The exhibition “Veliki Tabor on the Eve and in the Course of World War II” presents to the public the history of the castle, its function, and its beneficiaries between 1938 and 1945. In that period, the castle was under the administration of the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy of the Third Order of St. Francis from Blato on the island of Korčula. They lived in the castle from August 1938 until November 1945. After their arrival, youth holiday association colonies started to come to Veliki Tabor. The nuns took care of the children during their one or two month long stays. During the war, the castle functioned as a state children’s home with nuns as the war orphan caretakers. In August 1944, the Ministry of Education of the Independent State of Croatia [NDH] opened a four-grade primary school in Veliki Tabor that was under the management of the Desinić school.

At the same time, the castle became linked to the fighters of the People’s Liberation War. The Partisans were active in the area, as well as often using the castle itself. Here, the Desinić Partisan Company was established on 2 November 1943. Through testimonies we also know the Partisans used Veliki Tabor as a sanctuary to rest and recover from battle. As far as it is known, the Partisans also used the castle to hold secret meetings and store military supplies. In the first half of 1944, they controlled Desinić and therefore took over the care of the orphanage and nuns.

There are 40 exhibits to be seen: postcards, photographs, newspapers, books, weapons, military and medical equipment, a memorial plaque, as well as other objects (for example, a children’s shoe) that witness the life in Veliki Tabor of that period.

This exhibit also showcases the results of the research the exhibition author carried out in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb. Panels in both Croatian and English, as well as the video presentation, display reproductions of photographs and documents such as cost sheets and descriptions of renovation work carried out at the time at Veliki Tabor.

The author of the exhibition is senior curator and museum manager, historian Renata Dečman.

The exhibition remains open until 10 November 2024.

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Guardians of Ethnographic Heritage in Veliki Tabor

The exhibition "Guardians of Ethnographic Heritage in Veliki Tabor" presents the Ethnographic Collection of the Veliki Tabor Castle, which comprises items of traditional vilage households and farmsteads from Hrvatsko Zagorje, particulary from Desinić and Pregrada areas. At present, the Ethnographic Collection of the Veliki Tabor Castle comprises 512 inventoried objects and the exhibition presents a selection of 133 exhibits dating from the late 19th and the 20th century. Pottery, household items, and traditional farmstead objects constitute the majority of the collection. The ceramic items were produced on a foot-operated pottery wheel characteristic of the Pannonian area. They were probably produced in Ivanec area, where the best known centres of the pottery craft in Hrvatsko Zagorje were located. The items were used for various purposes – for cooking, baking, storing, processing, and serving food, for keeping and transporting liquids, and for watering plants. The household items in the collection include hot-coal irons, lanterns, coffee grinders, plates, bowls, bread shovels, spoons, forks, knives, butter churners, stove shovels, and so on. To a lesser extent, the Collection also includes items from traditional crafts (a pair of compasses, chisel, pliers, cartwright's work bench, blacksmith bellows, planes, saws, cobbler's lasts…). Some of the objects can be classified both as tools and as utensils in textile production (flax combs, brakes, and scotching boards, distaffs, spinning wheels…). With the exception of a towel, a tablecloth, and a bed sheet, textile items are not represented in the Collection. There is, however, an object that stands out, one that concerns traditional customs – košuta, a doe-like wooden Carnival mask that greatly resembles the Carnival masks from Međimurje and is likely from that area.

It would be impossible to discuss the forming of the Ethnographic Collection without considering the history of Veliki Tabor in the second half of the 20th century, particulary since the mid-70s, when the castle began organizing exhibitions of ethnographic items and collecting objects from Desinić and Pregrada areas. Through exhibition panels in Croatian and English language, visitors are introduced to the founding of the County Museum of the Pregrada Municipality in Veliki Tabor in the early 80s of the last century. Exhibition also sheds light on the period when the castle was managed by the Tourist Association of Pregrada Municipality and the Veliki Tabor Society from Desinić. Special emphasis was placed on Josip Štimac, one of the co-founders of the County Museum and former president of the Veliki Tabor Society, and Ivica Špoljar, the largest donor of the collection and the first employee of the Museum of Hrvatsko Zagorje who was employed at Dvor Veliki Tabor. The exhibition also reveals the state of the Ethnographic Collection from 2003 until today, particulary in the period when the professional staff of the Museum of Hrvatsko Zagorje takes care of the objects.

The author of the exhibition is the curator of Veliki Tabor Castle, historian Renata Dečman.

The exhibition remains open until November 15, 2022.

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The Kavanagh-Ballyane Family from Mali Tabor

This exhibition features the family of Baron Kavanagh-Ballyane, once the masters of castle Mali Tabor in Hum na Sutli. The Kavanagh-Ballyane family originates from Ireland. Their ancestry shows relations with Queen Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. They acquired ownership of Mali Tabor estate through matrilineal succession. Simon Henry Kavanagh (1784 – 1830) married Leopoldina Moscon, the granddaughter of Ana Rattkay, thus acquiring the right to half of the estate.

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Veliki Tabor in the light of discovery

The exhibition was opened when Dvor Veliki Tabor was opened for the public in 2007, following conservation work and the reconstruction of the Late Gothic castle. The exhibition presents the research and

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