Set in the middle of a large shaded park right beside the main square is Čakovec's key landmark, the massive four-story Stari grad Zrinskih. Built over the course of a century from around 1550 by Nikola Šubic Zrinski, in an Italian-Renaissance style, it was the Zrinski family nest until the late 17th century. The fortress's foremost present-day attraction, the Muzej Međimurja (Museum of Međimurje), can be reached through the courtyard. Though it receives too
few visitors to have regular opening hours, a staff member will be happy to let you in. Just climb the steps to the hallway of offices on the second floor to find someone. If you kindly overlook the lack of English-language text, you will be treated on this floor to an intriguing, life-size look at a year in the life of a peasant family, from season to season as you proceed through the rooms. Move up a floor for a chronological display of the region's history, from the Stone Age to the recent past. Also on this floor are individual rooms dedicated to the Zrinski family (this one does have English text); lovely, period furniture; displays of printing machinery; an old pharmacy; a fascinating collection of 19th- and 20th-century bric-a-brac; and, last but not least, a three-room gallery of impressive modern art by various painters.