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Hrvatski dvorci


Two family members were especially important for the history of the manor - Franjo Ksaver (1778-1851) and his wife Josipa, nee Baroness Schlaum-Linden. Franjo Ksaver was Austrian Ambassador in Constantinople (1822-1833) and Metternich's advisor in Vienna (1833-1846). He was a great conoisseur of oriental antiquities and had a large collection of oriental documents, handed over for safekeeping in 1942 to the State Archives in Zagreb by his grandson Franjo Ksaver. Various stories are connected to the name of Josipa Ottenfels. She lived in Bežanec from 1842 until her death in 1885, when she was buried in the family vault in the Pregrada parish church. She was a masterful woman and all the members of the family had to bow to her will. In her lifetime the manor was constantly under repair, additions were always being made to it and the scaffolding was not removed for decades. It was said that on the way back from Constantinople a gipsy had foretold that she would live as long as she kept on building. In 1842 crates with furniture and carpets arrived from Constantinople but she did not find the time to open them during her lifetime. After Josipa's death the crates were opened and Persian carpets, paintings and furniture were found in them, outstanding among which was a divan covered in blue velvet with embroidery in gold, given to Franjo Ksaver by some Turkish vizier.

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