#184 Stari Grad Varaždin
Varaždin, Croatia
14th through 19th centuries
This is NOT an official Lego site

The 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.

Wasserburg Warasdien in 1668 Ground Floor Plan Poor Plan with Scale


Photos 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.
Construction 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.
April 24-5 are spent filling out the "island" as well
as roughing in the courtyard space inside the
castle walls.
Much of the next day is spent "cobble-stoning"
the courtyards, plus a bit of construction
on the castle's ground level.
April 27-8 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 as the
second story begins to take shape.
And here's the other side of Varaždin, as
Lego orders remain in the mail.
By May 3 some roofing has begun on
the only two story part of the castle.
And here are a couple
different views: from
the northwest...
...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
taking shape...
...as is the northeast
curtain wall.
The staircase next to the
gatehouse has been a
particularly fun build.
The next week is mostly spent
roofing the various parts of the
castle.  Over 1,000 slopes have...
...been used so far, and 400 more are
on order.  The next pictures will be
of the completed model below.


Photos of the Lego Model
Built April 22 - June 13, 2023
Here is the front view, from the
south.  I like the old entrance
through the gatehouse.
And the view from the southwest. From the west, the cannon
ports on both the 1st and 3rd
floors can be appreciated.
A pretty view from the northwest.
With the old wet moat, minimal trees
block the north elevation.
And the tall northeast
The view of the east
end of the castle.
And finally the expansive view
the the southeast.
The Lord returns from a
visit - to Zagreb maybe?
The interesting old
castle courtyard.
The large square court
with the castle's well.
And the long passage
with its embattled
north wall.


Build Your Own
Lego Plan
South Elevation
North Elevation
Courtyard Elevations

Other Varaždin Castle pages (most are travel websites):

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney