The old town of Čakovec, the most valuable cultural and historical monument in Međimurje County, was first mentioned as a wooden mansion in the second half of the 13th century. The most prominent Zrinski family ruled Čakovec for five generations and turned this castle into a strong lowland Renaissance fortress.
The old fortress has been turned into a castle in the center of Čakovec, the seat of Međimurje County. It was first mentioned in the 13th century with its founder Count Dimitrije Čak, after whom it was named Čakovec.
The owners of the fortress, at the same time the masters of Čakovec and Međimurje estates, often changed, and over the centuries they constantly upgraded the castle, especially during the reign of the noble families Zrinski and Althan. Apart from them, the fort was managed by members of the noble families Lacković, Kanižaj, counts Celjski, Ernušt, Čikulin and finally Feštetić.
The old town of Čakovec consists of external defensive walls, bastions, pentagonal shape, which were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. The inner rectangular palace was built probably in the period of the Ernušt family (15th century), restored during the Zrinski family (16th and 17th century), and acquired its present form during the time of the Czech-Austrian Althan family in 1743, which turned and old Renaissance palace into a monumental baroque castle. The interior of the Čakovec fortress complex was designed by the Viennese court architect Anton Erhard Martinelli. Around the fortress is a spacious park, called Zrinski Park. The monument in front of the castle was erected in memory of the famous Zrinsko-Frankopan uprising from 1670. There is a museum inside the Old Town, opened in 1954.
Today, the old town of Čakovec is a symbol and the identity of Međimurje County. It houses the Međimurje Museum with several sections (archaeological, ethnographic, cultural-historical and artistic collection) with about 19,000 exhibits.