Varazdin Sights and Landmarks Guide, Croatia
Varazdin, the former capital city of all Croatia before the great fire in 1776, is known as being the city of music, baroque and flowers. It is now an important economic and cultural centre of the Zagorje and Medimurje regions as well as one of the most important tourist cities in north of the country.
Being located near Drava river, not farther than 40 miles north from Zagreb, and 120 miles from Rijeka, the city stands up in its own splendor offering the most beautiful sights of continental Croatia.
Varazdin, Sights – Interesting Places to Visit
The Old Town of Varazdin is quite remarkable in comparison with other sites in some European medieval cities. The old and well-preserved squares and streets lined with exceptional baroque palaces and rococo houses invite to a short walk to the city’s architectural jewel, the fortress, known as Stari Grad, which is now the Castle and Civic Museum / Stari Grad I Gradski Muzej. It used to be a lowland fortress built in the 13th century at the junction of old trade roads near the Drava River. During the centuries some major changes have been brought to its initial appearance as its comprehensive role in town was that of defense. The major change was made at the times of the Ottoman threats when new defense towers connected through corridors with shooting galleries for firearms, were built. The castle was also turned into a wasserburg, enclosed by moats which are now dry. At present, the Civic Museum in the Castle houses diverse exhibitions displaying a variety of weapons, old furniture and glass wear as well as some various collections from particular epochs.
Varazdin’s main square is dominated by the old building of the Town Hall. Built in 1523, it’s worth to know that the town council still has the meetings here which makes it the oldest functional town hall in Europe. The best attraction of a Saturday morning may be the ceremony of the guard-changing, the famous “Purgari” officers standing guard at the foot of the Town Hall.
Varazdin sights include alarge number of churches which is an obvious proof of the citizens’ religious life and of the city’s sacral architecture as well. Among the most gorgeous churches in the medieval centre of Varazdin, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas, built in 1761 and consecrated to the saint patron of the town, the Jesuit Church of St. Mary, built in mid-17th century, which is today’s Varazdin Cathedral, one of the most significant early-baroque sacral building in Croatia, the Capuchin Church of the Holy Trinity, erected in 1705 and now located in Kapucinski Square, the Church of St. Ursula and the Ursuline monastery, dating since 1726, which impresses with its harmonious proportions, and many other beautiful old churches, are great opportunities for every visitor to find a place for meditation and veneration, where sacral architecture amazes itself through its own value.
Herczer Palace displays the World of Insects, a large collection of bugs and butterflies, donated to the museum by its founder Franjo Koscec in 1954. This unusual collection includes no more than 4,500 exhibits of European insects, nests, models, habitats, and photos, all of which are attractively presented so that you could easily create your own opinion about the insect world.
Varazdin Cemetery, located 500 m west of Varazdin Castle, is an arboretum cemetery where the silent graves are discretely hidden under the cooling shadows of cedars, ash trees, maples, red beeches, magnolias, and birches. The cemetery is considered not only the last resort of the dead but a jewel of park architecture and a natural monument indeed. Cedars cut into geometrical forms, graves equally arranged, lonely tombstones, and silent alleys, create a satisfactory relaxation after a day of touring the Varazdin’s baroque treasures.
Varazdin, Sights – The Main Attractions in Varazdin County
Varazdin County is a hilly region in northwest of Croatia and one of the most attractive excursion regions in the country.
The region contains the world famous Vindija Cave, a stratified archaeological site, which shows the first traces of Neanderthals and their primitive life style.
Castle of Marusevac, near Varazdin in Hrvatsko Zagorje, is the worldwide cultural heritage monument. Situated 15 km from city of Varazdin, the castle exceeds in excellence with its architectural beauty. First mentioned in 1547, Castle of Marusevac is an authentic expression of the past epochs in Croatia.
Some 40 km west from the city of Varazdin, is Trakoscan Castle which is now a museum.
Visitors to the region of Varazdin and the city itself can choose between the large diversity of touristic sights and the abundance of hotels and other types of accommodation, so that their journey there might become unforgettable, especially if they have tasted the delicious homemade food and local wines as an addition to their delight.
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