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Hrvatski dvorci


It was built in about 1830 by Baron Josip Vrkljan (Werklein) when, as a retired general, he was in charge of the finances of Maria Louise, Grand Duchess of Parma, second wife of Napoleon. General Vrkljan knew northern Italy well and among its many villas ranging from Palladian to neo-classical he had models enough. The architect was most likely Bartolomej Felbinger, one of the outstanding nineteenth century builders in Zagreb and its surroundings. The supposition is substantiated by the fact that among the papers of Veliki Bukovec manor two drawings for the front facade of Januševec have been found with Felbinger's signature.
Ten years after the building was completed General Vrkljan fell into financial difficulties and decided to sell it. The May 1840 edition of Agramer Zeitung carried an advertisement of the auction of Januševec to be held August 15, 1840. The results of the auction are not known but in 1845 it was bought by the French Count Edgar de Corberon. In buying the manor he undertook to pay the rest of the debts which he did by selling the copper-plating with which the house was roofed. It was replaced by wooden shingles which were badly laid and often leaked so that later owners replaced the shingles with tin. Count Corberon was a well-known leader of the Illyrian period. In his letters to the King of Hanover he spelled out the pointlessness of Austrian absolutism. He was a friend of Ban Jelačić and proposed that they should found a university in Januševec. He was buried in the Drašković family tomb in Bisag. When Josip Drašković sold Bisag at the beginning of the twentieth century he moved the family tomb, but left Corberon.
Corberon was followed by a series of owners: the Austrian Count Dumreicher, Max Mayer who owned a factory in Novi Marof, and between the wars Manfred Sternberg. As a result of very considerable investment the last owner renovated the manor, returned to it much of its earlier glory, and furnished it with furniture from the Erdody manor in Jastrebarsko.
During the Second World War Januševec was occupied by the army and when they retreated on May 7 and 8 1945 they mined the building and caused great damage. It was left a roofless ruin, the walls seriously weakened and it stood in this condition until 1947 when reconstruction work began. With breaks of shorter and longer duration reconstruction went on for a full forty years. The building has in great part been rebuilt and in it the state archives of Croatia are stored. The reconstruction team was headed by architect Zvonimir Vrkljan, descendant of the original General Vrkljan who originally built the manor.

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