Dash from Veliki Tabor

As the setting of the legend of the tragic love of Veronika Desinić and Fridrik Celjski is Veliki Tabor - one of the mostbolis a renovated and arranged Croatian fortifications, it is generally known. Big names of Croatian literature and art in general wrote about it. To me, a humble scribe of the Frankopan "chronicles", Veliki Tabor was interesting and, until recently, unvisited.

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It’s not that this fort is “across the globe,” I’ve visited many much further. It is even very easy to reach it - by highway from Zagreb to Krapina, then at the exit Zabok towards Tuheljske toplice, and then just follow a very good "brown tourist signalization". You can't go wrong. The imposing large white building will be visible to you from afar - a sight given to the soul for photography.

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The next pleasant surprise is the access macadam road leading to the burg. If you look closely at the environment you will see the remains of an outer defensive mantle. Unfortunately, the defensive towers have not been preserved, but only the remains of two near the fort itself, but even that is still enough to create an idea in space of what it looked like in the days of greatest glory.

Veliki Tabor was built by the Counts of Celje - a prominent German nobility of the highest rank. Namely, the people of Celje had the title of princely elector - Kurfürst - which means that there were seven of them who chose the German emperor or, as it was then called, the Holy Roman Empire.

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And this is where the story actually begins, which is very interesting to me personally because of, of course, our princes of the Krk Frankopans.

Prince Stephen II In the middle of the 14th century, Krk married the Italian Duchess Catherine Carrara of Padua and had one daughter with her - Elizabeth. As the princes of Krk already had a very high reputation not only in Croatia but also in Hungary and the Italian and German countries, a marriage was arranged between Elizabeth, who was only two years old at the time, and Frederick, the son of the elector prince Herman of Celje, lord of the Great. Tabora.

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For the Frankopans, who were not yet called that at the time (they would only get that name in some thirty years at the time of Stjepan's uncle Nikola IV), it was another opportunity to rise to "royal blood". Namely, in some future Frederick could be elected German emperor, and Elizabeth would become German empress. For Stjepan, of course, such a marriage was a strategic family interest, Herman was in his favor, because he himself had pretensions to expand his influence to the south and east.

After the wedding, it turned out that Princess Elizabeth was not as interested in Frederick as the commoner or lower noblewoman Veronika Desinić, so there were long-term entanglements, separate life and reunification of spouses, mostly under pressure from Herman and Elizabeth's uncle, Croatian Ban Nicholas IV. The Frankopans to whom this marriage was strategically very important.

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Frederick solved the problem by killing Elizabeth, which happened in their palace in Krapina. The war between the Frankopans and the Celje family was prevented by the enormous efforts of as many as two kings - Croatian-Hungarian and Danish, Frederick spent several years imprisoned in Celje, and Veronica was killed on Herman's orders after being acquitted of being a witch.

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Shortly afterwards, the princely line of the Celje family became extinct, and Veliki Tabor changed owners several times.

And here we come to the part that was unknown to me until this visit. Namely, less than a hundred years later, Veliki Tabor became the property of the Croatian-Hungarian king Matijaš Korivin, who gave it to his son Janoš, married to Beatrice Frankopan, the youngest daughter of Prince Bernardin Ozaljski. After Janos' death, Beatrice inherited all his estates, and challenged the contract between her late husband and the Ratakay princes over the Great Camp, and her men occupied him militarily. Thus, this fort officially became the property of one of the Frankopans, Princess Beatrice, but remained in her possession for only a few years.

Well, going on a trip to Veliki Tabor, I didn't expect to come across Frankopan estates there either. This only speaks of how great and significant for Croatian history the princes of Krk, the Frankopans, were then and now.

Photo source: Tomislav Beronić

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