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Hrvatski dvorci


A park was laid out beside Stubički Golubovec at the beginning of the nineteenth century, which today consists of two parts: a garden around the house and a wooded park. The park is partly indigenous: trees of the common oak (Quercus robur) and hornbeam (Carpinus betulis), and partly planted with white pine (Pinus strobus). It forms a direct natural frame and a support for the garden and connects it to the surrounding countryside. The wood was the eastern scenic curtain for the Fairy Meadows which afforded a magnificent view of Mt Medvednica and its spurs on the Stubica side. The former Fairy Meadows (Geisterwiese), also known as Mjesečaj, have mostly been preserved and are today one of the most important features of Stubički Golubovec.
The grounds around the house are landscaped. The finest layout is that in the north with lovely views, from the house, of the hills to the north of the park, of solitary trees or groups of trees, of lawns and the nearby woods. Very little remains today of the former many-coloured park layout that was the result of the large number of exotic plants. The pines whose dark colour provided a background have almost disappeared, and the formerly polychrome composition has become monochrome as indigenous trees prevail. Of the remaining exotic plants in the park, especially valuable is the sassafras shrub (Sassafras officinale), because it is the last example of this species in the parks of the Croatian Zagorje, perhaps even in the whole of Croatia.
The park in Stubički Golubovec was laid out in two phases: in the first half of the nineteenth century and at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. The two phases differ greatly. The park layout from the first phase (in the time of Bishop Vrhovac) has been only partly preserved in the north between the house and the road. The second phase introduced important changes in the garden architecture layout and is only partially preserved.
Bishop Vrhovac began to lay out the park in 1819. According to his diary, in September of that year measurements began in the grounds in Stubički Golubovec and Stubičke Toplice. Not until 1825 was the layout of the park and the orchard finalized under the supervision of Vrhovac himself. On 21 November 1821, 240 young fruit trees were planted, and two days later Golubovec was visited by the forestry and garden expert Leopold Klingspogl (who had laid out Ribnjak Priests' Park in Zagreb) and who brought with him 336 saplings for the park. There were also several fish pools. The 1861 cadastral map is the only known presentation of the park from the days of Vrhovac. The main entrance to the park and to the approach to the house was the western tree-lined drive leading to the main (north) front before which lay a garden with decorative pools, flowers and shrubs. There was a flower bed (probably roses) shaped like two spirals in front of the southern facade. To the west of the house was a large vegetable garden divided by paths into rectangular beds. To the north and south of the garden lay an orchard. To the east and south of the house, in the days of Vrhovac, were seven estate buildings, four of them brick and three wooden.
The Bishop's heiress Ana Sermage neglected the estate, and house and park slowly lost their earlier glory. At the end of the nineteenth century Levin Rauch renewed the house and estate and greatly changed the appearance of the park, which remained as he had laid it out until the middle of the twentieth century, when it began to deteriorate. In that second phase the park and the surroundings of the house changed their ground plan. To the park were added many romantic details and structures. The former owner Baron Wolfgang Christian Steeb remembers that there were four baroque tables with benches of different shapes in the park, a large Louis XVI octagonal arcaded pavilion with a copper roof (similar to the chapel in Stubičke Toplice, pulled down after 1945), bowling alleys, croquet lawns, orangeries and some estate buildings.

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