošćan region is forested, there are large meadows, and rather sparse water and marshland vegetation. The lower areas are mostly covered by durmast oak and hornbeam and durmast oak and sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) forests. The higher regions have forests of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) that grow on acid soil and forests of beech and European silver fir (Abies alba). Along the streams grow the remains of white willow (Salix alba), poplar (Populus) and sticky alder (Alnus glutinosa) woods. The woods have a lot of undergrowth and especially attractive flowers. Mixed within these indigenous forests grow many spruces (Picae abies), Scotch pines (Pinus sylvestris), Austrian pines (Pinus nigra) and white pines (Pinus strobus). There are quite large areas beside the castle covered solely by spruces, planted by Count Drašković.
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