The Old Town (Stari grad) is the most important cultural monument in Varaždin. This gothic-renaissance fortress, which was built and rebuilt several times from 14th to the 19th century, has been home to The Culture and History Department as a part of Varaždin City Museum since 1925. Both the fortress and the display have witnessed a few renovations, among which the one taking place between 1983 and 1989 was the most comprehensive. The approach has not changed, though since the very beginning. The Old Town has partly retained the form of an ambient museum, where some holdings are shown through collections, and some through rooms designed in period style.
Apart from signet rings, scepters and historic documents the Museum also shows valuable guild collections, cannons, stone monuments and both side arms and firearms. April 2007 saw another opening of a new museum department with 400 items from the glass, ceramics and clocks collection.
What is special about the display is that there are ten rooms furnished in period style, showing chronologically renaissance, baroque, rococo, Empire, Biedermeier, historicism and art deco. Walking through all these rooms a visitor can experience the spirit of the times gone-by and the lifestyle of those times.
There is also a room in the Museum dedicated to two prominent men from Varaždin, a historian and a member of the Illyrian Movement Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski and a world known philologist Vatroslav Jagić.
In the fortress there is also a chapel of St. Lawrence and a sacristy. The chapel got new blessing from Varaždin bishop in 2000 and after that the tradition of keeping a mass on St. Lawrence's day, which falls on 10th August, was restored.
It might be interesting to mention that the museum exhibits do not belong to the old-time noble families who once owned The Old Town, among which the Erdödy family resided here the longest. The most of the exhibits were either bought by the Museum or donated by Varaždin families.