Varaždīn (Croatian pronunciation: [ʋâraʒdiːn] or
[ʋarǎʒdin]; also known by other alternative names) is a city in
Northern Croatia, 81 km (50 mi) north of Zagreb. The total
population is 46,946, with 38,839 on 34.22 km2
(13.21 sq mi) of the city settlement itself (2011). The
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 is mainly known for its baroque buildings,
music, textile, food and IT industry.
4 Monuments and sights
4.1 The Old Town (Stari Grad)
4.2 Churches and monasteries
5.1 Road access
5.2 Railway access
11 Notable people
12 International relations
12.1 Twin towns — Sister cities
13 See also
16 External links
In Hungarian the town is known as Varasd, in Latin as Varasdinum, and
in German as Warasdin. The name
Varaždin traces its origin in the
word varoš, a Hungarian loanword.
The total population of the city is 46,946 and it includes the
Črnec Biškupečki, population 696
Donji Kućan, population 716
Gojanec, population 620
Gornji Kućan, population 1,139
Hrašćica, population 1,283
Jalkovec, population 1,309
Kućan Marof, population 1,388
Poljana Biškupečka, population 452
Varaždin, population 38,839
Zbelava, population 504
The total area is 59.45 km2 (22.95 sq mi) (2001).
Varaždin in 1668.
Varaždin Town Hall
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 Ottoman 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
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
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
Varaždin on a 3 kr stamp 1881 issue
In 1756, the Ban Francis Nadásdy chose
Varaždin as his official
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 Jesuit house were founded, and churches and other
buildings 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.
Varaždin was the seat of the
Varaždin County of the Kingdom of
Slavonia within the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, ruled by the
Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary after the compromise of 1867. The Hungarian stamp,
issued in 1881 shows both names.
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
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,
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.
Monuments and sights
Varaždin represents the best preserved and richest urban complex in
Varaždin's Croatian National Theater.
Church of Saint Nicholas.
The Old Town (fortress) is an 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
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,
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
1971, 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,
officers patrol on bicycles in the warmer months.
The Old Town (Stari Grad)
The Old Town keep is one of the biggest monuments in the city of
Varaždin and one of its biggest tourist attractions. It is located in
the north-western section of the city core. Today the keep houses the
Varaždin City Museum.
The keep is first mentioned in the 12th century and it is believed to
be the center of
Varaždin county life. The keep underwent numerous
ownership changes and reconstructions over the centuries.
The Old Town was featured on the now defunct 5 Kuna bill.
Interestingly, on the bill the picture of the keep is a mirror image
of the actual appearance of the keep.
Churches and monasteries
Varaždin Castle in the Old Town.
Parish Church of St. Nicholas
Jesuit College and the Church of St. Mary, today the Cathedral
Franciscan Friary and the Church of St. John the Baptist
Ursuline Convent 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
Palace of the
Palace of the
The cemetery date back to 1773 and it was long time an ordinary place
until 1905, when Herman Haller had an idea to make it more beautiful
and park-like with large trees and alleys for citizens to stroll
through. The reconstruction of the cemetery was done between 1905 and
1947 when it got the form for which it later became one of the most
beautiful cemeteries in Europe. It is an outstanding example of
landscape architecture and protected cultural and natural park.
International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival VAFI, since
THE OLD TOWN (STARI GRAD) Museum houses the Cultural and Historic
Collection. The Old Town Museum has been a part of the
Museum organization since 1925. Today is features: over 400 pieces
from the glass, ceramics and clocks collection, 10 rooms furnished in
chronological period style (renaissance, baroque, rococo, Empire,
Biedermeier, historicism and art deco), a chapel and sacristy, and 2
rooms dedicated to two prominent men from Varaždin, Vatroslav Jagić
and Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski.
THE HERZER PALACE houses the
Entomological Collection focusing on The
World of Insects. There are over 4500 exhibits which clearly show the
biology of bugs through several topics:In the forest, Near the forest
and on the meadow, In the water and near the water, At night and
THE SERMAGE PALACE houses the Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters
Art Gallery. It is home to over 5300 works of art separated in 10
collections with works ranging from the 15th to the 20th century.
Varaždin is connected with A4 highway that runs between Zagreb
Čakovec / Hungarian border (just north).
Zagreb are also connected with the southern part of the state road D3
which serves as an alternative to tolled highway.
Varaždin is also
directly connected to Slovenian border (north-east) and to
Slavonia counties (west) with the state road D2, to Krapina-Zagorje
County (east) with the state roads D35 and D24 (road that connects to
D3 in Novi Marof, just south from Varaždin) and to Međimurje County
(just north) with the northern part of the state road D3. The town is
fully encircled by the bypass which represents the parts of D2 and D3
roads. The bypass was constructed gradually between mid-1970s and
mid-2000s (oldest, north part was built between 1978 and 1979, east
part was built during the second half of 1980s and the newest,
south-west part was completed in 2007).
Varaždin is also hub for bus transportation enterprise "AP Varaždin"
which offers regional, distant (multi-regional) and occasional
passenger bus transportation service between
Varaždin and large
number of towns across the country but also offers international
Varaždin's railway station is one of the largest and most important
train stations in northern Croatia. It represents the intersection of
three Croatian railway corridors that are used for both passenger and
freight traffic. All of the rail corridors that start or end in
Varaždin are single-tracked and non-electrified. It is the terminus
for one local line (L201 connecting Golubovec), one regional line
Dalj via Koprivnica,
Virovitica and Osijek) and also
lies on R201 line through which trains directly connect the town with
Zagreb and most of
Krapina-Zagorje County (on south) and with
Međimurje County (just north). Although the largest number of direct
passenger trains from
Varaždin run via the R201 corridor
(through the north-western part of the country), an alternative way to
travel by train between those two cities is via the R202 line between
Varaždin and Koprivnica, and the M201 line between
Zagreb (through the north-eastern part of the country). Although this
route requires transfer in
Koprivnica in some cases, journeys by this
route may take shorter travel time.
Climate data for Varaždin
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source: Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service
Streets of Varaždin.
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.
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
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.
Varaždin is a popular destination for the summer 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 tourist
season is marked by two annual festivals. The annual ŠpancirFest
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 also hosts the
Baroque Evenings festival, first
held in 1971. The festival honours baroque music and culture, both of
which hold 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 various popular artists as
Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, The Animals, Manic Street Preachers,
Solomon Burke and many others.
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
Varaždin Arena, located near the
Drava River, was one
of the hosts of the
2009 World Men's Handball Championship
2009 World Men's Handball Championship held in
Varaždin ŠN, NK Varteks
Handball: RK Varteks Di Caprio, RK Koka
Basketball: KK Vindi
Volleyball: OK Varaždin
Tennis: TK Varaždin
Hockey: "KHL Varaždin"
Badminton: "BK KAJ"
Bicycling: "BD Sloga"
Track and Field: "TK Marathon 95"
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.
Ksaver Šandor Gjalski.
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.
Ivan Belostenec - linguist, lexicographer
Slavko Brankov - actor
Mirko Breyer - Croatian writer, bibliographer, antiquarian,
and one of the notable alleged and false victims of the Stara
Gradiška concentration camp
Baltazar Dvorničić Napuly - Catholic cleric and lawyer
Juraj Habdelić - writer
Hermann II of Celje
Hermann II of Celje - count
Branko Ivanković - football manager
Vatroslav Jagić - philologist, linguist
Marija Jurić Zagorka
Marija Jurić Zagorka - journalist, dramatist and novelist
Ljubomir Kerekeš - actor
Vjekoslav Klaić - writer and historian
Ferdinand Konščak - explorer, cartographer
Željko Krajan - tennis coach and former player
Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski
Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski - historian, politician, writer
Maria Leitner, writer, journalist
Samuel Louis Mosinger - prominent businessman, merchant and member of
Varaždin charity society"
Miljenko Mumlek - footballer
Ivan Padovec - guitar virtuoso
Franjo Rački - historian, politician and writer
Vjekoslav Rosenberg-Ružić - composer, conductor and music educator
Silvester Sabolčki - footballer
Tadija Smičiklas - historian and politician
Ignacije Szentmartony - theologian
Ksaver Šandor Gjalski
Ksaver Šandor Gjalski - writer and civil servant
Karolina Šprem - tennis player
Krsto Ungnad - baron/mayor
Željko Vincek - track and field athlete
Davor Vugrinec - footballer
Johann Baptist Wanhal
Johann Baptist Wanhal - composer
Robert Herjavec - businessman, investor, and television personality
Radoslav Rogina - cyclist
Kristijan Đurasek - cyclist
Franjo Košćec - ethimologist, founder of "Ethimological Collection"
(Bugs museum - the largest in Europe), science professor
Marko Rog - footballer
Branka Njegovec - professional physique athlete
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Croatia
Twin towns — Sister cities
Varaždin is twinned with:
Bad Radkersburg, Styria, Austria
Auxerre, Yonne, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France
Ravensburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Montale, Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy
Roman Catholic Diocese of Varaždin
Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Croatia
Varaždin County (former)
^ a b c "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census:
Varaždin". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011.
Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
^ "Varazdin: Croatia's 'little Vienna'". Telegraph.
^ a b "
Varaždin County". ICPR3.
^ "Hrvatski jezični portal - Varaždin". HJP.
^ a b c "
Varaždin history". varazdin.hr.
^ Croatian National Bank. Features of Kuna Banknotes Archived 6 May
2009 at the Wayback Machine.: 5 kuna Archived 6 May 2009 at the
Wayback Machine. (1993 issue) & 5 kuna Archived 6 May 2009 at the
Wayback Machine. (2001 issue). – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.
Varaždin Civil Guard 'Purgari'". Tourism-Varaždin.
Varaždin Climate Normals" (PDF). Croatian Meteorological and
Hydrological Service. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
^ "Mjesečne vrijednosti za
Varaždin u razdoblju1949−2014" (in
Croatian). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved
3 December 2015.
^ "Radar festival 2008: Bob Dylan, Manic Street Preachers, Majke,
Drago Mlinarec & Vlado Kreslin" (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 April
^ "Radar festival: Santana, Solomon Burke, Eric Burdon and The
Animals, Joe Jackson, Zoran Predin & Lačni Franz, Voodoo Lizards,
Tripdavon" (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 April 2014.
^ "Belostenec, Ivan" (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute of
Lexicography. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
^ Ivo Goldstein (2005, pp. 92, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176)
^ Ivo Goldstein (2001, pp. 264, 265)
^ "Jasenovački popis: Manipulacije s poznatima i slavnima" (in
Croatian). Retrieved 2016-04-30.
^ "Dvorničić Napuly, Baltazar" (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža
Institute of Lexicography. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
^ "Habdelić, Juraj" (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute of
Lexicography. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
^ "Međunarodna suradnja Grada Pule". Grad
Pula (in Croatian and
Italian). Archived from the original on 2012-05-05. Retrieved
Cresswell, Peterjon; Atkins, Ismay; Dunn, Lily (10 July 2006). Time
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Group Ltd & Ebury Publishing,
Random House Ltd. 20 Vauxhall Bridge
Road, London SV1V 2SA. ISBN 978-1-904978-70-1. Retrieved 10 March
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Varaždin.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Varaždin.
(in Croatian) varazdin.hr – Official website
(in English) varazdin.hr/en – Official website
Varaždin City Museum - official website
eVarazdin.hr - daily city e-newspapers
Varaždin Online — News from Varaždin, up-dated daily
Varaždin Trg Kralja Tomislava Live
County seats of Croatia
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Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar
Cities and towns of
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