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Varaždin (Croatia // ZG/Central Croatia // Međimurje)

Varaždin
Excursions
Visit: Castle Trakoscan
Trakoscan castle

Trakoscan was built in the late 13th century in northwestern Croatian de...
Total excursions:
1

Position

The City of Varaždin is located in the North of Croatia on the southern bank of the River Drava. The City is at an altitude between 169 and 173 meters.
The city lies along the Drava River on a fertile alluvial plain that slopes towards the River Drava from the southwest to the northeast. The plain slightly elevates in Haloze and Varaždin – Toplice Hills. This creates a region defined by natural borders located at the crossroads of Styria, Međimurje, Zagorje and upper Drava Valley.
Varaždin has approximately 50,000 inhabitants, and is the cultural, educational, economic, sporting and tourist center of Northwestern Croatia. It holds 11 ‘Green Flowers’, the national awards for the most ordered city of inland Croatia
 
Varaždin: What to do / What to see?
The gallery of old and new masters
The old town
˝TALES FROM VARAŽDIN’S COURTYARDS˝
The traditional crafts square
The city market
 

History

What distinguishes Varaždin from other Croatian cities is the extraordinarily rich monumental and artistic heritage that is contained within its beautifully preserved Historic Core. Within the relatively small area of the Old Town are preserved palaces, important public buildings, Baroque, Rococo, Classicist and Secessionist houses and villas and one of the oldest City Halls in Europe. The richness of the religious heritage tells another story about Varaždin as a city of bell towers which its inhabitants have strived for centuries to build. The angels that adorn alters, walls and paintings will appreciate every glance they receive.

THE DRAŠKOVIĆ PALACE

Since 1616, the Draskovic family has had a residence at the site of what today is the Drašković Palace. The current Palace was constructed in the second half of the 18th Century and Count Franjo Nadasdy came to live in a Palace in 1756 when Varzdin was the capital of the Kingdom. The Croatian Parliament (‘Sabor’) convened in the Palace, and in 1767 the Palace became the seat of the Royal Regional Council. On a stone portal above the main entrance is the gold plated Draškovic family coat of arms.

THE ORŠIĆ PALACE

From the minutes of the City magistrate in 1804, it was evident that the Count Erdödy (from Novi Marof) wanted to build a Palace in its current location. It is assumed that the building was completed in 1805, and this is confirmed by its early classicist features, in particular the beautiful stone portal. At the end of the nineteenth century it became the property of Countess Paula Oršić, and so the locals still call it the ‘Oršić Palace’.

The Building of the Zagreb ‘Kaptol’

This building belongs to the Zagreb ‘Kaptol’, and the Palace dates from the second half of the 18th Century. It is one of the best architectural achievements of that time. It is a single-storey Palace with an extraordinary carved stone doorway and a decorated façade. The ceiling of the hall on the first floor has stucco decorations. The 18th century façade has been restored.

THE PATACIC-PUTTAR PALACE

The present Palace is located in the immediate vicinity of what were the southern gates of the City, where nobles built their first houses outside the City walls from the mid 18th Century onwards. Around 1745 Count Patačić ordered the local master to merge three separate two-storey houses with a corner building and bay windows. It is interesting to note that on one side of the Palace the entrance has the features of the late Baroque period, whilst the other side, which was built a little later, has features which are recognizably Classicist.

THE SERMAGE PALACE

The Sermage Palace occupies a central position in the Miljenko Stančić Square. Following several marriage contracts this Palace passed from the Prassinzky family to the French noble Sermage family. In 1759 the Palace was renovated in a Rococo Style. The wrought iron balcony makes the facade stand out. Since 1947, the permanent collection of Old and Contemporary masters has been located in the Palace. Amongst the most valuable paintings are a fifteenth Century ‘Žitna madona’ (‘Madonna with Grain’) from an unknown artist of the Rubens school, and the Canaletto School oils . Most of the pictures came from surrounding castles after the Second World War and a smaller number of works were donated by the Nobleman Stjepan Leitner.

Sermage (17th century), Miljenko Stančić Square 3

PHONE +385-42-214-172

Visits last 40 minutes; group tours per appointment.

Opening Hours:
Summer (April-September): Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Winter (October-March) Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed Mondays and holidays

THE ERDÖDY PALACE

With the expansion of the City outside the old City walls during the 1860’s, the Theresian styled Erdödy Palace was built in the Capuchin Square, which at the time was the largest in the City. In 1850 it was redesigned to form the ‘Capuchin’ Barracks. After World War II, the Palace became the barracks for the Yugoslav People’s Army, and consequently experienced devastation, particularly to the Erdödy family coat of arms that was placed on the front gate. Today, the Palace is more appropriately home to the Music School.

THE HERTZER PALACE

This classical Herzer Palace was built in 1791. Carved in stone above the main entrance is the coat of arms of the Herzer family, who made their wealth through postal enterprises and bought into the nobility in the 18th Century. The Herczer Palace now houses the Entomological Collection, which belonged to local Grammar School teacher Franjo Koscec (a biology teacher). The Košćec Collection was rebuilt in 1990’s, and now forms a permanent collection called ‘The World of Insects’. This is recognized by experts and visitors alike as one of the most beautiful collections of its kind in Europe. The 4,500 exhibits illustrate the biology of insects, and are divided into several fields: In the Woods, Near the Woods and in the Meadows, In the Water and on the Shoreline, at Night in the Ground. There are displays of entomological preparations, vertebrate taxidermy, herbarium specimens of plants, larger insect models, and various objects and photographs from Professor Košćec’s legacy. Amongst these are the tools he designed to process insects for the collection, and his preserved study. Other parts of the Exhibition include examples of Entomological work from Professor Koscec’s contemporaries.

Herzer Palace (18th century), Franjevački Square 6
PHONE +385-42-658-760
Visits last 40 minutes; group tours per appointment.

Opening Hours:
Summer (April-September): Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Winter (October-March): Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed Mondays and holidays.

THE KEGLEVIĆ PALACE

This impressive Baroque Palace was built in the 17th Century on the site of a farm that was outside the Old City walls. Its current facade is the result of a rococo refurbishment by Jakob Erber in 1775. It is now the scientific department of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Varaždin.

NITZKY PALACE
This late Baroque Palace, which overlooks the Ban Jelačić square, was built in the late 18th Century. It was owned by the wealthy mercantile Nitzky Family.

TOMASSI PALACE
Baron Stjepan Josip Patačić gave this house to the Councillor Juraj Petković, who went on to become a President of the ‘Banski Stol’ (‘Tabula Banalis’). They later sold it to the Tomassi Family who owned a drapery in Varaždin, and one of the later modifications turned it into Varaždin’s first cinema.

THE VARAŽDIN COUNTY PALACE

The Varaždin County Palace was built in the Rococo style in 1768, but was destroyed in the fire of 1776, losing much of its original stylistic features during renovation. A great restoration and conservation project that began in 2001 has returned the Palace to her original condition, and now she once again houses the Varaždin County Headquarters. A coat of arms on the gable of the building was in 1763 officially designated by the Queen Maria Therese as the coat of arms of Varaždin County.

THE BUILDING OF THE ZAGREB 'KAPTOL’

This building belongs to the Zagreb ‘Kaptol’, and the Palace dates from the second half of the 18th Century. It is one of the best architectural achievements of that time. It is a single-storey Palace with an extraordinary carved stone doorway and a decorated façade.

THE ZAKMARDY PALACE

This magnificently refurbished building was built by Varaždin’s Master Architects Jakob and Blaž Jančić. It was originally built as a Jesuit Seminary for Varaždin’s students in 1672 by the Notary Ivan Zakmardy of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia.
 
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