My name is VARAZDIN. I am over 800 years old (born in 1181). My Christian name is Garestin. I’m a small, typical central European, medieval city with small houses, a city of details, baroque, baroque squares and palaces, a city of baroque music, churches and church towers, a city of parks, greenery and flowers, a city of craftsmen and merchants, a city of youth, pupils and students.

Every new day, every new sun, rain or snow, every new season make me special in their own way. However, it is not really nice to enjoy alone all those particularities and beauties, so my wish is to share them with you.

 

 

Make a decision in a blink of an eye!

But before the arrival itself, please choose a guide. Let it be a Lily Tours guide. I am the happiest when they talk about me, because I am best friends with them – they know me best. In addition, I am full of details, adventures, famous and sad stories, so to see me without them also means not to see me in the real light. Come by train (it is cheaper) or by bus, to me it is all the same, but it is important that you do come.

For the beginning, my guides will show you my old, royal heart with a Jesuit church, where you can test your music skills on a beautiful organ; a Jesuit monastery and high school which shaped the minds of Gaj, Kukuljevic, Jagic, Krklec, Vodnik, Dalski; the most baroque square in Croatia with one of the oldest city halls in Europe and the Draskovic Palace which hosted the Parliament sessions at the time of my reign as Croatia’s capital; a Franciscan church with a gilded pulpit and a pharmacy painted with Ivan Ranger’s frescoes; a unique collection in the whole Europe with over 4,500 bees, bumblebees, butterflies, ants; Gregory of Nin’s statue. Yeah, yeah, there is no need to go to Nin or Split, I have it, too (how and why, you are yet to find out). I will show you many more details, but we will talk about those when you arrive. After lunch in one of my fine restaurants, or from a bag, set off on a walk to my part of Paris, to my Versailles, one of the most beautiful in Europe, first of all, a park, in which a special attention was paid to the influence of light for the creation of tranquil and relaxing atmosphere, a park with beautifully arranged avenues and over 10,000 planted and trimmed cypresses, and only then to a cemetery – with works of Augustincic and Franges, and final resting places of Jagic, Kukuljevic, Padovac, Draskovic. Afterwards – my guides will take you to conquer a renaissance, aristocratic city – the Old City Castle, where you will firstly, like all real conquerors, climb the earthen city walls which surround it, and which the Turks have never set their foot on. Then you will triumphantly enter, and take in the collections of stone monuments, cannons, old weapons, stylistic furniture, textiles – beautiful dresses, guilds’ objects, and objects from my past.

 

        

 

I will gladly tell you about my brothers and sisters – I do not want you to think I am narcissistic – about the pearls, owing to which my surrounding area is beautiful, and which, in the same way, would not be what they are without Lily Tours guides. All of them are still in great shape, each on its own way.

My older brother – Marusevec – has an exquisite exterior, and a very pleasant interior through which you will be taken by students of the Adventist School located within; the oldest – Trakoscan – offers everything you can wish for: collections of weapons, furniture, luxury and only luxury. My younger sister – Opeka (Vinica) – is quite unwell, but it is surrounded by a botanic garden with a beautiful rare trees. Each of them is encompassed with dazzling nature, so even though I love them all equally, I would still single out the Arboretum Opeka, and the Trakoscan park and lake which you can navigate by boats and pedalos, which provides a sheer pleasure. If you are tired of walking, I recommend swimming in Varazdinske Toplice, which overlooks ancient thermal spa. I could tell you many more stories about the beauty of my cousins, about the charm and knowledge of my best friends from Lily Tours, and about little old me, but I think this provides enough warranty for our incoming hangout and pleasantly spent time.

 

 

Photography source: archives of Varaždin Tourist Board