It stands on the site of an old Roman fortress and was built in the first half of the 13th century by the Frankopan Princes of Krk. From the beginning of the 15th century it had a succession of lords, but was most often owned by the Habsburgs. In 1528 the Senj Capitan Gašpar Raab bought the castle and adapted and greatly strengthened it. Once the danger from the Turks had passed at the end of the 17th century, and fire arms had come into use, Trsat fortress was less important and was left allowed to fall into ruins, a process which was completed by an earthquake in 1750. Count Laval Nugent, Marshal and military commander of the Austrian coastal area, bought the ruins off the city, for an annual payment of one florint and had it restored in a Romantic Classicist-Biedermeier-style.He engaged the Venetian builder Paronuzzio and repaired the towers, decorated the interior and even built himself a mausoleum in the style of a Doric temple with four marble pillars supporting the facade. After his death his impoverished descendants deserted the castle and it once again fell into ruin until 1960. Since then it has been restored and enriched by the presence of art exhibitions, summer concerts and theatrical performances.