Castles of Croatia – 2021 – Common Sheet

Brezovica Manor, situated 13 km from Zagreb, is one of the most important examples of Baroque manor architecture in Croatia, although in a poor condition and without a purpose for decades. The name Brezovica is mentioned at the end of the 13th century. It is a noble estate from the end of the 14th century, and in the 16th century it was a Renaissance burg. The estate belonged to various noble families (Zrinski, Drašković, Gyulaj, etc.), of which the Counts Drašković Trakošćanski left the most visible trace. They owned Brezovica from 1660 to 1807, when Janko Drašković sold the manor to the Croatian ban Ignjat Gyulaj. During that period Brezovica experienced economic and cultural development. At the end of the 18th century, the modest manor was extended and converted into a three-winged Baroque manor with corner towers and a park with a prominent uniaxial concept.

The manor house is recognizable by its central hall on the first floor with valuable wall paintings on all the walls. The walls are painted with scenes from the Seven Years’ War (1756 – 1763) in which Josip Kazimir Drašković (1714 – 1765) and his son Ivan VIII Drašković (1740 – 1788) participated. In Croatian art history, these paintings are a rare example of preserved secular wall paintings from the Baroque period.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the manor house underwent architectural alterations, but without key intrusions into the Baroque architectural concept. In the 19th century, Ban Gyulaj had the northern main façade refaced. In 1912, the manor was bought by the Zagreb Archdiocese for the summer residence of Archbishop Antun Bauer. Then a large farm was constructed on the estate, which brought the Archdiocese income from farming and animal husbandry for the maintenance of the manor. The architectural design of the manor house with minor modifications was led by the architect Viktor Kovačić, the founder of Croatian modern architecture, and the painter Ljubo Babić also made his contribution.

The manor was nationalized in 1946 and until 1990 it was used for the needs of a gardening school, disco club and a restaurant, and in 2006 it was returned to the Zagreb Archdiocese. The manor house and its estate are waiting for an opportunity for a new life.

Erdödy Castle – the Renaissance castle of the Counts Erdödy in Jastrebarsko

Erdödy Castle is located on the edge of the historic centre of Jastrebarsko, a village that received the status of a free royal market in the middle of the 13th century. Construction of the castle began sometime between 1483 and 1489 and during the 16th century it was extended and took on the appearance of a Renaissance castle, which has been preserved to this day without major changes, although in poor condition. For centuries, the feudal castle and the royal market lived in coexistence with the strong influence of the noble Erdödy family.

The Erdődy counts are a noble family with estates in Hungary, Slavonia and north-western Croatia. They owned the Jastrebarsko manor from 1519 to 1848, until the abolition of serfdom, and the castle was in their possession for four centuries, until 1922. In addition to Jastrebarsko, they also owned large castles such as the Old Town in Varaždin, medieval Cesargrad, Novi Dvori Klanječki (early 17th century), the castle in Popovača and many other smaller manors and manor houses.

It is an example of a lowland castle (Wasserburg) that combines residential and fortification purposes, surrounded by water-filled ditches (moats). Such castles were first built in Croatia at the end of the 16th century, more often from the beginning of the 17th century, when medieval noble towns (burgs) on hard-to-reach hills were abandoned and new castles were built in the lowlands that were larger and more comfortable to live in. The floor plan of the castle is in the shape of an irregular square, the so-called a four-winged castle with an inner courtyard and round towers at the corners. Two towers have been preserved, and there are foundations of the other two. The rooms of the castle line up around the courtyard with a corridor towards the courtyard. In the 18th century, Baroque corridors with arches (arcades) were built on the facades of the inner courtyard, without significantly changing the Renaissance concept of​​the castle. At the end of the 19th century, a park was built around the castle on an area of ​​approximately 10 hectares, which is today a protected horticultural monument. The park has a small lake, a stream and the remains of Renaissance fortification ditches.

The castle has been owned by the town of Jastrebarsko since 1936, which bought it to prevent the castle from being dismantled for the sale of building materials. Today, 85 years later, the castle is in a poor condition and in danger of collapse due to decades of lack of maintenance. The town is pinning its hopes on rebuilding the castle with EU funds.

Laduč Manor– the historicist manor of Baron Vranyczany-Dobrinović

The manor in Laduč is located in the Municipality of Brdovec, 25 km west of Zagreb, on the border of the Sava Valley and the hills of Hrvatsko Zagorje. In the vicinity of Zaprešić, there are four castles only a few kilometres apart – the westernmost is Laduč, followed by the classicist Januševec, baroque Lužnica and the historicist Novi Dvori Jelačićevi.

In the Middle Ages, Laduč belonged to the large Susedgrad-Stubica manor. In the 16th century, a manor with a noble residence (curia nobilitaris) was established. In the 17th century, a dozen manors were built in the Brdovec municipality. At the end of the 19th century, the baronial family Vranyczany-Dobrinović, which was known in the economic, political and cultural life of Croatia in the 19th century, bought five castles in Hrvatsko Zagorje – Sv. Križ Začretje, Gornja Bedekovčina, Mirkovec, Oroslavje Gornje and Laduč, bought by Vladimir Vranyczany-Dobrinović. Vladimir’s daughter Tilda lived in the castle until World War II.

The castle in Laduč was built in historicist style at the end of the 19th century on the foundations of an old manor house. Baron Vranyczany-Dobrinović entrusted the design and construction to the architect Kuni Waidman. It is single-storey with a rectangular floor plan and extensions to the north. The main façade faces south and the Sava Valley, with a view of the Samobor Hills. The main architectural feature of the southern entrance façade is a large gazebo with three arches. The central space of the interior is a large lobby with a representative staircase.

Although there was a landscape romantic park next to the old manor house, with the construction of a new castle the park has been rearranged and enlarged. It consists of two parts – a historicist ornamental garden in the lowlands between the road and the castle bordered by outbuildings, and a landscape romantic park on the slopes north of the castle. Two stone sculptures (personification of the seasons) have been preserved from the park equipment and are kept in the Homeland Museum in Brdovec.

Novi Dvori – the manor of the Croatian ban Josip Jelačić in Zaprešić

The Novi Dvori estate was founded in 1611 as part of the Susedgrad-Stubica manor. Since then, until the middle of the 19th century, it had many well-known noble owners such as Zrinski, Čikulin, Sermage, Festetić and Erdödy. In 1852, the castle was bought from Aleksandar Erdödy by the then Croatian ban Josip Jelačić. The estate was owned by his family until 1934, when the ban’s niece, Countess Anka Jelačić, the last descendant of the family, died. She left the estate to the Croatian people and founded four charitable foundations. After the Second World War, the foundations disappeared, as well as the continuity of life in the castle, located only 18 km from Zagreb. Up to the present day attempts have been made to bring life back to the castle and its complex in some modern form.

The castle, with its outbuildings, bears witness to a three-and-a-half-centuries’-long history. After 1671, a manor house called Novi Dvori was built in the valley below the medieval noble town of Susedgrad. The manor house was later built into the western part of today’s castle, which took on its final appearance in the mid-19th century, with features of neo-Gothic historicism. At that time, a landscape romantic park was also arranged. The castle remained unchanged for 83 years in the possession of the Jelačić family, which kept the memory of the ban.

The complex includes a castle, a park, gardens and an orchard, numerous outbuildings and a forest park, with a total area of about 20 hectares. The castle was approached by an alley of wild chestnuts, accompanied by outbuildings, among which stands out a round winnowing barn and a three-storey granary converted into the Gallery “Skurijeni”. Ban built a neo-Gothic chapel in the park, where he was buried. In 1884, a neo-Gothic tomb of the Jelačić family was built at Hrastina Forest Park, designed by the architect Herman Bollé, who has restored the Zagreb Cathedral and built the Mirogoj arcades.

A Common Sheet was issued by Croati on 20 May 2021.