Marusevec is another castle near Varazdin, close to Opeka castle and arboretum. It was a Rennaissance castle enlarged and redesigned by count Schlippenbach in the 19th century when a neo-Gothic tower was added. Today the castle is returned to its old owners, the Pongratz family. Interior is interesting since in some rooms original furniture is still preserved. A 7-hectare park with a lake surrounds the garden.
Marusevec is close to Opeka castle - from Varazdin take the D35 road. There are signs that will lead you to the castle.
There is another one in Split (see the tip), and I think this is less impossing, maybe because it's smaller, maybe because I saw the one in Split first, but I like this one anyway.
Where: Franjevački Trg, in front of the Franciscan Church.
Take a tour around the castle, by so-called Strosmayerovo šetalište, and your effort will be awarded by the magnificent view, showing you castle in all of its aspects. But not only, the path is situated on the top of the rampart, approx. 20 meters from the ground, and you will see whole of the town and its close surroundings.
The castle was built and rebuilt from 15th to 17th century in order to provide the better protection of the city.
Nowadays it houses the Historic Museum of the town and its region. It is open for the public every day, except for the Sunday.
The citizens of the Royal Borough Varazdin started building the castle in order to protect themselves from Turkish attacks and from vicious noble man.
There is a reason why I have put the castle under "Off the beaten path". The most of the castles you know are situated on the top of the hill that dominates the place, this one is situated in the centre of the town on a plane ground and it cannot be seen unless you approach to the area.
Until today the castle managed to preserve the looks of a typical medieval castle on the water.
This Renaissance tower, built in the second half of the 16th century, is the main entrance to the castle complex . At the same time, it was the home of the fortress guard captain.
Varazdin is on the edge of the Hrvatsko Zagorje region - a region rich in picturesque hills and numerous castles and manors that were built mainly during the 17th and 18th century.
Opeka castle was built in the 18th century by the Draskovic family. Later owner, Marko Bombelles, brought many plants from all parts of the world and formed an arboretum in a large park surrounding the castle.
Today the castle is unfortunately a ruin, but the arboretum is worth a visit - it is, together with Trsteno near Dubrovnik, one of the best arboretums in Croatia.
Opeka arboretum is located in Vinica, some 20 kilometres west from Varazdin. To visit take the DC 35 road from Varazdin and then turn right onto LC 2029.
A jewel of Croatian castles - Trakoscan - is also located in the Varazdin county, some 40 kilometres west from Varazdin. The castle is very picturesque, located on a hill above the lake. The building was built in the Middle Ages and the castle belonged to Draskovic family. It was renewed in the middle of the nineteenth century in a neo-Gothic style.
Today the castle is a museum and one of the most visited historic buildings in continental Croatia. Inside, you will find a display of rooms showing the life of Draskovic family in various historic periods (hunting room, historicist room, biedermajer room,....).
From Varaždin take the D35 road, then local road #2056. Trakoscan is located close to Macelj border crossing (with Slovenia); if coming from Zagreb take the A2 motorway in direction of Krapina.
VARAZDIN - The Old Castle
The Old Castle was frequently reconstructed by the aristocratic families who owned it; the Counts of Celje, the Vitovec family, Ivanish Corvinus, the Ungnads and towards the end of the 16th century by Toma Erdedy.
This aerial picture of the castle is borowed
Okay this is a closeup of the pupit or rostrum and as you can see there is a hand hanging over from about the elbow and holding a cross. When we got closer we found that it was a statue or prostetic arm and not actually attached to a priest or father who had fallen behind the wall and was trying to call for help.
Now does anybody know the secret of the Parish Church here in Varazdin and WHY they have this "special" feature on the pulpit???????