Churches and bell towers

Churches and bell towers


There are 11 bell towers, 6 churches and 3 monasteries in the old city core. The highest tower is the tower of the Franciscan church (54,5 m) built in 1641. The patron saint of Varaždin is St. Nicholas.


This baroque parish church was built on the foundations of a Romanic- gothic church. It is dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of Varaždin. Its unique gothic tower, very non-typical for continental Croatia contains Varaždin's coat of arms from 1464. Right above it you can see the remains of the old church with a very interesting detail- a stone bear. There used to be a railing at the top of the tower, where fire watch was organized. The tree-line surrounding the church represents an old cemetery, where people form Varaždin were burried until the end of the 18th century. You can see the statue of St. Florian in the niche of the tower.



The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is the central part of the Jesuit complex containing the Gymnasium, the monastery and the church itself. The complex was built in the 17th century. The architect was Juraj Matoti. The construction began in 1642 and was finished and consecrated in 1656. The bell tower was finished twenty years after the church. The church got its final appearance in the 18th century. After the Jesuits, the church was taken over by the Paulines, and then by the Čazma Kaptol. In 1997 it became the Cathedral of the newly founded Varaždin diocese.

The Cathedral traditionally hosts a festival of baroque music, known as the Varaždin Baroque Evenings.

The Cathedral's facade is indented in the shape of a triumphal arch with columns, a gable and niches. There is the Drašković family coat of arms under the niche. The Drašković family were the main benefactors of the Jesuit order and the church. The main altar is the biggest in Varaždin; 11m x 14m.

Typically for the baroque period, the columns carrying the altar imitate marble, when in fact they are wooden, just like the entire altar. At the top of the central altar one can see the image of The Holy Trinity. Above the tabernacle decorated with the relief of the Last Supper, there is a representative painting made by an unknown baroque artist with the theme of „Mary's Assumption“.

There was a monastery built next to the cathedrale. After the Jesuit order was prohibited and the Paulines abolished, it frequently changed its purpose. Today it is the home of the Faculty of Organization and Informatics. Besides the building itself, the only thing that was preserved were the frescoes and the stucco work on the staircase, which can in fact be seen from the street.

The Jesuits completed their complex with the Gymnasium. In the beginning it was only a wooden building, but in 1651 a single-storey corner building was built. Today it is the office of the Bishop Ordinariate.

The Gymnasium, founded by the Jesuits upon their arrival in Varaždin, began its work in 1636. It is the third oldest Gymnasium in Croatia, after the ones in Zagreb and Rijeka. Over the centuries the Gymnasium has become one of the city's symbols.

Address: Pavlinska 4
Phone: +385 42 210 688
Masses: work days- 7.30 a.m.; 9 a.m.; 6 p.m. (in summer 7 p.m. )
Sundays and holidays- 7.30 a.m.; 9 a.m.; 11 a.m.; 6 p.m. ( in summer 7 p.m.)



On a spacious square that carries its name there is the Capuchin Church and Monastery. The construction of the Church began in 1701 and was completed and dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1705.
The Capuchin Church and Monastery were built in a stern and simple style, typical for Capuchin monasteries. A small wooden turret has also been preserved. The Franciscans, interestingly enough, who lived of alms that were collected during the harvest, found the arrival of the Capuchins troubling, because they were afraid it would reduce their revenues. Therefore, the Franciscans had the Pope prohibit the Capuchins from entering the City. After numerous protests throughout the Kingdom, and the resolution of the Croatian Parliament, the Capuchins were given permission to open a monastery in Varaždin two years later.
Address: Kapucinski trg 7
Tel: +385 (0)42 213-550
Masses: Weekdays: 7:00a.m. 8:30a.m. 7:00p.m. Sundays and Holidays: 6:30a.m. 8:30a.m. 1:00a.m. 10:00a.m. 12:00p.m. 5:00p.m.



Following the Capuchins, Varaždin welcomed the fourth monastic order: the Ursulines. The Ursulines came at the invitation and with the help of the Countess Magdalena Drašković in 1703. The Countess’s daughter was in an Ursuline Convent in Požun (modern day Bratislava), and at the time there raged a Protestant-Catholic war. Fearing for the fate of her daughter, the Countess invited the Ursulines to Varaždin. In 1707, the Ursulines built the harmonious Church, and soon they opened the first all girls school. The most beautiful tower in Varaždin, the Ursuline Church tower, was built in 1726. The Church is dedicated to the birth of Jesus.
Address: Uršulinska 3
Phone: +385 (0)42 211-808
Masses: Weekdays: 7:00a.m. Sundays and holidays: 8:00; Thursday: 7:30p.m.
The 8th of every month: 6:00p.m.



In 1669, due to numerous fires, the votive church of St. Florian, the patron saint protector from fire, was built outside the city walls. It was destroyed in the great fire of 1776, so it was refurbished in its current rococo style in 1777, which is characterized by an extremely harmonious façade. Next to the Church the Varaždin’s Xenodochia (city orphanage) was erected.
Address: Vladimira Nazora bb
Masses: Sundays and Holidays: 8:00a.m.



The Franciscans are mentioned in Varaždin as early as the 12th century. In the 17th and the 18th century, during the Counter- Reformation and later the Enlightement, monumental religious architecture flourished in northwestern Croatia. The construction of the Franciscan church began in 1650, and it was consecrated in 1657., with all the features of early Baroque architecture; the layout of the church was similar to the Franciscan Church in Vienna built by Peter Rabba from Graz. The Church Tower, at 54.5metres, is the highest in the city. The pulpit, a masterpiece of Mannerism, with rich ornamentation and a row of sculptures representing the apostles and the Franciscans, represents a special artistic attraction of the church. The pulpit was built in the second half of the 17th century, probably right after the fire which significantly damaged the church in 1665.

Beside the monastery there is a building whose ground floor was home to a former Franciscan apothecary, and whose vaults were painted by the famous Croatian Baroque painter Ivan Ranger.

The Franciscan monastery was built on the site of a former wooden church and hospice that was founded by the Knights Hospitallers (Order of St. John) during the Crusades. They fled before the Mongol onslaught on Varaždin and hid in the fortress of Bela. After the danger had passed they were superseded by the Franciscans in the 13th century.

On the square in front of the Church there is a bronze statue of Gregory of Nin. The statue is the work of a famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, who chose the place for the statue. It was erected in 1932. The statue was actually made for the city of Split, but its dimensions were too small. Fortunately, the statue fit here perfectly, although in the time of Bishop Gregory of Nin, Varaždin probably did not exist.

On the southern wall of the church there is a sun dial that shows the correct time on a sunny day. However, one should take into account that during the summer months, our clocks move one hour forward.

Address: Franjevački trg 8
Phone: +385- 42- 213-166
Masses: Sundays and Holidays: 6:00a.m. 7:00a.m. 8:00a.m. 9:00a.m. 11:00a.m. and 6:30p.m. Weekdays: 7:00a.m. 8:00a.m. and 6:30p.m.
The first Friday and Saturday of the month: 7:00a.m. 8:00a.m. 9:00a.m. and 6:30 p.m.,
July and August: Sundays and holidays: 7:00a.m. 9:00a.m. 11:00a.m. and 6:30 p.m.


At the southern entrance to the city, opposite the ‘Varteks’ Stadium, there is the Chapel of St. Roch. When the plague appeared in Hungary in 1712, the locals vowed to build a chapel dedicated to St. Roch, if he assured God to protect them. When Varaždin was spared, the locals built the chapel in 1715 and dedicated it to St. Roch.

Address: Zagrebačka bb
Phone: +385- 42- 213- 550
Masses: Sunday- 7:00a.m.



The Church of St. Vitus is located next to the Capuchin monastery. It is one of the oldest churches in the city. It allegedly existed back in the 13th century as the parish church. The church got its present appearance in 1779, as the previous church was destroyed by fire. There used to be a cemetery around the Church and its crypt. The last burial service was performed in 1839.
Address: Trg sv. Vida
Phone: +385- 42- 213- 550
Masses: Weekdays- 7:30a.m.



The Chapel of St. Fabian and Sebastian is located on the western entrance to the town. The plague struck the surrounding area in 1682 and brought terrible fear along. The City Elders made a decision to build a chapel to St. Fabian and Sebastian if the fever did not reach the city. Varaždin and its people were spared, and so to fulfill this vow, they began working on the Chapel. The Chapel was built in 1688, and obtained its present appearance in 1800.
Address: Optujska bb
Phone: Rectory in 53 Vladimira Gortana Street +385- 42- 332-015
Masses: Weekdays- 6:00p.m. (Summer 7:00p.m.)



The church of St. Joseph was the first church built in Varaždin after nearly 200 years in the new suburb of Banfica. It is shaped like a round hall, containing the altar on the eastern side which faces the congregation, the tabernacle and the altar relief on the wall. To the left in front of the altar is a font, and to the right is the ambo for recitals. There is a raised platform for the choir further right. The Vicarage is situated east of the Church, and a pastoral centre is being built west of the church. The church was consecrated in 1995.
Address: Dravska 3; Banfica- Varaždin
Phone: +385- 42- 230-742
Masses: Weekdays- 5:00p.m. (Summer 6:30p.m.); Sundays and Holidays: 8:00a.m. 10:30a.m. 5:00p.m. (Summer 6:30p.m.)



The youngest church in Varaždin was consecrated in 2007. It is decorated with monumental statues, the work of the Varaždin sculptor Nikola Šanjek. All the statues were made from recovered stone. The stone was taken from the vicinity of Varaždin to remain in the same climate and thus maintain its quality. The statue of the Good Shepherd, which is 7.15 meters tall, is located in the sanctuary behind the altar, and with its stand it measures 9.15meters and weighs about 30 tons. The interior of the church represents a man’s life path.
Address: Hallerova aleja bb
Phone: Rectory in 53 Vladimira Gortana Street : +385- 42- 332-015
Masses: Sunday: 8:00a.m. 10:00a.m. 6:00p.m. (Summer 7:00p.m.)



In 1184, in just three months, on the initiative of Mayor Utješinović and County Governor Vrabčević , and with voluntary contributions made by Bishop Strossmayer, Metel Ožegović, Varaždin Catholics and prominent Croats, the Orthodox Church was built in Varaždin. It was designed in a historicist style and furnished with valuable inventory transferred from Zagreb’s Orthodox community.
Address: trg bana Jelačića 19

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