Old city of Ivanec
Old city of Ivanec doesn’t exist any more. It was demolished in Second World War, and two towers which survived the war were destroyed in 1959. Stone parts of old city had been built in foundations of main streets in Ivanec.
First accurate time of city’s origin isn’t still confirmed and only one accurate data of city’s origin is from 1558 when in the estate had moved Frakcija Choron, wife of Benedikt Petheő. In document of King Ferdinand II, it’s mentioned that the old town is built from the ruins of old crusader chapel. But this data is wrong because it’s proven that chapel had existed in that time.
Suzana Oršić, at that time owner of the town and widow of Stjepan Petheö, ordered in 1674 to bring down the old chapel. She passed away that year, so rebuilding of the chapel slowed down. Her son Gregur Petheő wanted to build a new chapel out of the town, on a place known as Rupešišće. Nevertheless, the citizens of the town were dedicated to the old chapel and demanded it to be built in the town again.
The solution was achieved in 1685. The town wall was breached on the east side and the new chapel of the St. Johan the Baptist was built there. One side of the chapel was out of the city wall and the other (entrance) within the city. In 1686, the chapel was finished.
The chapel was spacious, long about 16 meters, and wide about 6 meters. It was all built and arched, floored with bricks, roofed with oak splints, with the wooden tower above the entrance in which the bell of 100 kg. was placed later. The chapel was high and had two choruses. One of them was on the entrance and the other was on the north rock, which was intended for high caste that was coming from town, probably by open wooden balcony.
Altars were being brought gradually and had artistic values. The main altar was placed in 1689 and dedicated to John the Baptist. The pulpit was placed in 1694. The left secondary altar was set up in 1694 and it was dedicated to M.B. Chandlery. He did not stay there for a long time because the miraculous picture of Virgin Merry was brought. The picture was brought from the chapel “Uznesenja Marijina”, beneath the town Bela whose parish priest completely neglected the picture that was almost ruined. Ivan Pethő ordered a new altar for it and his wife Barbara Falusi ordered the right altar of St. Barbara. The chapel had a collection of valuable dishes among them four chalice.
The sad thing was that the beautiful chapel of Pethő´s was not well built. Already in 1771 the high church clerk noticed cracks in the beautiful painted ceiling. The chapel’s falling apart was speeded by departure of count Erdődy from the town of Ivanec in 1817. The new owner, Adam Peharnik and his descendants did not allow people to come to masses saying that the chapel was private because the entrance was within the town. The high-church clerk was for the opinion that the chapel was always public.
The chapel was brought down in 1844, and the only thing left from it was the chapel’s bell that could be found today at the chapel of Holy Ghost above Prigorec.
Old town of Ivanec
Ivanec´s old town was building which was being built for a long time. From one document kept in Croatian state archive, we can find that the last Petheő in 1713 had owned 14 dwellings, 1 more palace, and a basement, then a warehouse, a kitchen and other necessary facilities, a chapel, a stale with three following objects, fishpond, a mill with three grinding wheels for wheat and one for porridge.
The old town of Ivanec consisted of four wings that were enclosed in circle. On the north wing, which was pointing towards path from Varaždin to Lepoglav, was a defensive structure with three impressive towers, which were used for defending town gate, and east, and west wings of town.
A guard tower was the biggest and highest tower of all three of them. It was three-storey tower first and second floor were used for living and third was garret. From this tower you could see all roads that were leading to Ivanec.
The main tower was square, west was polygon shaped, and the east was semicircular. The west tower was in a shape of irregular hexagon. It was strategically important because it was looking toward the road, which led to church, village and further toward hill of Ivančica. The view from it reached all the way to the Očura. The towers were all connected with large defensive wall.
The west wing of the town was used for housing, and it was probably the same age as the main tower. Ladislav Erdődy built the south wing in 18 century. The southeastern wing, which was surrounding the yard, was also built in 18 century, and it was used by servants and masters.
Deep ditches filled with water from Bistrica surrounded the town walls, and you could approach town gate only by the bridge that was over this ditch. On the place of today’s park a large fishpond was located which also was filled with water from Bistrica.
Ivan Petheő left the estate in poor shape with lots of debts. After death of his widow Barbara Falussy in 1730, the estate was passed to royal ownership. King Karlo IV soled this property in 1740 to Ladislav Erdődy Novomarofskom who renovated and spread it, and in ditches, he brought water again.
Female descendents of the family Petheő, figured out that the estate on which they had all legal rights was unjustly taken away from them, because their cousins bought it with their money and they didn’t got it as a present from the king. Descendents initiated a lawsuit that lasted for 54 years to retreat it. The lawsuit was ended in 1817 in their favor, mostly because of influence of their relative, Mirko Reffaya (1753-1830), a bishop of Đakovec.
The successors were families: Peharnik, Fodroczy, Balogh, Kovacčoc, Švagel, Krajačić, Bužan, Dominić, Konoty, Bedeković, Josipović, Lovinčić, Barabas i Kukuljević.
The town of Ivanec, together with some of its land, belonged to Baron Adam Peharnik-Hotoković. His daughter Katarina married to a lawyer Nikola Faller, and she left Ivanec to her daughter Maria who married to Filip Sarlay.
Sarlays in 1844 allowed the old dilapidated chapel to be partly demolished, while they rented the first floor to a district. In 1867 Sarlays sold Ivanec to Ladislav Kukuljević. The town of Ivanec was finally, at the time of Ladislav Kukuljevic, taken care of.
Ladislav destroyed the rest of Petheö´s chapel, broke through the east wall, and on that way opened a way to stable and other buildings. He had high ramparts shortened down, ditches that didn’t have water in, filled in and leveled. He died in Ivanec in 1896.
His nephew Bozidar, the youngest son of Ivan Kukuljević, inherited him. He turned the neglected fishpond into an English garden, park today. His son Radovan pressed by depths, ceded most of family depths to his brother-in-law dr. Josip Šaban, who, to get rid of depths, sold the property leaving only castle with garden, mill, and some of the forest. Shortly before World War II out of whole property only castle with park remained, this time serving as a rented house and owners, in summer holiday, used only five rooms.
During World War II the castle was severely damaged in a fire. Partisan unites, in their action of liberation, attacked the town, when castle was put on fire, and severely damaged. After the war, the estate was nationalized, but new owners did not have taste in renovating it. The remaining two towers were knocked down in 1959, and remnants of it were built into foundations of main Ivanec´s streets.