The town of Čakovec, (Hungarian: Csáktornya), Croatia, (latitude 46.38 N, longitude 16.43 E, altitude 164m) is the seat of Medjimurje (Medjimurska zupanija), located near the Trnava river in a region well known for its vineyards, agriculture, and hunting grounds, between the rivers Mura and Drava. The population of the city, without its suburbs, is approximately 17,500, primarily ethnic Croats and Roman Catholics, with up to 4% Hungarians, Germans, Slovenes and some other minorities.
The first railroad track was built here in 1860, helping to connect Budapest (Budimpešta ) with the ports Rijeka (Fiume) and Trieste (Trst). It was connected with the railroad with Mursko Sredisce, Lendava in 1889. The road infrastructure is good, including a new expressway connecting the Hungary border-crossing point Goričan with Zagreb, Karlovac, and the Adriatic Sea. It is connected to local municipalities with an efficient public transportation system.
In Roman times, as the geographer Strabo reported, in the 1st century, this was the site of Aquama (wet town), at the time a marshland, a military post and legionnaire camp. Its name comes from the count Dimitry Csaky (Dimitrij Čak ), who with the beginning of the 13th century erected the timber fortification later named "Csaky's tower". It was mentioned for the first time in 1328. The place appears in the official books in 1333. The period of more significant economic and cultural growth of Čakovec is considered to have started in 1547, when Nikola Šubić Zrinski of Siget became the owner of the area. At that time, the castle was lavishly decorated, surrounded by a park and sculptures of famous army leaders and monarchs. Duke Juraj Zrinski granted privileges to the inhabitants of the Čakovec fortress and its suburbs on May 29, 1579, which was the starting point for Čakovec to become a free market town. The date is celebrated as the City Day. In 1738 the city was devastated by an earthquake and in 1741 by a fire. Another earthquake hit in 1880. At the end of the 18th century the owners of the town became counts Festetić , and the town was turned into a big estate where industry, crafts and trade developed. In 1848, the ban Josip Jelačić liberated Čakovec from Hungarians and joined it to Croatia. In 1893 electric power was introduced to the city.
Čakovec is the economic, traffic, cultural, and legislative center of Medjimurska zupanija. As an administrative center, Čakovec offers the Gymnasium, technical and construction high schools, and the academy, Teacher Training College .
The economy of the area is based on textiles (Medjimurska trikotaža), footwear (Jelen), food processing (Vajda, Čakovecki mlinovi, Mesnice Carović and Mesnice Mihalić), and metal plants. Also important are printing and publishing activities of (Zrinski), building materials and construction, and plastics. Although modern in architecture, dynamic with a highly developed industry and a busy hub for communication, business, trade, education within and between the counties/countries, its old core has been beautifully preserved and renovated. There is a local museum of Međimurje in the castle, protecting 17,000 valuable items. There are also libraries, advanced media, theatres, hospitals, and festivities in both sport and culture.
- Lidija Bajuk - musician, entertainer
- Lujo Bezeredy - sculptor
- Joža Horvat - adventurer, writer
- Robert Jarni - football player
- Ladislav Kralj-Međimurec - artist (aquarels )
- Ivan Novak - historian, politician
- Nikola Pavić - poet
- Ruža Pospiš-Baldani - opera singer
- Franjo Punčec - tennis player
- Josip Štolcer-Slavenski - composer
- Nikola Zrinski - soldier, poet, philosopher
- Petar Zrinski - soldier, politician
- Vinko Žganec - folklorist
- Čakovec * Čakovec Tourist Agency * Međimurje News * Radio Čakovec
- Telephone * Post&Zrinski Stamps * Tennis Club * Animated Film Studio
- Museum of Međimurje * Čakovec Chamber of Commerce
- Teachers Training College * The City Friend Schramberg - in German