Old Town Varazdin


Perhaps the most important and certainly one of the most magnificent historical sites in Varazhdin is its Old Town. First mentioned in the records dating back to the 12th century, it is assumed it initially served as the seat of the Varazhdin prefects. Towards the end of the 14th century the comital family Celjski acquired ownership of the fort and renovated it in the Gothic style.

This was only the beginning of a series of reconstructions the fort would undergo in the following centuries that would turn it from a Gothic fort into a medieval one, and further into a Wasserburg, a castle-fort which, in this case, was surrounded by an embankment and water-filled ditches.

The oldest preserved parts from the fort’s Gothic era are the two Gothic towers, later incorporated into the Wasserburg structure. One of the most interesting stylistic features from this period is a beautiful pointed arch located inside the southern Gothic tower. The other of the two towers is best known for the arched stone reliefs that are regarded as one of the the best examples of Gothic-styled plastic in Croatia. The renovations that transformed the already stunning Gothic fort into a grand medieval fortress took place in the 16th century, starting around 1544, and were motivated by the Ottoman threat. The fort’s owner at the time was the count Ivan Ungnad who brought in the famous master builder Domenico dell'Allio to lead the construction and supervise a team of Italian builders. Care was taken to make the fort suitable for long-term living, for which purpose two large courtyards with open hallways and arches were added to it. An interesting feature from this period is a double window framed with side windows built into the entrance tower, designed by dell’Allio himself and decorated with the crest of the count Ungnad. Because of its specific style, the window is known as the “Dell’Allio window”.

Perhaps the best known part of the fort from the Renaissance era is a tower with a chain bridge, also know as the Watchtower, a part of the fort’s outer defence line. While it served as a residence for the citadel guard and their captain, it’s drawbridge had a symbolic function of separating the fort, a part of aristocracy estates, from the free town of Varazhdin.

Further renovations during the 17th century, when the fort was under the ownership of the Erdody family, were done in the Baroque style but were small-scaled. The final reconstructions took place in 1989 when the fort assumed the look it has today. In 1925, the ownership passed onto the town of Varazhdin and has been the seat of the city museum ever since.

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№24 of 24 places in Varazdin
№2155 of 2178 places in Croatia
№5 of 5 City parks and squares in Varazdin
№112 of 112 City parks and squares in Croatia



Place Location

Šetalište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera 1, 42000, Varaždin


(7 review)
Евгении Анатольевич
very good!!!
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