The story of the Castle Jurjevec, is a story of courage in times when it was needed the most. Castle Jurjevec witnessed the fantasy of the aristocratic life and the idyll of a baroque mansion. Over the years, this story has become one of the many threads that binds the Croatian history, the threads which go back to the times of the brave European knights, intertwined through the rise of the Habsburg monarchy, witnessed Napoleon's conquests and the beautiful architectural legacy of the French Empire, seeing it's end together with the European nobility in the twilight of absolutism as one of their last sanctuaries.
From the ramparts of Christianity
to the refuge of aristocracy
From the modest beginning of the Castle Jurjevec, no one could have guessed the role of the peaceful Turopolje region in the creation of European history. In the 15th century fear and shock wave spreads across Europe! The Ottoman Empire is in full swing, states of the Balkan peninsula have fallen one after the other. The Hungarian kingdom was determined: it will not fall victim to the teeth of time, Ottoman flags will not fly in European capitals! The brave knights, primarily of the Croatian and Hungarian nobility, have long defied a far more numerous invaders from the East. However, large parts of Croatia and Hungary over time burned in flames, having fallen in foreign hands. The invader came before the Sava River.
From the broken multitude, a hero rises. With the trust of the king and the fighting upheavals, Thomas II Bakač Erdődy gains possessions on which he builds castles and raises an army. Only an hour from Zagreb, it was at the Zelin-Čiče Estate, at the time modest Castle Jurjevec, where Erdődy's hussars were stationed. Ruthless and battle-worn guardians of the Europe. From the barn of the Castle, on 22 June 1593, the Hussars warriors rode to join the other European knights in an event that would later be celebrated by the whole of Europe, and on which we're still reminded by the Small Bell of the Zagreb Cathedral every day at 14:00 hours. Led by Ban Erdődy, the Christian army utterly crushed the Turkish army, which lost about 10,000 soldiers in the Kupa River, and Hasan-Pasha himself drowned in the Kupa River with 12 of Turkey's most prominent Begs, on his escape across the Kupa River. Historians note that after this victory, Tom Erdődy exclaimed loudly: "In Deo vici!" ("In God I won!").
The Želin-Čiče Estate at which Castel Jurjevec is located today, remains in the possession of the nobleman Erdődy until 1873. With the final withdrawal of the Ottoman army, the Estate did not fall out of the sphere of interest of their masters. Thus, Castle Jurjevec remained a living proof of their courage, but also their taste for beautiful architecture. At the beginning of the XIX century, Croatian lands came under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte. In a short period of from 1806 to 1813 Napoleon's commissar marshal Auguste de Marmont leaves a strong mark on Croatian countries, especially on the Želin-Čiće Estate, incorporating the French spirit into the Croatian homeland, creating a beautiful gardens and parks who adorning the old cores of Croatian towns. One such a park is also nowadays the jewel in the crown of The Estate Jurjevec.
In 1873 Thurn und Taxis, one of the most important noble dynasties of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy, bought the baroque Castle Jurjevec from Counts of Erdődy. This gem remains in hands of the new owners until the collapse of the feudal system and the disappearance of the European nobility, serving as a refuge and idyllic summer mansion for many of them. Despite the fact that throughout history Jurjevec Estate has suffered great devastation, at the beginning of the XXI century, under the leadership of the heir to the Estate, Zeljko Dorotić, it has restored its former glory by respecting the original idea of baroque builders, thus becoming an ideal place for lovers of true peace, and breathing new life into the Estate Jurjevec.