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

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.