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Hrvatski dvorci
 
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Building

Style Characteristic
Baroque castle

Architecture Characteristics
It took three centuries for Miljana to gain its present form. During those three hundred years architectural and art styles have changed and all have left their traces on the building and on the architectural styles of which it is composed and which it is sometimes difficult to date. It was originally conceived as an inner court surrounded by walls of different heights and thickness. From the beginning of the seventeenth century to the middle of the nineteenth, when it was finished, it was altered and extended several times, and a number of phases may be discerned in its development.
Building first began between 1597 and 1603. Of the original conception, a typical four sided Renaissance fortress, only the front wall was finished in the first phase, pressed against the slope. The external face is simple with rhythmically placed windows, but the inner, courtyard wall had galleries on both ground and first floor. The west wing was added in the seventeenth century and continued the galleries, but with only four arches. Next came the building of an outside wall constructed of broken stone to form a rectangular courtyard. A number of lesser extensions followed, the most important being the extension northwards of the west wing and the introduction of sanitary facilities on the west side of the first floor. These are the only facilities of the kind known to have been built in Zagorje before the nineteenth century. They were located in two identical constructions which project outwards from the west wall to the baroque simplicity of which they provide variety.
The house gained its final appearance with the building of the southern wing, a long, single-storey building with ten rather small windows. In the centre is a large entrance door built where there was once a gate in the boundary wall. On the roof above the entrance is a small but charming clocktower. Over this low south wing there is a view of the galleries and roof of the manor, adding a feeling of harmony and well conceived spatial arrangement, especially when seen from a distance.
The south wing was most likely built in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was a period when a considerable amount of building was going on as shown by the years recorded in various parts of the manor. The year 1746 is engraved on the bell in the little tower and carved on the keystone of the front wall, also 1758 is engraved on the well head. With the building of the front wing construction work on Miljana while it was owned by the Ratkajs ended.
In the nineteenth century the manor changed hands several times and some small, not particularly noteworthy changes were made. About 1849 the most southerly of the ground-floor arcades was walled in to form a chapel. In place of the boundary wall, between the west and the front wings, a one-story building was added with four windows on the west wall.
Besides the architectural features already mentioned Miljana makes a special impression because of its coloured walls. In the long period of its development the colours have varied according to fashion, style and individual taste. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the north wing was white. At the end of the seventeenth century, when the west wing was built, Miljana was in its grey period, when upon a pale grey background white rectangles were painted. In the first half of the eighteenth century the walls were blue-black, the corners and around the windows being picked out in white with white medallions set in squares. In today's Miljana the blue-black period has been repeated. In the second half of the eighteenth century when the projections (sanitation) were added to the west wing Miljana was white, with ocre colour at the corners and round the windows. In the nineteenth century the colours were changed several times. Most often and for the longest periods white predominated, down until the most recent reconstruction of the eighties of the present century.
Not only were the walls of the manor painted but so was the interior. In the main rooms are the finest wall paintings, in both subject and execution, of the rococo period in Croatia. This most complete cycle of an age of gallantry is attributed by some to A. Lerchinger. On the walls and window surrounds are astrological subjects, pastoral scenes, also scenes of gallantry showing the life of the landed gentry of the Croatian Zagorje in the second half of the eighteenth century. The rococo tiled stoves are particularly fine.

 
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