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Nobles’ Castle of Vrbovec near Klenovac Humski - Archaeological Conservation Excavations 2004
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Str. 67 - 72
The nobles’ castle of Vrbovec is situated in the outmost western part of Hrvatsko zagorje in Klenovac Humski, on a steep hill bearing the toponym Veliki Gradić, Veliko Gradišće topping the Sutla River valley in the north by ca 45 m. A smaller southern hill bearing the toponym Mali Gradić or Malo Gradišće (Fig. 1) also forms part of the Vrbovec medieval complex.
In excavations conducted so far by the Institute of Archaeology the ground-plan of a polygonal, probably multi-storey donjon was unearthed, which was probably architecturally redefined several times in the course of history. The chambers of the northern residential part of the castle were excavated entirely. The western and the central part of the courtyard were also encompassed in archaeological excavations in 2004. An attempt was made to define the southern border of the courtyard, on which occasion the northern face of the massive wall of the watchtower was unearthed. The latter was made of huge blocks of square cut stone according to the Romanesque tradition (Fig. 2). In the western part of the courtyard a deep pit was found, hewed in a rock, which was filled with layers of earth rich in late medieval finds: ceramic vessel fragments (pots, gothic glasses), animal bones, metal artifacts (spurs, knives, forged nails, bronze appliqués, bronze fish-hooks, lead bullets) and glass finds. The excavations of this structure have not been completed yet, but it is possible to assume the existence of a medieval cistern. In the central part of the courtyard all layers up to the original medieval walking area were excavated.
The first renovation and conservation works were conducted on the walls of the medieval castle of Vrbovec as well. A part of the western massive wall was conserved, which was in the worst condition (Fig. 3). The wall was decomposed and cleaned; the building conformed to the structure and construction of the original medieval wall (Fig. 4). Stone from the site was used for conservation. The binding medium - lime cement mortar - consisted of sand (< 4 mm) from a local quarry, lime and cement in a 1:3:6 ratio of cement, lime and sand.
nobles’ castle; thirteenth to fifteenth century; secular architecture; Gothic period; archaeological excavations; Hrvatsko zagorje
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