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Hrvatski dvorci


We do not know whether the Counts of Celje built Veliki Tabor, but they are known to have been its owners in the middle of the fifteenth century. After this family became extinct, Veliki Tabor, like all castels in those days, became the property of King Mathias Corvinus and his son Johannes Corvinus. In 1504 the Ban of Croatia Johannes Corvinus granted Veliki Tabor to the Ratkaj family, who lived there until 1793 when the last member of this popular aristocratic family died. Veliki Tabor was the main seat of the Ratkajs, although they also owned the nearby Mali Tabor, Miljana and Velika Horvatska.
After the Ratkajs became extinct, Veliki Tabor often changed hands. First it was administered by the royal chamber, then Minister Thugut attained it from the Emperor Franz II, then it was again chamber property until the end of the nineteenth century when it was bought by Zagreb merchants, the Grunwald brothers, who held it until the First World War. During the war it was used as a prison, and in 1927 again found itself without a master. In that year it was bought at an auction for one hundred thousand dinars by the artist Oton Iveković, and the government added ten more thousand for the necessary repairs. Although his homeland attracted and inspired him, Iveković found it very hard to maintain the castle. Because of his health he left Veliki Tabor in 1935 and moved to his hometown Klanjec, where he died four years later. In 1938 the Iveković family sold Veliki Tabor for next to nothing to the Banal Administration, but since not a single department of the Administration wanted to take it over it became a convent of the Sisters of Mercy from Blato on Korčula, who nursed partizans here during the Second World War, and after the war until 1950 took care of sixty war orphans. Neither then nor now was Veliki Tabor lucky in finding proper owners. It is slowly decaying because the enthusiasm of those who love it, a regional collection, occasional exhibitions and an annual fencing tournament are not enough to preserve it.

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