Every town has its own story, and the story is that of
The recorded history of Varazdin began more than 800 years ago, in 1181,
more precisely, when it is mentioned in one of Croat-Hungarian king Bela IV's official
documents, who 2 years later granted it the status of free royal city.
The town has had a stormy history. From the 14th to 17th century it was menaced constantly
by the Turks and the Tartars. Queen Marie-Therese felt it worthy of being proclaimed the
administrative and cultural centre of The Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, a
position it held for only 9 years because of the fire of 1776 ( the boy who started the
fire received 12 blows in the town square ).
The city recovered rapidly and in the 18th and 19th centuries played a significant role in
Croatia's economic and cultural life.
The town and its people made a significant contribution to the
enlightenment, and later also in defence of Croatia against Hungary under Duke Josip
Situated 75 kilometres Northwest of Zagreb on the right bank of the Drava
river, the town is appealing to all visitors. The heart of the town is a jewel of Baroque art
that can leave none indifferent. Nicknamed 'Little Rome' or 'Little Venice' after its many
soaring church steeples, and the gracious lifestyle of its nobility and mondaine society,
these sobriquets may be exaggerated but they are commonly used.
It is not suprising therefore that such an environment should have
nurtured many distinguished craftsmen and artists. Today the town has much that
differentiates it from other towns in Croatia. Apart from the history ( which while not
generally known to everyone, can be felt at every street corner ) the town has its present
The town's civic pride expresses itself in various fairs throughout the
year. These fairs commemorate past events that might otherwise be forgotten - the
era of medieval chivalry, the tradition of swordsmanship, the music of the Baroque period and even the
famous city militia, the so-called 'Purger'.
The town has the capacity to welcome innovative trends in the arts and music, and to
present these new movements to a wide audience.
Appointed an Episcopal seat, Varazdin's historic statuse has recently been confirmed, and
its many attractions make it a place to which visitors often return.