Last updated

Grad Varaždin
City of Varaždin
Varazdin - stari grad.jpg
Korzo Varazdin.jpg
Sport Hall Varazdin.jpg
Top: Varaždin Castle; Center left: Korzo; Center right: Croatian National Theater; Bottom: Varaždin Arena
Flag of Varazdin.svg
Varazdin (grb).gif
Coat of arms
Probitati et bonis artibus
(English: For Honesty and Good Virtues)
Croatia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Varaždin within Croatia
Coordinates: 46°18′N16°20′E / 46.300°N 16.333°E / 46.300; 16.333 Coordinates: 46°18′N16°20′E / 46.300°N 16.333°E / 46.300; 16.333
Country Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
County Flag of Varazdin County.png Varaždin
  Mayor Ivan Čehok (Ind.)
  City Council
   City 59.45 km2 (22.95 sq mi)
34.22 km2 (13.21 sq mi)
173 m (568 ft)
 (2011) [1]
   City 46,946
  Density790/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
  Urban density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
HR-42 000
Area code(s) +385 42
Vehicle registration
Patron saints St. Nicholas

Varaždin (Croatian pronunciation:  [ʋâraʒdiːn] or [ʋarǎʒdin] ; Hungarian : Varasd, 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). [1] The centre of Varaždin County is located near the Drava River, at 46°18′43″N16°21′40″E / 46.312°N 16.361°E / 46.312; 16.361 . It is mainly known for its baroque buildings, music, [2] textile, food and IT industry. [3]



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 meaning city. [4]


The total population of the city is 46,946 and it includes the following settlements: [1]

The total area is 59.45 km2 (22.95 sq mi) (2001).


Varazdin in 1668. Varasdin.jpg
Varaždin in 1668.
Varazdin Town Hall Varazdin town hall.jpg
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. [5]

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. [5]

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 Thomas Erdődy became its owner, assuming the hereditary position of Varaždin prefects (župan), and the fortress remained in the ownership of the Erdődy family until 1925.

Varasd and Varazdin on a 3 kr stamp 1881 issue Varasd 3kr issue1881 Varazdin.jpg
Varasd and Varaždin on a 3 kr stamp 1881 issue

In 1756, the Ban Ferenc Nádasdy 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 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. [5]

Varaždin was the seat of the Varaždin County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia within the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, ruled by the 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 were founded.

In the 20th century Varaždin developed into the industrial centre of Northwestern Croatia. The textile manufacturer Tivar was founded in 1918. On 12 July 1941, Varaždin was declared Judenfrei by the Ustaše, becoming the first city in Croatia to earn this distinction. [6] 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.

Monuments and sights

Varaždin represents the best preserved and richest urban complex in continental Croatia.

Varazdin's Croatian National Theater. HNK Varazdin.jpg
Varaždin's Croatian National Theater.
Church of Saint Nicholas. Zupnacrkva.JPG
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 2001. [7]

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 Viennese architects Herman Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner.

A baroque music festival has been held annually in Varaždin since 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, Varaždin police officers patrol on bicycles in the warmer months. [8]

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. On the bill, the picture is a mirror image of the actual appearance of the keep.

Churches and monasteries

Varazdin Castle in the Old Town. Stari grad Varazdin.JPG
Varaždin Castle in the Old Town.
Varazdin's Cathedral. Varazdinska katedrala.jpg
Varaždin's Cathedral.
Herzer Palace. Herzer.JPG
Herzer Palace.

Baroque palaces

  • Town Hall
  • Bužan Palace
  • Drašković Palace
  • Eggersdorfer Palace
  • Erdődy 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

Varaždin cemetery

The cemetery dates back to 1773 and it was long time an ordinary place until 1905, when Herman Haller had an idea to make it more park-like with large trees and alleys for citizens to stroll through. The reconstruction of the cemetery was done between 1905 and 1947, and its current landscape and architecture dates from these works, It is now a protected cultural and natural park.[ citation needed ]




Road access

Varaždin is connected with A4 highway that runs between Zagreb (south) and Čakovec / Hungarian border (just north). Varaždin and 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 Podravina / 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 the mid-1970s and mid-2000s (oldest, north part was built between 1978 and 1979, east part was built during the second half of the 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 lines.

Railway access

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 (R202 connecting 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 Zagreb to 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 Koprivnica and 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.


Varaždin has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb).

Climate data for Varaždin
Record high °C (°F)19.1
Average high °C (°F)3.4
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.2
Average low °C (°F)−3.7
Record low °C (°F)−26.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)38.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)9.29.310.912.913.
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)84.178.673.269.169.670.971.774.879.381.784.785.776.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 77.5113.0148.8180.0238.7246.0279.0260.4195.0139.584.065.12,027
Percent possible sunshine 30434549575965655747342951
Source: Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service [10] [11]


Streets of Varazdin. Varazdin-0808.JPG
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. [3]

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.


Hotel Turist. Hotel Turist Varazdin.jpg
Hotel Turist.

Today Varaždin is a tourist 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.[ tone ] 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 Varaždin 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.[ citation needed ]

Varaždin is also the host of the Radar Festival, which hosts concerts at the end of summer. It has hosted artists like Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, The Animals, Manic Street Preachers, Solomon Burke and others. [12] [13]


NK Varazdin stadium. Stade-Varteks2.JPG
NK Varaždin stadium.
Varazdin Arena, a multipurpose sport center built for the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship. Varazdin Sport Hall pano south.jpg
Varaždin Arena, a multipurpose sport center built for the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship.

Varaždin is home to a number of professional and semi-professional sports clubs. Varaždin Arena, located near the Drava River, was one of the hosts of the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship held in Croatia.


Varaždin 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

Ksaver Sandor Gjalski. Ksaver Sandor Gjalski.jpeg
Ksaver Šandor Gjalski.
Vjekoslav Klaic. Vjekoslav Klaic.jpg
Vjekoslav Klaić.

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.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Varaždin is twinned with:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Varaždin". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  2. "Varazdin: Croatia's 'little Vienna'". Telegraph.
  3. 1 2 "Varaždin County". ICPR3. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  4. "Hrvatski jezični portal - Varaždin". HJP.
  5. 1 2 3 "Varaždin history". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  6. Goldstein & Goldstein 2001, p. 260.
  7. 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.
  8. "The Varaždin Civil Guard 'Purgari'". Tourism-Varaždin.
  9. "International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival Varaždin". Archived from the original on 28 February 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  10. "Varaždin Climate Normals" (PDF). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  11. "Mjesečne vrijednosti za Varaždin u razdoblju1949−2014" (in Croatian). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  12. "Radar festival 2008: Bob Dylan, Manic Street Preachers, Majke, Drago Mlinarec & Vlado Kreslin" (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  13. "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.
  14. "Belostenec, Ivan" (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography . Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  15. Ivo Goldstein (2005 , pp. 92, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176)
  16. Ivo Goldstein (2001 , pp. 264, 265)
  17. "Dvorničić Napuly, Baltazar" (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography . Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  18. "Habdelić, Juraj" (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography . Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  19. "Međunarodna suradnja Grada Pule". Grad Pula (in Croatian and Italian). Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2013.


Related Research Articles

Međimurje County County in northern Croatia

Međimurje County is a triangle-shaped county in the northernmost part of Croatia, roughly corresponding to the historical and geographical region of Međimurje. Despite being the smallest Croatian county by size, it is the most densely populated one. The county seat is Čakovec, which is also the largest city of the county.

Zagreb County County in central Croatia

Zagreb County is a county in central Croatia. It surrounds – but does not contain – the nation's capital Zagreb, which is a separate territorial unit. For that reason, the county is often nicknamed "Zagreb ring". According to the 2011 census, the county has 317,606 inhabitants, most of which live in smaller urban satellite towns.

Krapina-Zagorje County County in northern Croatia

Krapina-Zagorje County is a county in northern Croatia, bordering Slovenia. It encompasses most of the historic region called Hrvatsko Zagorje.

Varaždin County County in northern Croatia

Varaždin County is a county in northern Croatia. It is named after its county seat, the city of Varaždin.

Koprivnica-Križevci County County in northern Croatia

Koprivnica-Križevci County is a county in northern Croatia. Its hyphenated name comes from two entities: the two of its largest cities, Koprivnica and Križevci.

Križevci, Croatia Town in Koprivnica-Križevci, Croatia

Križevci is a town in central Croatia with a total population of 21,122 and with 11,231 in the city itself (2011), the oldest town in its county, the Koprivnica-Križevci County.

Koprivnica City in Koprivnica-Križevci, Croatia

Koprivnica is a city in northern Croatia. It is the capital of the Koprivnica-Križevci county. In 2011, the city's administrative area of 90.94 km2 had a total population of 30,854, with 23,955 in the city proper.

Krapina Town in Krapina-Zagorje, Croatia

Krapina is a town in northern Croatia and the administrative centre of Krapina-Zagorje County with a population of 4,482 (2011) and a total municipality population of 12,480 (2011). Krapina is located in the hilly Zagorje region of Croatia, approximately 55 km (34 mi) away from both Zagreb and Varaždin.

Tourism in Croatia

Tourism is a major industry in Croatia. In 2018, Croatia had 19.7 million tourist visitors who made 110.275 million overnight stays. The history of tourism in Croatia dates back to the middle of the 19th century in the period around 1850. It has been developing successfully ever since. Today, Croatia is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.

Ludbreg City in Varaždin County, Croatia

Ludbreg is a town in Croatia, located halfway between Varaždin and Koprivnica near the river Drava. It has 3,603 inhabitants, and a total of 8,478 in the entire municipality.

Horvat Surname list

Horvat is the most frequent surname in Croatia and Slovakia, 2nd most frequent in Slovenia and 5th most frequent surname in Hungary. The surname originates in Croatia, Horvat being the older version of the word Hrvat, an autonym used by Croats. In Croatia, majority of Croats with surname Horvat live in the Kajkavian dialect region in Croatia proper. According to the 2011 census, it's the most common last name in the city of Zagreb, Zagreb County Krapina-Zagorje County, Varaždin County, Koprivnica-Križevci County, Bjelovar-Bilogora County, and Virovitica-Podravina County. Apart from them, there is a certain number of ethnic Serbs with surname Horvat inside Baranja region of Croatia. Almost half of the citizens of Slovenia that have the surname Horvat live in the Prekmurje region, where it is the most common surname by far. It is also common in Lower Styria and in Ljubljana, while it is very rare in western Slovenia.

Orahovica Town in Virovitica-Podravina, Croatia

Orahovica is a town in Slavonia, Croatia. It is situated on the slopes of the mountain Papuk and positioned on the state road D2 Varaždin-Koprivnica-Našice-Osijek.

Regions of Croatia Historical and cultural division of Croatia

The Republic of Croatia is administratively organised into twenty counties, and is also traditionally divided into four historical and cultural regions: Croatia proper, Dalmatia, Slavonia, and Istria. These are further divided into other, smaller regions.

Zabok Town in Krapina-Zagorje, Croatia

Zabok is a town and municipality situated in northwest Croatia in the Krapina-Zagorje County. It has a total population of 8,994. Zabok is situated on the main crossroads in the heart of Hrvatsko zagorje region. Zabok is the economical centre of the Krapina-Zagorje County.

History of the Jews in Croatia

The history of the Jews in Croatia dates back to at least the 3rd century, although little is known of the community until the 10th and 15th centuries. By the outbreak of World War II, the community numbered approximately 20,000 members, most of whom were murdered during the Holocaust that took place on the territory of the Nazi puppet state called Independent State of Croatia. After World War II, half of the survivors chose to settle in Israel, while an estimated 2,500 members continued to live in Croatia. According to the 2011 census, there were 509 Jews living in Croatia, but that number is believed to exclude those born of mixed marriages or those married to non-Jews. More than 80 percent of the Zagreb Jewish Community were thought to fall in those two categories.

Oroslavje Town in Krapina-Zagorje, Croatia

Oroslavje is a town and municipality in Krapina-Zagorje County in Croatia.

Outline of Croatia Overview of and topical guide to Croatia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Croatia:

Oršić Castle in Gornja Stubica

Oršić Castle is a baroque castle in the Municipality of Gornja Stubica, Krapina-Zagorje County, northwestern Croatia.

Northern Croatia

Northern Croatia or North Croatia is a region in the northern part of Croatia, which encompasses Varaždin, Međimurje, Zagorje and Koprivnica-Križevci counties, including the cities of Varaždin, Čakovec, Krapina, Koprivnica and Križevci. The Kajkavian dialect is spoken there. It shares borders with Hungary and Slovenia.