New Look of Novi Dvori: Former Residence of Croatian Nobility to Become Attractive Tourist Destination

By 23 February 2018

After four decades of decay, the castle grounds in Zaprešić are turning into a centre of culture and arts

Novi Dvori, a feudal estate located in the northwestern part of Zaprešić, are best known as the former residence of Croatian ban Josip Jelačić. Built in the 17th century, the estate was home to a line of Croatian noble dynasties; distinguished members of families Zrinski, Sermage and Erdödy have all resided in Novi Dvori at one point in its history. Originally a one-story manor house, the centrepiece of the estate was rebuilt as a castle in the 18th century, further reconstructed and expanded by Ban Jelačić one hundred years later.

Both a cultural and historical gem, the estate has been vacant since 1977. Some of the castle's doors have long gone missing, either demolished or stolen; the roof was leaking, the facade rotting away. The overall complex, once a renowned location, has lately been evoking an image of post-apocalyptic tales, reports


Novi Dvori castle before renovation

However, things are looking up for Novi Dvori, as the estate is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation project. Apart from the castle, eight more objects on the grounds will get a makeover and transform into museums and gallery spaces, aiming to educate future visitors about Croatia's history, cultural heritage, and traditional crafts.

One of those eight objects is protected as a zero-category cultural monument; once used for threshing of grain, it's nowadays the only surviving structure of its kind in Croatia and will house various cultural and artistic manifestations all year round. A corn crib will be repurposed into an information centre with a souvenir shop, while the former stable will serve to present traditional crafts. The Richter building will turn into an accommodation facility, Marof Manor will house a gallery, and a wine cellar will be opened in another object.


Jelačić family tomb

The Town of Zaprešić is planning to submit all required documentation to the Ministry of Construction and Spatial Planning by the end of April, and launch a tender for the contractor by the end of this year. If all goes according to plan, construction works should be completed in the following two years. Up to 80% of expenses will be covered by EU funds.

Novi Dvori are thus getting a new look, along with a new purpose - the entire complex will be branded as a unique tourist destination, located only a short drive from the Croatian capital.