Come with Me to Varaždin…

Margit Schramm – Soprano, Ferry Gruber – Tenor, Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Robert Stolz
Musical postcards, produced by AULOS Varaždin, will be available

After centuries of battles with the Turks, the Venetians and later Napoleon’s forces, and following the revolution in Hungary, there was a period of relative peace during the second half of the 19th Century which saw cultural, economic and social progression. This period became known as the ‘Belle Époque’ (‘the Beautiful Era’). This was a time of vibrant salons, of Viennese Waltzes, of gramophones and newspapers and was characterized by polite mannerisms and a high aesthetic criterion that was applied to all aspects of life.
Fashion, music and culinary novelties arrived in Varaždin almost simultaneously from every major European metropolis and the Viennese Court. Popular at this time were photography, cinema, gramophones and electric lighting…

There are few places in any city where one can truly know the soul of its inhabitants. In Varaždin, it is the Grofica Marica (‘Countess Maria’) Coffee House.

Coffee Houses throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries became places of assembly and association. There coffee is a good friend to be quarrelled and reconciled with, to be seduced and loved. The smell of coffee is synonymous with newspapers, deal making, radio and even the recital of poetry.

Varaždin’s traditional cafes kept pace with those of Vienna or Zagreb. The main square (‘Korzo’) has, since time immemorial, been destined for coffee. Today the Grofica Marica is the prima donna of the operetta that is Varaždin, but at the beginning of the last Century the actual Countess Maria lived above the Coffee House. And the coincidence doesn’t end there. Above today’s Coffee House was the residence of Emmerich Kalman, composer, who was most certainly acquainted with the Grofica Marica, and the pleasant time spent in Varaždin must have influenced one of his most popular operettas: the Countess Maria.

Today the Grofica Marica offers modern and high quality delicacies which are appreciated by the inhabitants of Varaždin and tourists alike, such as Varaždin Cake, chocolate pralines…

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