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Varaždin
—  Town  —

Flag

Coat of arms
Motto: Probitati et bonis artibus
Varaždin is located in Croatia
Varaždin
Location of Varaždin within Croatia
Coordinates: 46°18′N 16°20′E / 46.3°N 16.333°E / 46.3; 16.333
Country Croatia
County Varaždin County
Government
 - Mayor Ivan Čehok (CSLP)
Elevation 173 m (568 ft)
Population (2001)
 - Town 41,434
 Density 34.22/km2 (88.6/sq mi)
 Urban 49,075
 - Urban Density 59.45/km2 (154/sq mi)
 Metro 80,991
 - Metro Density 243.75/km2 (631.3/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 42 000
Area code(s) 042
Website varazdin.hr

Varaždin (German: Warasdin, Hungarian: Varasd, Latin: Varasdinum) is a city in north Croatia, 81 km (50 mi) north of Zagreb on the highway A4. City population is 41,434 on 34.22 km2 (13.21 sq mi), urban area population (with: Črnec Biškupečki, Donji Kućan, Gojanec, Gornji Kućan, Hrašćica, Jalkovec, Kućan Marof, Poljana Biškupečka and Zbelava) is 49,075 on 59.45 km2 (22.95 sq mi), and the metro area population (with municipality: Beretinec, Gornji Kneginec, Jalžabet, Sračinec, Sveti Ilija, Trnovec Bartolovečki and Vidovec) is 80,991 on 243.75 km2 (94.11 sq mi) (2001). The centre of Varaždin county is located near the Drava river, at 46°18′43″N 16°21′40″E / 46.312°N 16.361°E / 46.312; 16.361. It's mainly known for its baroque buildings, textile, food and IT industry.

Contents

History

Varaždin in 1668.
Varaždin's Croatian National Theater.
View of the Theater from the Park.

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-Croatian 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 Toma Bakač 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 Franjo Nadasdy 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.

Heritage

Varaždin, with its unique monuments and artistic heritage, represents the best preserved and richest urban complex in continental Croatia.

The Old Town (fortress) is a beautiful example of medieval defensive buildings. Construction began in the 14th century, and in the following century the rounded towers, typical of Gothic architecture in Croatia, were added. Today it houses the Town Museum. The fortress is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 5 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2001.[1]

The Old and Contemporary Masters Gallery is located in the Sermage Palace, built in the rococo style in 1750.

In 1523, Margrave Georg of Brandenburg built the town hall in late baroque style, with the Varaždin coat of arms at the foot of the tower, and it has continued in its function until the present day. There is a guard-changing ceremony every Saturday.

Varaždin's Cathedral, a former Jesuit church, was built in 1647, and is distinguished by its baroque entrance, eighteenth-century altar, and paintings.

There are many baroque and rococo palaces and houses in the town. Worth particular mention is Varaždin's Croatian National Theatre, built in 1873 and designed by the famous Viennese architects Herman Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner.

A baroque-music festival has been held annually in Varaždin since 1971 (Baroque Evenings), and attracts some of the finest musicians and their fans from Croatia and the world. Recommended to visitors is also the historical street festival Špancir fest every September.

The city features its old city guard, named Purgari, in various city ceremonies as well as the weekly ceremony of the 'change of the guards' in front of the city hall. Additionally, Varaždin police officers patrol on bicycles in the warmer months.

The Old Town (Stari Grad)

Churches and Monasteries

Varaždin Castle in the Old Town.
Varaždin's Cathedral.
Herzer Palace.
  • Parish Church of St. Nicholas
  • Jesuit Monastery and the Church of St. Mary, today the Cathedral
  • Franciscan Monastery and the Church of St. John the Baptist
  • Ursuline Monastery and the Church of the Nativity
  • Capuchin Monastery and the Church of the Holy Trinity
  • Chapel of St. Florian
  • Chapel of St. Vitus
  • Chapel of St. Fabian and Sebastian
  • Chapel of St. Rochus
  • Orthodox Church of St. George

Baroque Palaces

  • Town Hall
  • Bužan Palace
  • Drašković Palace
  • Eggersdorfer Palace
  • Erdödy Palace
  • Erdödy-Oršić Palace
  • Herzer Palace
  • Hinterholzer Palace
  • Janković Palace
  • Keglević Palace
  • Palace of the Varaždin County
  • Palace of the Zagreb Kaptol
  • Patačić Palace
  • Patačić-Puttar Palace
  • Petković Palace
  • Prašinski-Sermage Palace
  • Pauline Mansion

Economy

Varaždin is one of the few Croatian cities whose industry did not directly suffer from the war in 1991. Besides textile giant Varteks, it also has nationally important food (Vindija), metal, and construction industries. The Information Technology and financial and banking sector as are well developed. Further economic development has been encouraged with the creation of a free investment zone.

Transportation

Railway station.

The city of Varaždin is easily accessible by major roads from all sides. The road infrastructure is good and the main highway connection is A4, connecting the Hungary border-crossing point in Goričan with Zagreb, as well as the coast of the Adriatic Sea via A1/A6. A2 is also accessible through the Zagorje region. In addition to the highways, there is also an east-west state route connecting the city to the Slovenian border, and Koprivnica, Osijek and the east part of Croatia. The city is connected to the suburbs and villages surrounding it with a public transportation system of buses. The city also has a train and bus station, which are both located about a 10 minute walk from the center. The trains are mainly used for cargo, due to the lack of investment in the country's train infrastructure. Varaždin's bus service is of high quality and use, it offers regular service to many local, domestic and international routes, as well as many additional seasonal routes to the Adriatic Sea. There is also taxi service available on-call which is situated by the bus station. In the outskirts of the city there is also a small recreational airport, used mainly for sightseeing and farming purposes.

Tourism

Streets of Varaždin.

Today Varaždin is a very 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.' Last year the there were over a 100,000 visitors in the city for the event. To kick off the fall, the city welcomes world famous classical musicians in Varazdin's Baroque Evenings festival (Varaždinske Barokne Večeri). Since 1971 the festival has been held to honor 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.

Sport

Varaždin Arena, a multipurpose sport center built for the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship.

Varaždin is a city of numerous professional and semi-professional sports clubs. Varaždin will also be one of the hosts of the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship which will be held in Croatia. The games will be held in a brand new yet to be named facility located near the Drava River.

Education

Varaždin has a rich and developed system of education, especially for a city of its size. It has seven elementary schools, 10 high schools (2 public gymnasiums, 2 private gymnasiums, trade schools, and other specialized high schools for various paths), 4 higher schools (equivalent to college) and 2 faculties (Faculty of Organization and Information Technology and Geotechnical faculty) that are part of the University of Zagreb.

Notable people

This list contains some of the notable people who were either born in Varaždin, lived in the city for a longer time or were in some significant way related to it.

Ksaver Sandor Gjalski.
Vjekoslav Klaić.

International relations

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Twin towns — Sister cities

Varaždin is twinned with:

References

Bibliography

Notes

  1. ^ Croatian National Bank. Features of Kuna Banknotes: 5 kuna (1993 issue) & 5 kuna (2001 issue). – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Croatia : Slavonia : Varaždin

Varaždin is one of the most important tourist centers of northern Croatia. The old town fortification, the central part of the town, numerous museums, galleries and collections as well as the Varaždin cemetery, protected as a horticultural monument, represent the main tourist attractions of this Central European Baroque town and ancient Croatian capital. Varaždin is located on the right bank of the Drava river in north-western Croatia, 79 km north of Zagreb.

King Tomislav Square
King Tomislav Square
Stari grad - Old City
Stari grad - Old City

The first written reference to Varaždin dates back to 1181, when the nearby thermal springs Varaždinske Toplice were mentioned by King Bela III in a legal document.

In 1209 Varaždin was declared a free royal borough by the Croatian-Hungarian King Andrew II which allowed it to develop into the economic and military centre of northern Croatia. Due to the frequent Ottoman raids, the town was structured defensively around the old fortress, thus acquiring the shape of a typical medieval Wasserburg. As early as the 13th century the Knights Hospitaller (in Croatian Ivanovci) came to Varaždin, where they built a church and a monastery.

At the end of the 14th century the Varaždin fortress passed into the hands of the Earls of Celje. Over the following centuries Varaždin had several owners, the most influential being Beatrice Frankopan, Margrave Juraj of Brandenburg, who built the town hall; the last was Baron Ivan Ungnad, who reinforced the existing fortification. When at the end of the 16th century Count Toma Bakač Erdödy became its owner, assuming the hereditary position of Varaždin prefect (župan), the fortress remained in the ownership of his family until 1925.

In 1756, Ban Franjo Nadasdy chose Varaždin as his official residence turning Varaždin into the capital of all of Croatia. It hosted Croatian Sabor and the Royal Croatian Council founded by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.

Reformation and the counter-reformation left a lasting mark on Varaždin. With the arrival of the Jesuits, the school and the convent were founded. Furthermore, a number of churches and monasteries were built in the baroque style. As Varaždin was the seat of many Croatian noblemen in 1756 it became the administrative center of Croatia. However, when the great fire of 1776 destroyed most of the town, administrative institutions moved back to Zagreb.

By the 19th century Varaždin had been completely rebuilt and expanded. Crafts and commerce, and later the manufacture of silk and bricks flourished resulting in the creation of the town's theatre, music school, and fire department.

Get in

Due to its adventageous geographic location, the town is easily accessible to many neighbouring countries.

By bus

Buses are very frequent from Zagreb and take around 90 minutes - check the timetables or the Zagreb Bus Station's website [1] for times. Services into the neighbouring areas are quite frequent, some going over the border into Hungary. Buses also leave from other major Croatian cities almost daily for Varaždin. Online information for buses to Varaždin can be found at the Varaždin Transit website [2].

International departures (especially for Austria, Germany, Hungary and beyond) often make a stop in the town, and if there is a later bus that day, companies normally honour a 'break of journey' to visit the town for a few hours.

Note in Varaždin that the bus station is located on the western side of town, and the railway station is located on the eastern side, with a distance of around 2km between.

By car

Those travelling from Graz in Austria should proceed to Maribor taking the M3 road to Ptuj from which they can cross into Croatia.

Travellers coming from Nagykanisza or Budapest should use the A4 motorway once they enter Croatia which connects Varaždin with the Hungarian border.

Travellers from Zagreb can use A4 motorway which will take them to their destination in less than an hour.

By train

The most scenic and cheapest (but slowest) way to get to Varaždin from Zagreb is a local train (2h20) stopping at every station between the two cities. The price of a return ticket is 80kn (roughly 10 euros), with discounts for ISIC card holders. Recently, the speed of the journey dramatically improved with the addition of a faster (though more expensive) alternative of the high-speed tilting train connection operated by Hrvatske željeznice (Croatian railways).

Train services also operate north to Čakovec and Koprivnica (with further connections to Slavonia and Hungary), and there is a daily service to Split and to Budapest in Hungary.

As of May 2008, the train station in Varaždin was closed for renovations. Trains still ran, but timetable information and tickets needed to be purchased elsewhere.

Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters - Sermage Palace
Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters - Sermage Palace
  • Stari grad (Old city} is a beautiful medieval fortress. Although its construction began in the 14th century, it was greatly expanded in the 15th century when the rounded towers that typify the Gothic architecture of northern Croatia were added by the Earl of Celje. In 1925 it was turned into Gradski muzej (Town museum) which houses paintings, furniture, weapons and decorative objects important for the Varaždin's history. In 1994, it was the first Croatian museum nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award. (Tuesday's - Friday's: 10 AM - 5 PM; Saturday's and Sunday's: 10 AM - 1 PM; Closed on Monday's. +385 42 43-712, +385 42 212-918)
  • Galerija starih i novih majstora (Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters) is hosted in the rococo-style Sermage Palace built in 1759 and donated to the museum by the City of Čakovec in 1947. The gallery's holdings include over 3,000 pieces. Many old masters' works served as the basis of today's permanent collection displaying 61 paintings from the 15th to the end of the 19th century. The most valuable pieces are those by Dutch masters from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as the portraits by both local and naturalized masters: A. Moses, M. Brodnik and M. Stroy. The gallery also holds works by the famous Croatian contemporary masters: V. Bečić, Lj. Babić, R. Frangeš-Mihanović, as well as by a number of local painters and sculptors from Hrvatsko zagorje and Međimurje. Particularly valuable are the collections of Miljenko Stančić's and Ivo Režek's works (Tuesday's - Friday's: 10 AM - 5 PM; Saturday's and Sunday's: 10 AM - 1 PM; Closed on Monday's; Trg Miljenka Stancica 3; +385 42 214-172).
  • Entomološka zbirka (Entomological Collection) is located at the early Classicist Herzer Palace in the center of the town. The first collection was established by Franjo pl. Koščec (1882-1968), the local high-school teacher and entomologist. He donated his large natural scientific collections to the City of Varaždin in 1959. His work was, in the 1962-1980 period, continued by his daughter Ružica Koščec. Since 1903 some 50,000 specimens have been collected. The collection also includes enlarged models of certain insect species. Over the years, the holdings have been expanded by entomological material from the territory of northwestern Croatia. Its scientifically valuable collections, including several tens of thousand specimens, bring testimony of natural properties and environmental changes, thus constituting an inevitable source of information for the elaboration of the Croatian fauna inventory (+385 42 213-491).

Eat

Decent lunch can be found in Zlatne ruke (Golden hands). Best place for pizza and pasta is Angelus, accross the street from the city park. One can find delicious pizza in Rebus, about 10 km in Kučan (dirfections have to be added). Zvonimir restaurant provides great pizzas and there are many restaurants outside of Varazdin such as Cesljas on Varazdin breg. McDonalds is i Vrazova street. Next to the McDonalds there is Billy Kebab. The best kebap can be found in Zagtrebačka, 50 m south of the post office, and Gajeva street (same oweners). One can get pizza slices 30m from McDonalds.

Drink

There are numerous caffe's in the centre. Bars with R&B music are Soho, Tiki Bar, Morgans Bar, Mea Culpa, Hard Rock Caffe. Main stream alternatives can have a good time in Lavra. One can enjoy a good beer and rock music in Vienna or Caffe Theatre (formerly known az Rogoz), and Kult. Vienna is across the road from the town theatre, Caffe Theathre is in the theather, and Kult is 200 m from the first two bars.

  • Hotel Turist (Aleja kralja Zvonimira 1, 42000 Varaždin; telephone +385 42 395-395) - a 3-star hotel with 46 single rooms, 58 twin rooms and 5 suites of total capacity of some 100 beds. The suites and the rooms are equipped with a bath, TV/SAT, telephone and a mini bar.
  • Hotel La'Gus (Varaždinski breg bb, 42204 Turčin; telephone +385 42 652-940)- a 3-star hotel located outside Varaždin. It has 26 double rooms and 2 suites. There is a mini bar, a satellite TV set and a direct telephone line in every room, plus a small kitchen in all the suites.
  • Motel Garestin (Zagrebačka 34, 42000 Varaždin; telephone +385 42 214-314) - a new establishment within a short walk from the bus station.
  • Pension Maltar (Prešernova 1, 42000 Varaždin; telephone +385 42 311-100) has 10 rooms (with 22 beds) so booking in advance is recommended. The website is in Croatian.
  • Varaždinske Toplice [3] (Varaždin Thermal Spa) is located 12km to the south-east of Varaždin. The famous spa renowned for its warm sulphuric water were established by the Romans in the 1st century AD. These days it is a destination with a range of modern indoor and outdoor pools. Varaždinske Toplice can be reached by bus from Varažidn. The ride takes around half an hour.
  • Trakoscan Castle is a stunning 12th-century fortified castle and one of the few from that period that are still standing in Europe. A major reconstruction was undertaken in early 19th century giving it a distinct neo-gothic look. It can be reached by bus from Varaždin (the bus fare costs 25KN).
  • Nagykanizsa in Hungary and Graz in Austria are also just a short distance away.
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