Maruševec castle dates back to 1547. In the 19th century it was described as having a square, lowland fortress with entrenchments, four circular towers and one square one, entered across a wooden bridge.
In 1618 Baltazar Vragović of the noble family Vragović, (entitled in 1351 by King Ljudevit I), restored and enlarged the castle. This is recorded in the inscription and family arms on the first floor of the western wall of the old castle. The Vragović family had obtained and occupied the castle and from 1514 had the right to pronounce the death sentence on serfs. In 1716 they were given a baronetcy but the last member of the family, Franjo Adam, had no male heir and nominated Krsto črnkovački, then Deputy Ban and captain of the Ban's bodyguard, to be his successor. However, upon his death a year later in fighting against the Turks on the Zrin, Maruševec Castle was owned by a succession of noble families from the Pasztory family, the Kanotay family to the Patačić family.
The Patačićes remained im possession until 1817 no heir was apparent. Throughout the mid 19th century, again the castle was under numerous hands, until it was bought in 1873 from Baron Simbschen by the Prussian Count Arthur Schlippenbach whose wife, Luisa, was from the Drache de Wartenberg family. He enlarged the castle as it stands today and refurbished it with decor of the period in 1877. In 1881, Count Schlippenbach died in Cairo.
In 1883 Maruševec and Čalinec Castle were purchased by Oskar de Pongratz. The Pongratz noble family reconstructed the garden upon the plans of the Swedish architect Carl Gustav Swensson, and made some minor alterations to the building in 1901 such as tapestries on the staircases illustrating hunting scenes, the work of Monnaccelli from Rome. Pongratz also placed a new entrance door in the south wall above which are the Pongratz arms, and built new steps, which stand today. The castle was owned by the Pongratz noble family until 1945. That year the Independent State of Croatia was defeated, resulting in the establishment of communist-run Yugoslavia which confiscated most of the former Austro-Hungarian Croatian nobility's property. As part of this, Maruševec was nationalized and the Pongratz's emigrated to Graz, Austria.
In the 2000s, the government of Croatia began the process of returning the property to the heir of the Pongratz family, count Oskar Pontgratz. It is now in their ownership.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.