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Palace with a bretèche-guard

Zrinski castle, Brod na Kupi

"Along the Kupa in the 15th century at 220 metres above sea level, the Frankopans built a wooden castle, which became the heart of a settlement. Inheriting this property Count Petar Zrinski erected a new building on its foundations in 1651, wanting to strengthen the defence of the valley against the incursions of the Ottomans."

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When the Frankopans are first mentioned on the river Kupa, it would seem that it was not easy for them. It concerns a court ban from 1481, which forbade them to collect tolls from Zagreb merchants on their properties, and in Lukovdol, Moravice, Delnice, Lokve, Brod, Hreljin and Vrbovsko. These are all places on the old route through Gorski Kotar to the towns and ports of the Littoral. Brod na Kupi is situated right on the three-border area of routes towards the Croatian Littoral, Slovenia and the Pokuplje Prigorje. The Zrinski castle, was erected on the foundations of an older Frankopan one, is a massive stone two-storey building with a quadrangular ground plan, the ground floor the height of three floors, a pyramidal roof with a mace at the top, with window openings on all four sides. The façade is emphasised with a monumental Late Renaissance doorway. From the defensive elements the castle had loopholes on all façades, and on the top floor a “bretèche” – a built-in element with an opening from which red-hot lead, oil or rocks were thrown onto the enemy who may have been trying to break down the door. The immediate area was surrounded by a defensive wall, and in 1670 a church was built dedicated to St Mary Magdalene in the complex. A feature of the then fortified town were three secret underground passages that were used in emergencies, and their exits were – in the centre of the parish church, on the bank of the river Kupa and in the Vučja cave. It is assumed that in the first half of the 18th century the castle was thoroughly renovated and an extra floor was added.