Trakoscan was built in the 13th c. within Croatia's northwestern fortification system, as a rather small observation fortress for monitoring the road from Ptuj to Bednja Valley.
According to a legend, Trakoscan was named after another fortification (arx Thacorum) that was allegedly there back in antiquity. Another source claims that it was named after the knights of Drachenstein who were in control of the region in early Middle Ages.
The toponym was first mentioned in written records in 1334. It is not known who its owners were in the first years of its existence. As of the end of the 14th c., it was owned by the Counts of Celje, who were in charge of the entire Zagorje County. The family soon became extinct, and Trakoscan shared the fate of their other burgs and estates that were divided and kept changing owners. In these divisions, Trakoscan was, as a whole, first owned by an army leader by the name of Jan Vitovac, then by Ivanis Korvin, who gave it to his deputy warden Ivan Gyulay. The family kept the castle throughout three generations, and became extinct in 1566, after which the ownership was taken over by the state.
King Maximilian gave the estate to Juraj Draskovic (1525-1587) for services rendered, first personally, and then as family heritage. This was how, in 1584, the Draskovic family finally came into possession of Trakoscan.
In the second half of the 18th c., when the building of manors was flourishing in Hrvatsko Zagorje, Trakoscan was abandoned. Neglected, it started dilapidating rapidly. It was only towards the middle of the 19th c. that the family became interested once again in its estate, in the Romanticist spirit of return to nature and family traditions. In this spirit, the deputy marshal Juraj V. Draskovic turned the castle into a residential manor-house, while the surrounding park was turned into Romanticist pleasure grounds. The generations that followed were staying at the castle from time to time all the way until 1944 when they immigrated to Austria. Soon after that, the castle became nationalized.
The Museum with collections on permanent display was established in 1953. The castle is today owned by the Republic of Croatia.