The Frankopan noble family used Kraljevica as the harbour for their town of Hreljin. The castle is on the hill of a peninsula, at the very entrance of the Bay of Bakar. Petar Zrinski began to build it in 1651. As the residence of a powerful feudal dynasty, it followed the then architectural style of aristocrats. The builders, most likely Venetians, arranged the large rectangular complex (44 metres long and 36 metres wide) with four large towers situated at the corners. The square inner courtyard has a cistern in the centre.
The castle originally consisted of a basement, ground floor and first floor, whilst later the owners, Jesuits, in the 19th century added a second floor. The luxurious feel to the interior was probably taken care of by Katarina Frankopan, the wife of Petar Zrinski. The main salon was decorated with gilded leather wallpaper with marble fireplaces, floors paved with a marble mosaic, whilst the frames of the doors were made of black and white marble. On one of the paintings from the 17th century it is visible that the castle also had a special room called the Museum, intended for the storing the family’s rich heritage. At that time it was one of the earliest museums in Croatia. Such collections, also known as cabinets of wonder, as the forerunners of museums appeared in the castles of affluent people throughout Europe. Genius loci, the spirit of a family museum in a castle, is re-awakened in the layout of this visitor’s centre.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.