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Hrvatski dvorci


A special and important feature of the Začretje castle was its park. It was probably laid out at the end of the eighteenth century, when the house was finished and when all the facades had got their final appearance. A fine baroque garden was characteristic of most of the Sermage houses. During the Sermages the garden beside Začretje covered less than an acre and included only a narrow belt along the eastern and southern fronts. The garden terrace in front of the semi-circular tower gives the garden special attraction and its own architectural stamp. On two sides staircases descend down the hillslope from the terrace to the lower level of the park. The terrace and staircases have an artificial-stone balustrade on the outside, repeated on the balcony. The garden terrace and the staircases were made much after the house was finished, probably in 1860, because they cannot be seen on the old cadastral map.
The park was probably rearranged during the time of Henrieta and Count Ernest Schlippenbach. In those days it extended in the plain under the house and included the lake to the south of the main road. After 1918 Baron Janko Vranyczany-Dobrinović could no longer maintain the park around the lake and under the road, but at least he made efforts to keep everything around the manor as it had been. One of the main reasons why the lower part of the grounds were neglected was that the then unsurfaced main Krapina-Zabok road passed right beside them, as did the double avenue of horse-chestnuts that has since disappeared. As traffic and dust increased, especially during fairs and church feasts, the bottom part of the park slowly disappeared. Several benches with lions' heads have been preserved in the gardens, the same as the ones in Oroslavje Gornje, placed in the park by Janko Vranyczany. To the north-west of the castle there was a large vegetable garden where vegetables, fruit and flowers for cutting were grown. Vegetables from Baron Vranyczany's garden could be found on the tables of leading hotels in Zagreb and Krapinske Toplice.

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