Are you looking for a fun day out with the kids or with visiting friends? Perhaps you just want to spend quality time with your favourite people out in the fresh air whilst soaking up a bit of culture and experiencing adventure first hand! Whether it's your first visit to Varaždin, or you have been before and want to discover it from a different perspective, our self-guided Mini Adventure is the perfect way to get acquainted, at your own pace and in your own time, with this relatively undiscovered Croatian city that was once the capital.
Varaždin has one of the best collections of intact Baroque buildings in Europe which has earnt it the nickname of Croatia's 'little Vienna'. Even more amazing is that a fire destroyed much of the city in 1776! As the capital of Croatia for twenty years (1756-1776) religious orders, noble families and wealthy tradesmen brought in the best architects and painters in the country to build palaces and mansions. The fire resulted in the capital being moved back to Zagreb but some of what awaits to be discovered harks back to the days when it was a place of national importance.
This Mini Adventure leads you through the charming cobblestoned, pedestrian-only historic town square (Trg Kralja Tomislava) where the city hall (one of the oldest in Europe) plays host, every Saturday (May to October) to the ceremonial changing of the guard. On to the peach coloured cathedral via the Jesuit Monastery, which is the most outstanding complex of early Baroque architecture in Varaždin. Wander elegant streets which are lined with pastel-coloured facades and perhaps come upon hidden courtyards, as you wind your way around this relatively quiet city. Use your explorers' spirit to locate the clues, taking in countless churches, squares and palaces. One of the palaces even houses the World of Insects which is well worth a visit after you've completed your quest.
The Stari Grad "Old Town" is the jewel in Varaždin's crown. A medieval fortress from the 14th century which stands today just as it would have done all those years ago. It looks like a castle that has been plucked straight out of the pages of a fairy tale. It now houses the Varaždin Municipal Museum and showcases around 1100 exhibitions! Surrounding it you will see the high grassy walls that would have enclosed defensive water. The preserved Watchtower close by is a reminder of its history and would have been the entrance to the fortress.
Varaždin has a quirkiness about it too. This is reflected in the Museum of Angels and the metal art gallery which is a courtyard and house filled with metal souvenirs of all shapes, themes and sizes, made by the remarkable Miroslav Prikratki. You might also even come across the official organ grinder of Varaždin on your adventure! You'll pass by the Square of Traditional Crafts and learn all about the Guild Signs that represent craftsmen of years gone by.
Your Quest in Varaždin will be to uncover the legend of the stone bear and help repair a terrible ill that was done to a mother bear many years ago.
As you explore you will be following our special map, solving clues as you go along - some are sneaky, some not so much. The clues are set on buildings, monuments and permanent features, solving them will reveal the location of the relic you have been tasked to find on your epic adventure. Become one of the Seeker characters presented in the booklet and feature on the free collectable badges that are included.
We have included fun challenges to complete along the way so the fun lasts even longer!
And at the end of the Mini Adventure you will have found the answer to your quest and be able to decode the exclusive 'mini padlock' included in your pack, loaded with lucky Seeker Charms.
Make your day out even more amazing by purchasing the personalised option. See the Personalise a Mini Adventure section for more information.
Varaždin - The Story of the Stone Bear
- This walking Mini Adventure is approximately 3km long and depending on your pace, takes around 2 hours to complete
- This Mini Adventure is not suitable for wheelchairs. There are some steps to navigate so light pushchairs could be used if you are feeling fit!
- This Mini Adventure is suitable for all ages from 4 to 84
- One Mini Adventure map will be enough for 6 people
- Free answer sheet included - sealed, so it's not too easy to cheat but accessible if you get stuck
- There are free certificates for each Mini Adventure available on submission of the answer to the quest. Alternatively, order an extra special Mini Adventurer Certificate at the time of choosing your Mini Adventure and have an awesome personalised certificate sent to you in the post from the Master of Seekers himself!