1StarCroatia – Castles

It seems that a lot of you are very interested in the episodes from the 1 Star Croatia series – the ones dedicated to poor reviews of Croatian sights. Some travelers are not easily fooled and their helpful reviews might save you the trouble! I do understand that people will express their disappointment if the customer experience is not perfect. But some comments are simply funny, especially if you’re critisising a 500 year-old-piece of history or a natural phenomenon. I mean, who exactly are you complaining to?

Let’s look at how people are experiencing Croatian castles. Listen to the podcast or scroll down for the rest of the article:

Croatia has many castles and forts from middle ages, renessaince, you name it. Some of them are in a poor condition, some of them are under rennovation, some of them are in quite a good shape. I like visiting castles, even if it’s a ruin. I like to imagine what was it like to live there, read about the former residents, enjoy the views that are often quite something. I’m simply one of those people that like castles. What I’m trying to say, I don’t really understand people who will take it to online reviews to claim that the site is lame.

Also, let’s set things straight right away – Croatia doesn’t have a Versailles, Schonbrons, Royal Palaces… But I thought we liked Croatia precisely for its charming diversity and discoveries?

Wrong. Some people are not easily satisfied. Except for a common 1 or 2 star review that you will find for any fort or castle in Croatia that charges a 30 kuna ticket – that’s less than 5 dollars or 4 Euro because it charges anything, I found a bunch of funny reviews all over Google Places. Apparently, Google Places is the place for expressing castle dissappointment, so let’s take a look at some of the causes of dissatisfaction.

⭐⭐⭐The view from there is nothing to write home about.⭐⭐⭐

This time, I chose an unusually high rating: as much as three stars for the ruinous medieval town above a charming town of Samobor.

Most of the people are rather impressed with the view when they get to the fort. Not this traveler. The view is what annoyed him most. Usually, he writes about the beautiful views back home. Not this time. He expected a better reward once he climbs as much as 250 m above sea level. To be perfectly honest, most people don’t expect a grand view because the old town is not at a very high altitude and it takes you only 20 minutes to get there. I’ve never heard anyone saying: “you have the go there, the view is amazing!” I can’t really understand where do his expectations come from…

Some people are disappointed because the monument is in a rather poor condition, others love to explore it precisely because of that. Some complain the trail is muddy, others are thrilled with a chance of a short hike straight from the city center. But once you get there, people are usually overwhelmed with a pretty view that they didn’t expect. Immediately, they realize why had they built it right there back in the 13th century: the castle is not so easy to spot, yet it overlooks the valley and beyond.

That was not enough for our reviewer! He expected to see something other than the scenery that surrounds the castle. Thank you for the warning! If we decide to go to the old town of Samobor, we’re going to stay away from the view. In fact, let’s not look around at all!

⭐There is no knights armour, it’s a restaurant and not an old town⭐

I love this 1-star review of the Dubovac castle in Karlovac. This particular old fort is proud to be one of the pioneers in opening up to visitors. It was open to the public ever since the end of the 19th century. And all that time, they didn’t think of putting a few armors as expected from any decent castle inside!

One of the most famous castles of Croatia, one of the symbols of the Hrvatsko Zagorje region, is Trakošćan, famous for its position on a hill above a lake, surrounded by woods. Do you think that’s enough to impress people? Think again!

⭐It’s boring and annoying to walk around the whole lake⭐

Good news for this visitor: they are drying up the lake this year for clean-up so maybe you can use a shortcut throught the bottom of the lake next time you visit.

But the lake is not the only problem:

⭐⭐Nothing more or less than a building in a dense forest⭐⭐

I can’t argue that. It is a building, and a dense forest surrounds it indeed. Fair as can be.

Now, let’s go down to the Croatian coast.

I absolutely loved the honesty of a 1 star review of Kaštel Gomilica. It says:

There is a much better fort in the area ⭐

Those 16th-century Benedictine nuns really don’t know how to make a proper fort, do they? As the review says, there are other forts in the area. Actually, the whole town is called Kaštela – very similar to the English word “Castles” or Forts. There are seven castles, each one a part of a small historical town, each of them centuries old. But this one, Kaštel Gomilica, is especially lame, built on a reef, like a tiny island-castle. Whatever. We wonder why did they choose precisely this unimpressive one to act as Braavos in Game of Thrones? Poor choice, but great review, thank you for that.

And last but not least: St Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik. I especially appreciate it when visitors take it to online reviews to solve a possible problem. One of the visitors of St Nicholas fortress in Šibenik gave the fortress a two star review, and then kindly explained that there is an alternative to visiting the fortress. She says:  

⭐⭐In the Lidl in Šibenik you have a big wall picture that gives a good aerial view of the fortress⭐⭐

That will do. By the way, you don’t even have to go to the Lidl market in ŠIbenik to see the fortress. You don’t really have to come to Croatia at all. Simply take a look at UNESCO’s world heritage list – it’s right there, as a part of remarkable Venetian works of defense between the 16th and 17th centuries. I know I’m pretty astonished by the sight of this mighty fortress that looks like it’s diving out of the sea. I’m so glad I can see it in Lidl.

This gave me an idea. I think I should do the whole episode like this one dedicated precisely to poor reviews of UNESCO sites in Croatia. But for today, I think it’s enough. I hope you had fun with this selection of terrible reviews left by travelers who were really disappointed in Croatian castles. Please, don’t repeat their mistakes and don’t bother to visit at all.

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