Varaždin is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Central European cities. It lies in the north of Croatia, close to the borders with Hungary, Austria and Slovenia. Owing to its charm and baroque architecture Varaždin has been historically dubbed 'Liitle Vienna'. The city, whose rich history goes back to the 12th century, was home to the region's wealthiest nobles, landowners, artisans and artists, especially in the late 1700s, when the city flourished and became the capital of Croatia.
Nowadays Varaždin is the administrative, political, economic and cultural center of North Croatia with a population of around 50,000. Within and outside Croatia's borders, Varaždin is well known for its culture and tourist attractions. Renowned for the City Castle, the 500-year old City Hall - one of the oldest in Europe, and its cemetery, the city also features a historic Town Guard 'Purgari'. Among the sights and venues one should not miss are the Music School, which fosters young classical talent, the theatre, the cathedral, churches whose monasteries and convents treasure artefacts, manuscripts and legends, 51 monumental heritage structures, palaces and villas. Visitors to Varaždin can take a stroll down its many promenades and parks. In 2005, the Historic Nucleus with the Old Town (the Castle) was submitted to the UNESCO's World Heritage List. According to Lonely Planet Varaždin holds the first place on the list of recommended sites worth visiting in Croatia, and it is a holder of the 'Superbrands Destination' title. Furthermore, in 2010 Forbes declared Varaždin as the best place to live and work in Croatia. Among its many awards is that of the most tastefully arranged and best maintained destination in continental Croatia, the title it has received nine times.
The building currently housing the Faculty was built in the second half of the 17 th century (started in 1665). A former Jesuit and later Pauline monastery, it forms the most valuable early baroque architecture complex in the city of Varaždin, along with the adjoining church and the gymnasium and seminary in their vicinity.
Varaždin is also well known for its events. The city is at its best in late summer, during the Špancirfest, the street festival that was named the best city event in Europe. Other attractive features in the city events calendar are the Grand Ball of Varaždin, Traditional Crafts Square, International Traditional Jazz Festival, Saturdays in Varaždin, Blues festival, Summer in Varaždin, Trash Film Festival and others. Of particular interest are the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, an international baroque music festival held at the same time as the CECIIS Conference.
The City Tourist Association has portrayed Varaždin as "a city which lives several different lives. It tells about glamour of the past, celebrates the beauty of countless aspects of art and bears witness to its own dynamic everyday life. It is the place of comfortable rest but also of vigorous experiences of life joys."
You are welcome to find out more about Varaždin and its surroundings on the web pages of the Varaždin City Tourist Association and the Varaždin County Tourist Board.