SummerIsHere Representative offices UK & Ireland Varaždin - A Favourite of the Lonely Planet  
Varaždin -  A Favourite of the Lonely Planet
The most famous and largest travel guide in the world, The Lonely Planet, in its Internet edition compiled a list of recommended places to see in Croatia. In first place is Varaždin, described as the capital of carefully preserved baroque architecture. After Varaždin are Samobor, Zagreb, Plitvice lakes, the falls of Krka, Hvar, Korčula, Mljet and tenth on the list is Dubrovnik.

This city in northwestern Croatia has pushed some recently popular coastal destinations off the Lonely Planet scale. This sends a clear message that Croatia is increasingly recognized as a mainland tourist industry.  After last year's edition of the French Michelin guide, in which Varaždin is the only town apart from Zagreb in continental Croatia, which is recommended with two of the three possible stars, this is another recognition of the city's decoration and the hospitality of the people of Varaždin.

Known as the city of baroque music and flowers, parks, sumptuous palaces and churches, once called "Little Vienna", Varaždin is one of the most beautiful cities in the continental Croatia. The good conditions, in the fertile fields along the Drava river and at the intersection of major routes leading from Central Europe to the Adriatic Sea, had made the Varaždin area inhabitable as far back as the 8th or 9th century. The first written mention of Varaždin is in a document of the Croatian-Hungarian king Bela III. from 1181, where the historical name of Varazdin is mentioned as - Garestin.

In the 17th century Varaždin experienced a bloom of crafts, trade, the arts, education, churches, convents, seminaries, luxurious palaces, all mostly in the Baroque style. The city became a center of luxury and splendor, cultural and social events, balls and feasts, gaining the name "Little Vienna".  In 1767. Empress Maria Theresa decided to make Varaždin the Headquarter of the Croatian Royal Council, by which it officially became the capital of the  Kingdom of Slavonia, Croatia and Dalmatia. Varaždin developed in the 18th century as the political center of Croatia and as very stong commercial, craft and  ecclesiastical center, until the disastrous fire that devastated it on the 25th April  1776. After this event, much of the citizens and the nobility abandoned the city, and the government and all major state institutions were transferred to Zagreb.

The rich history, cultural heritage and cultural traditions of the former Croatian capital city are reflected today in its picturesque streets and squares as well as many cultural events.

Varaždin can thank its tourism boom to its beauty and orderliness, but also to the carefully selected and developed events such as the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, Špancirfest – a festival of street entertainers, and the Trash Film Festival.

If you walk the streets of Varaždin, you'll feel the spirit of past  time through a number of cultural monuments. In the old  core of the town you may notice urban elements of baroque, even rococo and classicism.  Many churches and monasteries testify to its rich history but also the importance of spiritual development, in which the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Capuchins and the Ursulines were especially prominent.

At the heart of the city, on King Tomislav Square, better known as the Corso, is the palace Drašković, once the seat of the Croatian ban and the city  hall building from the 1523., which is considered to be one of the oldest in Europe.  The sumptuous palaces, beautifully decorated streets, squares, parks, numerous churches, palaces, baroque facades of buildings and houses, the City Museum, the Old Town, the Croatian National Theatre, various cultural events and hospitable people give Varaždin the distinctive identity and attract many visitors and tourists who enjoy the atmosphere that the city provides and the experience of its spiritual and material values.

The Tourist Board of the Varaždin County

The Tourist Board of Varaždin

The Lonely Planet

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