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The entrances to the shops in the city centre are decorated with ‘cimeri’, replicas of the symbols of the ancient Varaždin guilds. The Iron Man, the Mermaid, the Turtle and the Horseshoe are set in authentic locations, while the rest are carefully guarded by the City Museum. Get ready to encounter a series of artistic interventions when roaming the streets of the city centre. The installations called Varaždinsko zelje (Varaždin cabbage) and Varaždinski klipič (Varaždin breadstick) by the market, highlight the connection between Varaždin and the traditional gastronomy of continental Croatia. If you need to rest you legs and soul, find artistically designed resting spots such as Oblutak (Pebblestone) on Korzo, Toka Drave (The Drava River flow) in Padovčeva Street or Gnijezda (Nests) in the city park. The interactive bench on Franciscan Square is a unique installation that combines musical tradition and modern technology. Try it out and produce a perpetual sound and enticing light effects.
The urban spirit of Varaždin was built, developed and created by craftsmen and merchants. This civic foundation of the city is especially vividly symbolized by ‘cimeri’. These are in fact historical signboards, figures that were located above the entrance to the artisan shop indicating its activity or were a recognizable symbol of the merchant. ‘Cimeri’ are an integral part of Varaždin’s identity, and today they are restored and overlook various business premises in the historic core:
There are many romantic places across Europe where you can “lock your love” with a padlock that symbolises everlasting love – but only in Varaždin do these locks become part of a piece of art. Look for the Crinoline of Love in the historic core, bring a padlock and take part in the creation of this romantic installation. Lock your love in Varaždin and give it a new meaning.
There are as many as three sculptures by Gregory of Nin in Croatia by Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, and the first, original bronze statue of the bishop is located in Varaždin. Legend has it that one should touch his big toe and make a wish. The people of Varaždin have been polishing it for decades and they swear that many of their wishes have come true. Is it a legend or superstition? Try for yourself!
No one really knows the origins of this legend, but they say Varaždin is a city where angels sleep. Look up when roaming the streets – chubby, smiling, and sometimes even naughty angels are hidden in the windows, under the roofs and in an almost secret passage in the heart of Varaždin. This magical passage known as ‘Anđelinjak’ (Angels’ Place) is hidden in Franciscan Square. Angels bring happiness and joy so make sure you at least take a peek inside the unique Museum of Angels.
In this first Croatian city elevated to the status of a royal free city, proud of its civil liberties for more than 800 years, everyone can, at least for a moment, feel like a king or queen. Look for the royal throne in Uršulinska Street, take a seat, prepare your mobile phones and cameras, put on a smile and show yourself to the world in the royal light. And don’t forget – if you don’t post it on social media, it never happened!
HOMAGE TO GASTRONOMY – VARAŽDIN CABBAGE AND VARAŽDIN BREADSTICK ‘KLIPIČ’
For many, food is an important part of a community’s identity. We discover cities and destinations with our eyes, but we remember them with our palates. Varaždin gastronomy is closely connected with the way of life of the city, its history, climate, but also culture, so it is quite logical that the apparent gap between gastronomy and art in Varaždin is bypassed.
Varaždinsko zelje and Varaždinski klipič are cute art installations that constantly remind both visitors and locals of the flavors that shape Varaždin identity.
If you need to rest you legs and soul, find artistically designed resting spots in the historic core such as Oblutak (Pebblestone) on Korzo, Tok Drave (The Drava River flow) in Padovčeva Street or Gnijezda (Nests) in the city park. The interactive bench on Franciscan Square is a unique installation that combines musical tradition and modern technology. As you take a seat, try it out and produce a perpetual sound and enticing light effects.