By creating this site, my intention is to acquaint you more closely with the Croatia, its history, famous persons, cities, cuisine, natural beauty and other things. Every few days I will publish posts with these topics: nature, cities, sports and famous persons. If you have any comments or wishes, please type in the chatbox. Enjoy your reading!

nedjelja, 2. siječnja 2011.


Varaždin Castle in the Old Town.

Varaždin is a city in north Croatia, 81 km north of Zagreb on the highway A4. City population is 41,434 on 34.22 km2 , urban area population is 49,075 on 59.45 km2, and the metro area population is 80,991 on 243.75 km2 (2001). The centre of Varaždin county is located near the Drava river. It's mainly known for its baroque buildings, textile, food and IT industry.


The first written reference to Varaždin, whose historical name is Garestin, was on 20 August 1181, when King Béla III mentioned the nearby thermal springs (Varaždinske Toplice) in a legal document.

Varaždin was declared a free royal borough in 1209 by the Hungarian King Andrew II. The town became the economic and military centre of northern Croatia. Due to Turkish raids, the town was structured defensively around the old fortress, and acquired the shape of a typical medieval Wasserburg. In the early 13th century, the Knights Hospitaller (Croatian: Ivanovci) came to Varaždin, where they built the church and a monastery.

At the end of the 14th century, Varaždin fortress passed to the hands of the Counts of Celje. Over the following centuries Varaždin had several owners, the most influential being Beatrice Frankopan, Margrave Georg of Brandenburg, who built the town hall; the last was Baron Ivan Ungnad, who reinforced the existing fortification. At the end of the 16th century Count Thomas Erdödy became its owner, assuming the hereditary position of Varaždin prefects (župan), and the fortress remained in the ownership of the Erdödy family until 1925.

In 1756, the Ban Francis Nadásdy chose Varaždin as his official residence, and Varaždin became the capital of all of Croatia. It hosted the Croatian Sabor and the Royal Croatian Council founded by Empress Maria Theresa.

The periods of the Reformation and the counter-reformation had a great influence on Varaždin. With the arrival of the Jesuits, the school (gymnasium) and the convent were founded, and churches and monasteries were built in the baroque style. In the 18th century Varaždin was the seat of many Croatian noblemen, and in 1756 it became the Croatian administrative centre. The fire of 1776 destroyed most of the town, resulting in the administrative institutions moving back to Zagreb.

By the 19th century Varaždin had been completely rebuilt and expanded, with flourishing crafts and trade, and later the manufacture of silk and bricks. The theatre, music school, and fire department were founded.

In the 20th century Varaždin developed into the industrial centre of Northwestern Croatia. The textile manufacturer Tivar was founded in 1918. In the Croatian War of Independence, 1991, Varaždin suffered directly for only for a few days, because the huge Yugoslav People's Army base quickly surrendered, resulting in a minimal number of casualties, and providing weapons (worth $600m) for the Croatian army.


Herzer Palace

Today Varaždin is a popular destination for the summer holidays. In the summer time, actions are taken to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists that come to Varaždin and its surroundings for the holidays. The city has numerous areas of interests ranging from cultural areas (reflected by many museums, galleries and theaters in the area), shopping centers in the downtown core, various sports and recreation facilities, also a rich history in cuisine. The close of the Varaždin Touristic Season is brought down by two annual festivals. The annual Špancir Fest begins at the end of August and ends in September (lasts for 10 days). At this time the city welcomes artists, street performers, musicians and vendors for what is called "the street walking festival".

The city is home to the Varaždin's Baroque Evenings festival (Varaždinske Barokne Večeri), inaugrated in 1971: it honors baroque music and its culture which holds a special place in Varaždin's identity.

Varaždin is also the host of the "Radar festival", which hosts concerts at the end of summer. It has already hosted musical stars such as Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, The Animals, Manic Steet Preachers, Solomon Burke & many more.
Much more about Varaždin you can read on Wikipedia.

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