The City of Varaždin is the capital city of the County of Varaždin which is one of the oldest in Croatia. This region covers the northwestern part of Croatia, comprised of an area of 1,247 square kilometers, which according to the last census of 2001, has 183,730 inhabitants, making this area one of the most densely populated in Croatia.
The City of Varaždin is located in the North of Croatia on the southern bank of the River Drava. The City is at an altitude between 169 and 173 meters. Varaždin is located at 16° 20’16” east longitude, and 46° 18’30” north latitude. The average annual temperature is 10° C, and the average humidity is 78%. The city lies along the Drava River on a fertile alluvial plain that slopes towards the River Drava from the southwest to the northeast. The plain slightly elevates in Haloze and Varaždin – Toplice Hills. This creates a region defined by natural borders located at the crossroads of Styria, Međimurje, Zagorje and upper Drava Valley.
Varaždin has approximately 50,000 inhabitants, and is the cultural, educational, economic, sporting and tourist center of Northwestern Croatia. It holds 11 ‘Green Flowers’, the national awards for the most ordered city of inland Croatia.
What distinguishes Varaždin from other Croatian cities is the extraordinarily rich monumental and artistic heritage that is contained within its beautifully preserved Historic Core. Within the relatively small area of the Old Town are preserved palaces, important public buildings, Baroque, Rococo, Classicist and Secessionist houses and villas and one of the oldest City Halls in Europe. The richness of the religious heritage tells another story about Varaždin as a city of bell towers which its inhabitants have strived for centuries to build. The angels that adorn alters, walls and paintings will appreciate every glance they receive.
Varaždinska feudal fortress, from ancient times called Old Town, the most important historical buildings of Varazdin. It is the center of aristocratic estate, owner and legally separate from the free royal town of Varazdin. The present fort was built of 14 to 19 the century. The oldest part of the central tower. Bench and canopy in its ground floor are the most beautiful examples of Gothic secular plastic in the North Croatian. For the wars with the Turks in the 16th century, rebuilt in the Renaissance Wasserburg, a fortress – the castle is surrounded by high earthen walls with bastions, surrounded by a double belt of water. Turnover in the second half of the 16th century carried Italian architects from around Coma headed by the emperor built the fortress in the Slavonian frontier Domenico del? Lalli. During the past was having many important noble family, the Counts of Celje, John Ungnada, George of Brandenburg and Croatian Ban Thomas Erdödyja and his successors. In 1925. become the property of the city of Varazdin.
In honor of the millennium anniversary of the Croatian kingdom was opened in the Old Town 1925th The Varazdin Municipal Museum. In its premises are situated the oldest collection, Cultural Department, whose numerous collections in our time set out in stylish rooms. Are the most valuable collection of guild items, furniture, historical portraits, weapons, paintings, clocks, porcelain and glass along with many other objects of everyday life Varazdin nobility and wealthy citizens and visitors today can see the 40-odd museum rooms. Especially valuable are the collections of artifacts from the legacy of two celebrated Varazdin, politician and writer John Kukuljevića Sakcinskog and linguist Vatroslava Jagića.
The City coat of arms is one of the oldest in Europe. In 1464, King Matthias Corvinus issued a charter which praised the loyalty of the inhabitants of Varaždin, officially establishing the traditional coat of arms which had been in use for centuries. The city was also permitted to make a seal bearing the coat of arms, in silver or any other metal. The coat of arms remained unchanged until 1934. After World War II, the angel ‘disappeared’, and miraculously ‘reappeared’ in 1990. There is an undetermined tower on the coat of arms, which could be the Old Town or any other tower of the city. There are 4 red and 3 white fesses which alternate behind the emblem on the coat of arms, representing the colours of the original Varaždin flag. The coat of arms can be seen on the City Hall, on churches, altars, … and is one of the City’s symbols.
Varaždin is known as the Baroque capital of Croatia. However, this reputation may be unfounded as the Old Town tower is gothic, as well as fragments on St. Nicholas Church, while the Old Town Gallery, the Mrazović and Drašković Palaces have renaissance arches, and the Patačić Palace is rococo. There are many classicist buildings alongside modern ones. All of these give Varaždin its unique image as a harmonious melting pot of all styles, which grow on its medieval foundations. The Baroque style that dominates the town is a consequence of the great fire in the late 18th century, when out of the ashes, contemporaries built a modern late Baroque city.
The beginnings of the textile industry go back to 1901, when the first textile factory was built on a large plot of land to the south of the city. In 1918, this became the Varaždin Textile Factory or ‘Tivar’. After eighty years of production, Tivar (whose name changed to Varteks in 1948) became the largest textile producer in Croatia. Today, despite the transition to a market economy and the harsh economic climate, the factory still employs 3,000 workers. To the people of Varaždin Varteks is not only a factory; it’s a sporting (many sports clubs bear the same name, of which the most famous is the premier league soccer club) and cultural symbol (the ‘Varteks’ Cultural and Artistic Society enabled many to travel the world). The ‘Varteks’ factory buildings exemplify the industrialization of Varaždin during the early 20th century. Contemporary construction design and materials included: decorative brickwork, glass, steel and concrete. The most attractive building stretches alongside a fence which surrounds the complex, incorporating a 78m high chimney, which dominates the skyline and symbolizes the industry of the city.
The primary means of transportation for the people of Varaždin. Because of this the city authorities struggle to find an integrated public transport scheme. The number of bicycles is unknown, but estimates place it about 22,000 or one bicycle per 2.3 people. You might be surprised to see whole families on bicycles in mid winter, as the cycling season never ends in Varaždin.
From April to October, thanks to the tradition and the efforts made by the Varaždin Tourist Board, the city becomes a blossoming bouquet. Flowers cascade endlessly from balconies and windows. Every year since 2001, the city has received awards as the best kept city of Inland Croatia. Numerous flower borders, promenades, parks, flower beds and flower sculptures give the city a special appearance and have come to symbolize the high quality of life in Varaždin and its environs.