Since the old times, many respectable gentlemen, high ranking members society of the domestic and foreign nobility, stopped during one of their voyages here in the abundant natural landscape of the County, having found a place for their new home. Silent witnesses of those times, castles and manors, tell many forgotten stories to visitors even today.
The desire for a representative appearance, esthetic designing and greater comfort of accommodation influenced the construction of new castles on communication points and carefully selected locations. With castles, as centers of estates, a number of manorial buildings are connected, magnificent gardens and parks with exotic trees (e.g. Jelačić’s Curia Nova). A particularly intensive swing in construction of new castles on this soil ensued in the 18th ct. (e.g. Bistra). In the first quarter of the 19th ct., construction of castles was reduced, particularly of those more luxurious ones. Impoverished feudal landholders sell their estates, and they are divided into lots. With some exceptions, e.g. Januševec, mostly smaller castles and manors appear as the biggest and most beautiful example of buildings of that time.
Oršić Castle – Gornja Bistra, Bistra
The castle in Gornja Bistra, at the bottom of the slopes of Medvednica, is an example of a distinguished Baroque castle. By its size and architectural quality, it represents a supreme achievement of the castle architecture in Croatia. It is the most representative example of the profane Baroque architecture in Hrvatsko zagorje region. It belongs to the zero category of monuments. At the base of the castle, there is an oval central hall, which together with the chapel preserved in the original form, represents a rarity in the architecture of castles in Croatia. The remnants of a beautiful public garden around the castle from around the half of the 18th ct. or the beginning of the 19th ct. are still visible today. It was built in the period from 1770 to 1775 for field marshal count Krsto II Oršić. From the old Croatian noble family Oršić, the castle was transferred into the ownership of the family of the French count Carion in the 19th ct. Today, it houses a hospital for chronic diseases of the child’s age.
Gornja Bistra, tel. + 385 1 3390 167,
bell-ringer Mrs. Marica Škrlin
Vranyczany-Dobrinović Castle – Gornji Laduč, Brdovec
The castle and the public garden in Laduč are situated at the transition of the Sava plain into southern slopes of the Marija Gorica hills. The estate has been mentioned since the 17th ct. when a noblemen’s manor existed there. The today’s castle was built by the end of the 19th ct. at the place of the former Stari dvori (Old Castle). The castle belongs to the second category of monuments. The last owners of the castle were barons Vranyczany-Dobrinović, and the last owner of the estate was the baroness Tilda Vranyczany. The mentioned family held an important place in the economic, political and cultural life of Croatia in the 19th ct. Nowadays there is a social institution for children in the castle.
Jakovlje Castle – Jakovlje
On the plain at the foot of northern slopes of Medvednica, the Jakovlje estate was mentioned already since 1546, when it was bought by Jakov Sekelj from Ormož. Later, it was owned by the Oršić, Gottal, Rauch, Josipović and Kronfeld families. The castle was raised in the 18th ct., but annexes were built to it and it was modified on several occasions. The castle belongs to the third category of monuments.
Januševec Castle – Prigorje Brdovečko, Brdovec
It is situated on a slope above the Sava Valley, at the very intersection of the Zaprešić–Harmica road and the road to Marija Gorica. Januševec castle represents the highest achievement of the classicist architecture in Croatia. It is presumed that the castle was designed by Bartolomej Felbinger, one of the best-known builders of the 19th ct. in Zagreb and its surroundings. It belongs to monuments of the zero category. It was built about 1830 for baron Josip Vrkljan (Werklein), and, in 1845, it was bought by French count Edgar de Corberon. It had several other owners too: count Dümreicher, Max Mayer, and, between the two wars, Manfred Sternberg. From 1947 to 1989, the castle was renovated and houses a part of the State Archives of Croatia.
Erdödy Castle – Jastrebarsko
Situated in the town park, Erdödy castle is the oldest building in the town. The old citadel was raised by Vice-Roy Matija Gereb by the end of the 15th ct., and since the beginning of the 16th ct. all the way to 1922, the castle was in the possession of the Erdödy family. In the long history, additions to it were built a number of times; this quadrangular court was reinforced by two impressive rounded towers. The inner yard, with an extraordinary acoustics, is adorned by a porch with arcades and Baroque posts. The slab to the left of the entrance was built in 1592 by Croatian Vice-Roy Toma Erdödy, a son of the first owner of Jastrebarsko from 1519 to 1567, Vice-Roy Petar Erdödy. The castle is surrounded by a beautiful English type public garden, today the favorite Jastrebarsko promenade.
Oršić Castle, Jastrebarsko – Slavetić, Jastrebarsko
In a green corner of the mild Slavetić area, decorated with scattered orchards, vineyards and flowery meadows, on the top of the hill vis-à-vis the Parish church of St. Anthony the Hermit) from 1600, the castle of the Oršić counts is located. The old town was mentioned in 1294 within the Podgorje county and, after it changed several masters, in 1468, it became the property of the Oršić counts all until 1869, when Levin Rauch became its owner. Originally built as a medieval burg with a Gothic center of the town with a defense tower and a palace, in later reconstructions and building of annexes from the 16th to the 18th ct., it was turned into a spacious castle.
Complex of Greek Catholic bishop’s Castle – Strmec Pribički, Krašić
At the southern gates of the Žumberak area, along the Krašić–Pribić road, an estate of Greek Catholic bishops has been situated since 1678, with a Baroque castle with a portal dating back to 1751 built there. Since 1910, there were many alterations and annexes built in the Baroque castle according to the design by the architect Podhorski, with clearly recognizable phases of construction, and an annex to the chapel was also built. The whole complex with the castle comprises a ground-floor manorial building with a steep attic roof, an old housing building (of the manor type) and a Greek Catholic chapel of St. Mary, situated on a small island in the middle of the park, built in 1911 with forms of the Neo-Byzantine architecture.
Lukavec Citadel-Castle – Lukavec, Velika Gorica
Situated in the Turopolje plain in the settlement with the same name, it was first mentioned in 1256 as “caput Lukavez”, but the exact year or the place of its construction is unknown. First built between 1474 and 1479 for the purpose of defense against the Turks as a medieval timber town, it changed masters during its history. The masonry town such as we know it today was raised in the 18th ct. From the aspect of the ground plan, it was based as a quadrangular citadel with an inner yard, in which arcades are arranged in a row, with four prismatic towers at corners. Above the entrance with a Baroque portal and the coat of arms of the Noble Municipality of Turopolje, a high tower rises. There was the Chapel of St. Lucy under it, and 70 firing slots.
Zwiling Castle – Crna mlaka, Jastrebarsko
At the center of the marshland, which started being turned into Crna mlaka fish ponds by the beginning of the 20th ct., and given into lease to Kornelius Zwilling around 1905, the complex of a villa, a public garden and accompanying buildings was built according to drawings by architect J. Deutsch (1917) in the period of 1914–1920, in the late Art Nouveau – Art Deco style. Today, the castle is at the center of the Crna mlaka Special Ornithological Reserve near Jastrebarsko.
Complex of Jelačić Curia Nova – Zaprešić
At the center of Zaprešić, in a park-forest on 20.5 hectares of the estate, the castle (of the second category of monuments), chapel, tomb and manorial buildings (threshing, corn and crop storage buildings – of the zero category of monuments) are situated. Curia Nova represents a unique example of a complete manorial-economic complex preserved until our days. Curia Nova originated from the former Susedgrad-Stubica squire’s estate. Zrinski family was mentioned as the first owner, followed by the Čikulin, Sermage, Festetić, Erdödy families, and in 1852 it was bought by Vice-Roy Josip Jelačić
Lužnica Castle – Zaprešić
A vast public garden hides a castle which can be seen from afar only from the Zaprešić–Brdovec road near the Šibice settlement. A large wheat field between the road and the public garden emphasizes the impressive image of the castle even further. A single-story Baroque castle was built in the second half of the 18th ct., probably at the place of a former citadel. In 1791, it was renovated and additions were built to it, it became the seat of the Rauch family then. The castle belongs to the first category of monuments, it was renovated in 1982, and, since 1925 there is a retirement home run by the Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent of Paul, along with a spiritual center.
Šibice, tel. + 385 1 3310 118, sister Gracia,
visit every day from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and
from 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.,
Orehoci/Patačić/Farkaš Castle – Lovrečina, Vrbovec
Along the Vrbovec–Križevci road, to the northeast of Vrbovec, the castle known under the name of Lovrečina Grad is situated. The first owners of the citadel and the estate was the Orehoci family, from 1599 to 1726, followed by families Fodroci, Patačić (1800-34), Farkaš (1834-70), later the estate was bought by count Piennes in 1909 and donated to the Sisters of Mercy. By the middle of the 19th ct. the castle got the U-ground plan which has been preserved until today. A large historicist renovation happened in 1898 with rich Neo-Renaissance decorations, towers were built as additions, as well as the central decoration and a sun lounge on the southern façade, horse-stable and other manorial buildings around the castle.