The Vranyczany-Dobrinović Family
The members of the Vranyczany-Dobrinović family have been the protagonists of some of the most exciting events in Croatian history since 15th century. Their importance and influence are reflected in the mansion on Zrinski trg, Karlovac’s central square, as well as in the family’s mausoleum at the Dubovac Catholic Cemetery. All merchants and tradesmen of the time wanted their houses to have façades that would reflect their social standing and wealth, as well as mausoleums as lasting monuments to their lives.
The family’s influence is still felt today: the first Croatian minister of tourism was Janko Vranyczany-Dobrinović. Parts of both Croatia’s and Karlovac’s history are made up of their names’ mosaic. Ambroz Vranyczany, Sr., was one of the founders of Matica ilirska (today: Matica hrvatska) national cultural institution, Ambroz, Jr. was a finance minister in the ban Jelačić government who also opened the first dance school in Zagreb, Nikola was a famous philanthropist and the founder of Karlovac’s first brewery, Emanuel was an entrepreneur and an ambassador, while Ljudevit was the first amateur photographer in Croatia and one of the founders of the Artists’ Association in Zagreb.
The women were just as accomplished and successful. After her husband’s death, Francisca took over the river shipping company in Sisak, Ambroz’s wife Wanda Marija Magdalena Ida (Dedee), was the first Croatian woman with a Montessori educator diploma, while Ada’s beauty and sophistication inspired a number of Croatian painters. Those women were ahead of their time and often initiated important social changes.