Neven Bosilj

In 1181 Garestin (Varaždin) was mentioned for the first time in a legal document by King Bella III. Later, in 1209 Varaždin was declared a free royal borough by the Hungarian king Andrew II. 

The town initially grew around the old fortress in a shape of a medieval Wasserburg, which was of great aid during Ottoman raids. Important owners of the fortress were Counts of Celje, Beatrice Frankopan, Margrave Georg of Brandenburg, and Baron Ivan Ungnad and Count Thomas Erdödy.

Varaždin, at that time the official residence of Ban Francis Nadasdy, become the capital of all Croatia in 1756. In Varaždin, Maria Theresa established the Royal Croatian Council and it hosted the Croatian Parliament. The city then become the Croatian administrative centre and the seat of many Croatian noblemen.

On 25 April 1776 a great fire destroyed almost all of the buildings and houses in Varaždin. In the aftermath of the event, the administration of the country moved back to Zagreb. 

Varaždin was rebuilt and expanded in the XIX century. In 1867 the town was ruled by the Kingdom of Hungary. During that period the manufacturing of silk and bricks thrived, theatre and music school were created, and crafts and trade were constantly growing.  

Varaždin is a city and municipality in Northern Croatia. It is located 81 kilometers north of the city of Zagreb.  

Varaždin is the tourist, cultural, economical, educational and sporting centre of North-western Croatia. The population of the city is 46,946 people (2011).

Varaždin is one of the few Croatian cities whose industry was not adversely affected by the war in 1991. The town hosts the textile giant Varteks, food Vindija as well as a number of metal, and construction industries.

The Information Technology and financial and banking sector are well developed. Further economic growth has been supported through the creation of a free investment zone. Varaždin is easily accessible by major roads from all sides.



Varaždin is a tourist destination for the summer holidays. The city offers numerous areas of interests and cultural areas like museums, galleries and theaters. There are shopping centers in the downtown of the city as well as various sports and recreation facilities.

There are two annual festivals. The annual ŠpancirFest begins at the end of August and continues in September. During the event, Varaždin welcomes artists, street performers and musicians. The second one is the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival – an event that can be traced back to its origins in 1971.