Palaces

Varaždin’s palaces are magnificent and luxurious buildings bearing the names of their former owners (or builders) from the ranks of prominent noble families. Because of them, Varaždin is known as a Baroque city. Their facades have become synonymous with the elegance and playfulness of Varaždin’s historic core and inspire us to explore with our eyes and take photos. Many of them are located in the centre of Varaždin, and together they tell a remarkable story about the former glory and wealth of Varaždin, which is also proud of its status as the “former capital of Croatia”.

Drašković Palace

Since 1616, the Drašković family has had a residence at the site of what today is the Drašković Palace, dominating the central Varaždin square. The current Palace was constructed in the second half of the 18th century and gained historical importance when the Croatian ‘Ban’, Count Franjo Nadasdy, came to live in the palace in 1756 making Varaždin the capital of the Kingdom as part of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Croatian Parliament (‘Sabor’) convened in the Palace and it became the seat of the Royal Regional Council until the fire of 1767.


Its original appearance has been restored, and the large gold plated Drašković family coat of arms is placed on its stone portal.

Oršić Palace

From the minutes of the City magistrate in 1804, it was evident that Count Erdödy wanted to build a Palace in its current location. It is assumed that the building was completed in 1805, confirmed by its early classicist features, especially prominent on its beautiful stone portal, unlike the Baroque and Rococo that predominate among similar buildings in the historic core.


For those wondering why the palace, built by Count Erdödy, is not named after that family. The answer is simple. At the end of the 19th century it became the property of Countess Paula Oršić, and so the locals still call it the ‘Oršić Palace’.

Patačić Palace

The most valuable Rococo Palace in Varaždin, and among the most famous in Croatia, was built in 1764 and was left relatively unscathed by the Great Fire of 1776. During the 18th century it was home to the Patačić family, and the hub of Varaždin’s cultural and social life. Following the financial collapse of the Patačić family, the Palace had many owners and was used for a variety of purposes. It owes its current appearance to a major makeover in the late 1990’s.


Above the stone portal is “God’s Eye”, a symbol of the Counter-Reformation, a dominant movement at the time of construction. The Palace boasts a beautiful bay window overlooking the Gundulić Street and the King Tomislav and Franciscan Squares. In the mansion on the street known as ‘Dućanska’ Street (Shopping Street), there is a metal sign of the ‘turtle’ that once marked the grocer’s shop. The original sign is in the City Museum. These signs were a kind of historical billboard that marked the activity of the craft, eqaully they could also represent a symbol, or as we would call it today, the logo of a merchant.


During a renovation, stunning wall paintings were found depicting scenes from the late 18th century, which were once used as decoration. In the courtyard of the Palace very decorative wooden beams can be seen, evocations of Varaždin in the mid-18th century.

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Prassinsky – Sermage Palace

The Sermage Palace occupies a central position in probably the most attractive Varaždin square, Miljenko Stančić Square. Its playful Rococo exterior is the result of a refurbishment in 1759, while it received its foreign name from the palace that was transferred from the Prassinzky family to the family of the French nobility Sermage through marriage contracts. Its harmonious wrought-iron balcony is one of the most prominent stylistic features of the Palace. The large, originally preserved courtyard, during the summer months becomes one of the centres of Varaždin’s cultural life by hosting theatre and dance performances, various gastronomic events and concerts.


Culture and the Sermage Palace have been inextricably linked since 1947, when it housed a permanent exhibition of the Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters of the Varaždin City Museum. Amongst the most valuable paintings are a 15th 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.

Herzer Palace

There is a thin line between the end of Varaždin Baroque and the beginning of Classicism. Those few years make an enormous difference and open the doors to a new era in terms of style. The Herzer Palace, although built in 1791, shortly after the most famous Baroque buildings in Varaždin, is neither Baroque nor Rococo, but a classicist building. Another distinction from alternative large palaces of the historic core is that it was not built by a noble house, but rather the bourgeoisie family Herzer, who made their wealth through postal enterprises. The Herzers, as was quite common at the time, bought into the nobility, as evidenced by their carved stone coat of arms placed over the main entrance.


The Palace has been completely restored and reconstructed, and now houses the Entomology Collection of the Varaždin City Museum, which is the life’s work of local Grammar School teacher Franjo Koščec. It forms a permanent collection called ‘The World of Insects’. In the 1990’s, the collectionhad a face-lift and was upadated and modernized recognized by experts and visitors alike as one of the most charmful collections of its kind in Europe.

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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.

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Erdödy Palace

The magnificent and large Erdödy Palace was constructed in the middle of the 18th century outside the then City walls, which was not a popular decision among noble families at the time. Fortunately, the Erdödy family decided to take this step, giving today’s Varaždin an impressive view on the western edge of the City centre. Across the Palace is the spacious Capuchin Square. The Palace was built in Baroque style, yet in contrast, its stone entrance is decorated in Rococo style. During the mid-19th century, it was redesigned for the needs of the so-called Capuchin Barracks by the Varaždin master Franciscus Arnold. Today, after a complete renovation and reconstruction, it houses the famous Varaždin Music School, which finally found a worthy home in the Erdödy Palace.

Patačić – Puttar Palace

There are several interesting facts regarding the construction of this beautiful palace. First of all, at the time of its construction around 1745, it was located outside the City walls, in the immediate vicinity of what were the southern gates of the City. Three separate houses were merged into a single-storey corner house with a corner bay window, and as it was built in stages, its impressive exterior is stylistically diverse. 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.

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Varaždin County Palace

Varaždin County Palace is one of the most impressive buildings in the historic centre located on Franciscan Square. Built in the Rococo style in 1768, only to be destroyed in the fire of 1776, some eight years later, losing much of its original stylistic features during renovation. A great restoration and conservation project that began in 2001 has returned the Palace to its original glory, and now once again houses the Varaždin County Headquarters. A coat of arms on the gable of the building was in 1763 officially designated by the Empress Maria Therese as the coat of arms of Varaždin County. Take a walk through the large covered hallway, and discover a beautiful enclosed courtyard, which hosts various events.

Lisak Tower

The free royal city of Varaždin had embankments and moats, yet unlike the embankments of the Old Town, those surrounding the city were destroyed (mainly in the early 19th century). The only remaining part of original City walls in exsistence are the North or ‘Viennese’ City gates, built in the 16th century and today better known as the Lisak Tower. Lisak was a merchant and the owner of the tower in the first half of the 20th century.


The Lisak tower is located in the Ban Jelačić Square, more commonly known as the “Banus plac” which was once a very spacious and wonderfully decorated square. From this very spot in 1848, ‘Ban’ Josip Jelačić mobilised 50,000 troops over the River Drava, to wage war with the Hungarians.

strelica-fotografija-lijevo
Zakmardy Palace

This magnificent building came to light in 1672 by Varaždin masters Jakob and Blaž Jančić, as a seminary for students of the Varaždin Jesuit Gymnasium. The palace is named after Ivan Zakmardy, the then “pre-registrar of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia” as it was built at his expense.

strelica-fotografija-lijevo
Nitzky Palace

This late Baroque Palace, which overlooks Ban Jelačić Square, was created in the late 18th century owned by the wealthy mercantile Nitzky Family.

Tomassi Palace

This palace had several owners, changing hands over time. Baron Stjepan Josip Patačić first sold this house to the Councillor Juraj Petković, who went on to become President of the ‘Banski Stol’ (‘Tabula Banalis’). The Petković family later sold it to the Tomassi family who owned a drapery in Varaždin, and one of the later modifications transformed it into Varaždin’s very first cinema.

strelica-fotografija-desno
Zagreb Kaptol Palace

This building belongs to the Zagreb ‘Kaptol’ dating back from the second half of the 18th century – classed as one of the best architectural achievements of the time. It is a single-storey Palace with an extraordinary carved stone doorway featuring a decorated façade. Look up and discover the ceiling of hall on the first floor boasting beautiful stucco decorations.

strelica-fotografija-desno

Palaces

Varaždin’s palaces are magnificent and luxurious buildings bearing the names of their former owners (or builders) from the ranks of prominent noble families. Because of them, Varaždin is known as a Baroque city. Their facades have become synonymous with the elegance and playfulness of Varaždin’s historic core and inspire us to explore with our eyes and take photos. Many of them are located in the centre of Varaždin, and together they tell a remarkable story about the former glory and wealth of Varaždin, which is also proud of its status as the “former capital of Croatia”.

Drašković Palace

Since 1616, the Drašković family has had a residence at the site of what today is the Drašković Palace, dominating the central Varaždin square. The current Palace was constructed in the second half of the 18th century and gained historical importance when the Croatian ‘Ban’, Count Franjo Nadasdy, came to live in the palace in 1756 making Varaždin the capital of the Kingdom as part of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Croatian Parliament (‘Sabor’) convened in the Palace and it became the seat of the Royal Regional Council until the fire of 1767.


Its original appearance has been restored, and the large gold plated Drašković family coat of arms is placed on its stone portal.

Oršić Palace

From the minutes of the City magistrate in 1804, it was evident that Count Erdödy wanted to build a Palace in its current location. It is assumed that the building was completed in 1805, confirmed by its early classicist features, especially prominent on its beautiful stone portal, unlike the Baroque and Rococo that predominate among similar buildings in the historic core.


For those wondering why the palace, built by Count Erdödy, is not named after that family. The answer is simple. At the end of the 19th century it became the property of Countess Paula Oršić, and so the locals still call it the ‘Oršić Palace’.

Patačić Palace

The most valuable Rococo Palace in Varaždin, and among the most famous in Croatia, was built in 1764 and was left relatively unscathed by the Great Fire of 1776. During the 18th century it was home to the Patačić family, and the hub of Varaždin’s cultural and social life. Following the financial collapse of the Patačić family, the Palace had many owners and was used for a variety of purposes. It owes its current appearance to a major makeover in the late 1990’s.
Above the stone portal is “God’s Eye”, a symbol of the Counter-Reformation, a dominant movement at the time of construction. The Palace boasts a beautiful bay window overlooking the Gundulić Street and the King Tomislav and Franciscan Squares. In the mansion on the street known as ‘Dućanska’ Street (Shopping Street), there is a metal sign of the ‘turtle’ that once marked the grocer’s shop. The original sign is in the City Museum. These signs were a kind of historical billboard that marked the activity of the craft, eqaully they could also represent a symbol, or as we would call it today, the logo of a merchant.
During a renovation, stunning wall paintings were found depicting scenes from the late 18th century, which were once used as decoration. In the courtyard of the Palace very decorative wooden beams can be seen, evocations of Varaždin in the mid-18th century.

Previous
Next
Prassinsky – Sermage Palace

The Sermage Palace occupies a central position in probably the most attractive Varaždin square, Miljenko Stančić Square. Its playful Rococo exterior is the result of a refurbishment in 1759, while it received its foreign name from the palace that was transferred from the Prassinzky family to the family of the French nobility Sermage through marriage contracts. Its harmonious wrought-iron balcony is one of the most prominent stylistic features of the Palace. The large, originally preserved courtyard, during the summer months becomes one of the centres of Varaždin’s cultural life by hosting theatre and dance performances, various gastronomic events and concerts.
Culture and the Sermage Palace have been inextricably linked since 1947, when it housed a permanent exhibition of the Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters of the Varaždin City Museum. Amongst the most valuable paintings are a 15th 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.

Herzer Palace

There is a thin line between the end of Varaždin Baroque and the beginning of Classicism. Those few years make an enormous difference and open the doors to a new era in terms of style. The Herzer Palace, although built in 1791, shortly after the most famous Baroque buildings in Varaždin, is neither Baroque nor Rococo, but a classicist building. Another distinction from alternative large palaces of the historic core is that it was not built by a noble house, but rather the bourgeoisie family Herzer, who made their wealth through postal enterprises. The Herzers, as was quite common at the time, bought into the nobility, as evidenced by their carved stone coat of arms placed over the main entrance.
The Palace has been completely restored and reconstructed, and now houses the Entomology Collection of the Varaždin City Museum, which is the life’s work of local Grammar School teacher Franjo Koščec. It forms a permanent collection called ‘The World of Insects’. In the 1990’s, the collectionhada face-lift and was upadated and modernized recognized by experts and visitors alike as one of the most charmful collections of its kind in Europe.

Previous
Next
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.

There is more…
Previous
Next
Erdödy Palace

The magnificent and large Erdödy Palace was constructed in the middle of the 18th century outside the then City walls, which was not a popular decision among noble families at the time. Fortunately, the Erdödy family decided to take this step, giving today’s Varaždin an impressive view on the western edge of the City centre. Across the Palace is the spacious Capuchin Square. The Palace was built in Baroque style, yet in contrast, its stone entrance is decorated in Rococo style. During the mid-19th century, it was redesigned for the needs of the so-called Capuchin Barracks by the Varaždin master Franciscus Arnold. Today, after a complete renovation and reconstruction, it houses the famous Varaždin Music School, which finally found a worthy home in the Erdödy Palace.

Patačić – Puttar Palace

There are several interesting facts regarding the construction of this beautiful palace. First of all, at the time of its construction around 1745, it was located outside the City walls, in the immediate vicinity of what were the southern gates of the City. Three separate houses were merged into a single-storey corner house with a corner bay window, and as it was built in stages, its impressive exterior is stylistically diverse. 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.

Previous
Next
Varaždin County Palace

Varaždin County Palace is one of the most impressive buildings in the historic centre located on Franciscan Square. Built in the Rococo style in 1768, only to be destroyed in the fire of 1776, some eight years later, losing much of its original stylistic features during renovation. A great restoration and conservation project that began in 2001 has returned the Palace to its original glory, and now once again houses the Varaždin County Headquarters. A coat of arms on the gable of the building was in 1763 officially designated by the Empress Maria Therese as the coat of arms of Varaždin County. Take a walk through the large covered hallway, and discover a beautiful enclosed courtyard, which hosts various events.

Lisak Tower

The free royal city of Varaždin had embankments and moats, yet unlike the embankments of the Old Town, those surrounding the city were destroyed (mainly in the early 19th century). The only remaining part of original City walls in exsistence are the North or ‘Viennese’ City gates, built in the 16th century and today better known as the Lisak Tower. Lisak was a merchant and the owner of the tower in the first half of the 20th century.
The Lisak tower is located in the Ban Jelačić Square, more commonly known as the “Banus plac” which was once a very spacious and wonderfully decorated square. From this very spot in 1848, ‘Ban’ Josip Jelačić mobilised 50,000 troops over the River Drava, to wage war with the Hungarians.

Zakmardy Palace

This magnificent building came to light in 1672 by Varaždin masters Jakob and Blaž Jančić, as a seminary for students of the Varaždin Jesuit Gymnasium. The palace is named after Ivan Zakmardy, the then “pre-registrar of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia” as it was built at his expense.

Nitzky Palace

This late Baroque Palace, which overlooks Ban Jelačić Square, was created in the late 18th century owned by the wealthy mercantile Nitzky Family.

Tomassi Palace

This palace had several owners, changing hands over time. Baron Stjepan Josip Patačić first sold this house to the Councillor Juraj Petković, who went on to become President of the ‘Banski Stol’ (‘Tabula Banalis’). The Petković family later sold it to the Tomassi family who owned a drapery in Varaždin, and one of the later modifications transformed it into Varaždin’s very first cinema.

Zagreb Kaptol Palace

This building belongs to the Zagreb ‘Kaptol’ dating back from the second half of the 18th century – classed as one of the best architectural achievements of the time. It is a single-storey Palace with an extraordinary carved stone doorway featuring a decorated façade. Look up and discover the ceiling of hall on the first floor boasting beautiful stucco decorations.

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