#184 Stari Grad Varaždin
14th through 19th centuries
This is NOT an official Lego site
town of Varaždin, Croatia is first mention as "Garestin" in 1181 in the
writings of King Bela III of Hungary. Due to the Ottoman raids at
that time, there was said to be a 'castle' in the town, and it may well
have been on the site of the current castle. In the 13th century
the Knights Hospitaller came to Varaždin, and doubtless strengthened the
old structure. However the current castle began to resemble its
modern form in the 14th century, likely the result of the town and its
fortress passing into the hands of the Counts of Celje, Slovenian nobles
who eventually became Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The
castle, centrally located, has been known as Stari Grad Varaždin [Old
Town] since antiquity, suggesting that the fate of Varaždin has always
been tied to its protective castle, even though they were legally
separate until 1925. Successive owners included Beatrice Frankopan,
the wife of Margrave Georg of Brandenburg-Ansbach; the Baron Ivan Ungnad;
and by the end of the 16th century, the Count Thomas Erdödy, Ban of
Croatia, whose family owned the castle until 1925.
|The castle and surrounding town were embellished with extensive earthworks and a double ring of water-filled moats in the 16th century in response to the wars with the Turks. The round towers at the northwest and northeast corners were fitted for cannon. Then in the 17th and 18th centuries the fortress underwent many architectural interventions which resulted in the castle becoming a hospitable, baroque residence. In 1925, on the eve of the millennial celebration of The Kingdom of Croatia [925 - 1102], the Erdödy family donated Stari Grad Varaždin to the City of Varaždin. The castle houses the Varaždin City Museum, and along with the elegant trappings of the wealthy ex-owners, the castle is a major tourist attraction in northwest Croatia.|
of the Lego Model
Under Construction April 2023
I am planning to recreate how I believe the castle would have looked
in the mid-16th century, when the structure was surrounded by an inner, wet moat,
and the entrance was still through the massive gatehouse tower.
begins April 22 with the
castle laid out, leaving room for a bit of
moat to show later.
The next day
is mostly devoted to
establishing the "island" upon which
the 16th century inner castle rested.
are spent filling out the "island" as well
as roughing in the courtyard space inside the
Much of the next day is
the courtyards, plus a bit of construction
on the castle's ground level.
are devoted to completion of
much of the castles ground level.
And as I
await two Bricklink orders to complete
the "island" and cobble-stone courtyard, here is
a first view of the back [north face] of the castle.
By May 1 work has continued
second story begins to take shape.
the other side of Varaždin,
Lego orders remain in the mail.
By May 3 some roofing has
the only two story part of the castle.
And here are a couple
different views: from
...and the northeast,
showing a bit of
Later on the
3rd, Lego arrives,
and the courtyard is completed:
Actual and Lego side by side.
On May 6 much
of the third floor
has been added, both to the
residential ranges and curtain walls.
And the 2-story eastern
range is roofed,
though I neglected to add the trio of
chimneys [see below].
The main courtyard is
...as is the
The staircase next to the
gatehouse has been a
particularly fun build.
The next week is mostly
roofing the various parts of the
castle. Over 1,000 slopes have...
so far, and 400 more are
on order. The next pictures will be
of the completed model below.
of the Lego Model
Built Spring 2023
Do to logistical concerns, it may be late June before I photograph
Varaždin. Please be patient and check back occasionally.
Other Varaždin Castle pages (most are travel websites):
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