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Hrvatski dvorci


The estate of Veliki Bukovec was created in the sixteenth century from the Bednja domain. Since the region was at that time exposed to the Turks, in the mid-sixteenth century already a fortification was built in Veliki Bukovec to provide refuge for the surrounding population. Frequent Turkish attacks were the reason why the region was sparsely populated. Only after the Turkish defeat at Sisak in 1593 did their attack grow rarer and new settlers began to appear in 1598 on the Bukovec estate. In the sixteenth century the owner of the Bednja domain was Sigismund Frodnohar, whose descendants in the female line ruled Veliki Bukovec until 1555, when the Emperor Ferdinand granted it to Mihajlo Tinodi, who gave it to Jakob Mihajlo Sekelj. It remained in the Sekelj family until 1643 when Sigismund Fridrik Sekelj, the last descendant in the male line, died. His widow Barbara Črnomeljska tried to transfer the estate to her son-in-law Petar Keglević, which was not allowed by the authorities, and in 1643 the Emperor Ferdinand II granted Veliki Bukovec and the villages that belonged to it to Count Ivan Drašković who turned the estate of Veliki Bukovec into a domain. The domain comprised the curia in Veliki Bukovec, seven villages (Lunjkovec, Mali Bukovec, Martinić, Novo Selo Podravsko, Selnica Podravska, Sv. Petar Ludbreški and Županec) and the large forest of Križančija.
The manor house in Veliki Bukovec was built between 1745 and 1755 by Count Josip Kazimir Drašković (1716-1765), at the time the owner of the Veliki Bukovec domain. For merit in many wars, especially the French and Prussian wars, Josip Kazimir attained high military offices and the rank of Vice-Marshal. He held the office of Governor General of Križevci, Imperial Chamberlain and Confidential Imperial Councillor. Veliki Bukovec was inherited by his younger son Josip II.
In the first half of the nineteenth century Veliki Bukovec was owned by Count Karlo Drašković (1807-1855) who married Countess Elizabeta Batthyany-Strattmann. At that time the farms of Mali Bukovec, Marindvor and Lizidvor belonged to the Veliki Bukovec estate. Karlo Drašković also owned Bisag manor. Karlo and Elizabetha Drašković had five sons: Filip, Ivan, Josip, Pavao and Juraj . Filip died young, Ivan IX inherited Trakošćan from his uncle Vice-Marshal Juraj VI, Josip VI got Bisag, Juraj VII an estate in Hungary, and Pavao II inherited Veliki Bukovec. During the Illyrian Movement Veliki Bukovec was a great centre of the Croatian revival. Count Janko Drašković, the well-known Illyrian leader, often came here. Karlo and Elizabeta were good hosts, outstanding patriots and Illyrians. Persuaded by his uncle Janko Drašković, in 1840 Karlo sold for a good price the house in Opatička Street in Zagreb that he had just built and it was turned into the Illyrian centre that held the National Hall, reading-room, library, museum and Agricultural Society. In 1828 Karlo built the parish church in Veliki Bukovec, and Elizabeta opened a school for girls to teach them embroidery, sewing and cooking.
Pavao II (1840-1889), who inherited Veliki Bukovec from his father Karlo, founded the Agricultural Society for the District of Ludbreg. Pavao's wife, Countess Marija Festetić, gave clothes to schoolchildren every year, an example followed by all the members of the Drašković family. Pavao and Marija had two sons and a daughter: Dioniz, who continued to care for the estates and was very popular among the people but who died young in 1909, Pavao II, who inherited Veliki Bukovec and the farms, and Elizabeta who married Count Aleksandar Erdody in Hungary. Pavao built a new mill, a workshop, a small electrical power plant from which many households got electricity and a spirits factory. In 1920 he married Countess Eliza Salm Reifferscheit - Raitz and they had three sons - Pavao, Karlo and Aleksandar. During the Second World War, Pavao and Eliza and their children left Veliki Bukovec and moved to Austria. Today Count Karlo Drašković and his family live in Gussing (Gradišće) on the estate of his parents, though he comes to Veliki Bukovec from time to time to visit his old homeland.
Veliki Bukovec was a much-loved home of the Counts Drašković and it was here that they built the family tomb. In the forest of Križančija, not far from Veliki Bukovec, there is a late baroque chapel in whose crypt the bones of the collateral line of the Drašković family used to lie. Recently, following the wishes of Karlo Drašković, all the bones were transferred to the parish church in Veliki Bukovec.

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