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 part of the building and its shape has been preserved only in the cellar. Throughout the history, the owners of this estate were Zrinski family, Čikulin family, Sermage family, Festetics family and Erdödy family. Almost each of these owners gradually expanded the manor to the east. In second half of 18th century Peter Troilo Sermage turned the manor house into a castle and added several economic buildings such as barns, granaries and circular threshing machine to the estate. By 19th century, castle became the property of Alexander Erdödy. The same family eventually sold the estate to ban Josip Jelačić in 1851.
Written agreement on sale of the estate was made on March 23, 1852, despite Jelačić de facto buying the estate a year earlier. The new owner had both estate and the castle reconstructed and annexed. He also further extended the castle 18 meters eastwards adding the east wing, while cellar, façade and the upper level were decorated In 1855 construction of Neo-gothic chapel of St. Joseph started and it was finished after some two months of work. Following completion, the chapel was blessed on May 25, 1855. by an archbishop of Zagreb Juraj Haulik.
The same year, on Christmas, Josip Jelačić's wife - countess Sofia, gave birth to their daughter Anica on the estate, for which occasion, the banner was raised on top of the manor. However, little Anica soon died as an infant so Jelačić had her body buried Inside St. Joseph chapel. He also planned to build the family tomb on the estate, but died in 1859, before being able to execute this. In his last will, he expressed a wish to be buried next to his daughter in the estate chapel. After the death of Josip Jelačić, the estate became the property of his brother Đuro, who continued managing it and finally completed tomb wished by Josip in 1884. The design for this was made by prominent Austrian architect Hermann Bollé. The construction of the tomb was made out of unused stone, taken from reconstruction of Zagreb cathedral, which was badly damaged in 1880 Zagreb earthquake. After Đuro's death, the castle was inherited by his daughters Anka and Vera. In 1919. countess Vera Jelačić donated the family collection of weapons and paintings from Novi dvori, to what was then Croatian People's Museum. The daughters bequeathed the estate to the Croatian people in 1934.vAlthough Đuro, Hermina, and much of the Jelačić family were initially buried in family arcade in Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery, their remains were taken to the tomb in Novi Dvori in 1933, by the wish of countess Anka Jelačić. During the night on July 24, 1935, the tomb was looted by unknown vandals.
After the Yugoslav defeat in the April War of 1941, and formation of Nazi puppet state Independent State of Croatia, the castle became a residence of Ante Pavelić. In that period a terrace was added to the southern side of the manor. After the end of war, the estate was turned into an Agricultural High School. The castle was renovated during the 1960s, while school continued to operate on this location until 1977., when it relocated to Zagreb leaving the estate empty. The tombs were looted again by vandals in 1987. who also, in this occasion desecrated the remains of Josip Jelačić, his brother Antun and his little daughter Anica.
In May 2017, it was announced that City of Zaprešić secured 40 million HRK from European Union funds in order to completely renovate the manor. After the restoration, the manor will be used as a residential space for ceremonial occasions and various exhibitions.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.