Čakovec is a city in northern Croatia, located around 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Zagreb, the Croatian capital. Čakovec is both the county seat and the largest city of Međimurje County, the northernmost, smallest and most densely populated Croatian county.
At the 2001 census, the city of Čakovec had a population of 15,790 within its limits, which was a slight decrease from the 1991 census, when it was 15,999. With its surrounding suburbs included it had a population of 30,455 at the 2001 census.
The name Čakovec comes from the surname of the count Dimitrius Csáky. With the beginning of the 13th century he erected the timber fortification which was later named Csák’s tower (Croatian: Čakov toranj). It was mentioned for the first time in 1328 and the place appeared in the official books in 1333.
Sights, facilities and events
Most of the historical buildings in Čakovec are located in the town center or in the centrally located Zrinski Park, and the town’s historical core has been well preserved. The Čakovec Castle near the park houses a museum with some 17,000 exhibits. Other landmark buildings in the town centre are a palace built in the Vienna Secession style (Secesijska palača), and Saint Nicholas’ Church (Crkva Svetog Nikole). The Southern Čakovec (Čakovečki jug) is a relatively new neighborhood, with modern houses and buildings including the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua (Crkva Svetog Antuna Padovanskog) and a new elementary school with a sports hall, outdoor basketball and handball grounds and a running track.
At the central square there is a library, a theater, a cinema, a large shopping center and a few confectioners’ shops and restaurants. Other businesses in the town center are mostly clothing stores, bookshops, electronics stores and finance companies. A hospital and the central bus station are located only a few steps from town centre. The largest hotel in Čakovec is located across the park, about 300–400 meters from the central square, and there is also a smaller one in close proximity of the main square.
At the central square there is a theater building called Centar za kulturu (Cultural center), presenting new cinema releases on a daily basis. Several art exhibitions also take place in the building throughout the year. Throughout the summer, the central square hosts several cultural events. Open air performances are also held in the atrium of the Čakovec Castle. In late July and early August a large traditional fair at the central square takes place. Since 2002 the city has been organizing its own annual outdoor car show that takes place in May on the premises of the city’s center for sports and recreation. There’s also an entertaining program and fireworks at the central square every year during the celebration of the New Year.