Palaces, manors and town halls in Croatia

Sponza Palace

The rectangular Sponza Palace with an inner courtyard was built in a mixed Gothic and Renaissance style between 1516 and 1522 by Paskoje Miličević Mihov. Its name is derived from the Latin word 'spongia', the spot where rainwater was collected. The loggia and sculptures were crafted by the brothers Andrijić and other stonecutters. The palace has served a variety of public functions, including as a custo ...
Founded: 1516-1522 | Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Rector's Palace

One of the most significant monuments of profane architecture on the Croatian coast is the Rector"s Palace, former administrative centre of the Dubrovnik Republic. Its style is basically Gothic, with the Renaissance and Baroque reconstructions. In the 15th century the Palace was destroyed twice in gunpowder explosions. Restored by Onofrio della Cava in the late Gothic style after the first explosion in 1435, the Pal ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Diocletian's Palace

Considered to be one of the most imposing Roman ruins, Diocletian’s palace is certainly the main attraction of the city of Split. The ruins of palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city. Today the remains of the palace are part of the historic core of Split, which in 1979 was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. While it is referred to as a 'palac ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Split, Croatia

Pula Communal Palace

The Communal Palace is situated at the northern end of the main square of the old part of the City of Pula, called the Forum Square. The spot occupied by the Palace has been used for the public buildings since Ancient Rome, when the place was used as a part of a triade of Roman temples, of which today only the Temple of Augustus remains. The eastern of these temples, called the Temple of Diana, was used as a rudimenta ...
Founded: 1296 | Location: Pula, Croatia

Luznica Manor

It is believed that the Lužnica manor was built at the beginning of the 18th century. Since 1791 the estate was the owned by Rauch noble family. They soon had the manor renovated and further expanded. At the end of 19th century, Marija Jurić Zagorka, lived in the manor from the age of 3 until 10 years, as her father was estate manager for the Rauch family. She later became one of the most prominent Croatian writers of ...
Founded: c. 1791 | Location: Lužnica, Croatia

Pejacevic Palace

Pejačević Palace  one of several castles owned by the members of Pejačević noble family in the croatian region of Slavonia. It was built in 1800-1804 in Classicism and late Baroque style. 
Founded: 1800 | Location: Virovitica, Croatia

Novi Dvori

Novi Dvori of Zaprešić is a feudal estate consisting of a manor house, an old granary renovated into a museum, a circular threshing machine, a neo-gothic chapel and the Jelačić family tomb. According to a document dated in 1852, the Novi Dvori manor was first constructed in 1611 as an ordinary one story manor house mostly made of wood. This initial 17th century concept of a manor, consisted of what is today a western ...
Founded: c. 1611 | Location: Zaprešić, Croatia

Eltz Manor

In 1736, Philipp Karl von Eltz-Kempenich (1665–1743), the Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire and Prince-Archbishop of Mainz, purchased a Vukovar manor in Syrmia, in the eastern Kingdom of Slavonia, then part of the Habsburg Monarchy ruled by Emperor Charles VI. The palace was originally built between 1749 and 1751 by the Archchancellor"s descendants of the German Catholic noble House of Eltz and ...
Founded: 1749 | Location: Vukovar, Croatia

Pejacevic Palace

Pejačević Castle is one of several country houses owned by the members of the Pejačević noble family in the region of Slavonia. According to the sign located on the, facade above the entrance, the manor was built by count Sigismund Pejačević in 1801, with the actual construction beginning somewhere around 1796. The Retfala Estate was acquired by the Pejačević Counts as a grant by the then Austrian Em ...
Founded: 1796-1801 | Location: Osijek, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.