Zagorje is one of the regions of Croatia that also has a very, very rich history which includes prehistoric humans, wars, castles and much more. Zagorje is located in the north-west part of Croatia. This region consists of the whole area north of the mountain Medvednica than all the way to Slovenia. It is easy to ”get lost” in the forests of Zagorje, no matter when you visit it will always have something to show you. This actually gives you the vibe of Zagorje. Relaxing and perfect for vacation. Also, everything is somewhat close to Zagorje; Zagreb is only a couple of hours away. Slovenia too. Now let’s see what you should visit while you’re staying in Zagorje.
Definitely, the first thing to do in Zagorje is to visit Krapina, this little city has great pizza and you can enjoy the view of the river Krapincica. However, we all know what is the main attraction here, The Museum of Neanderthals. This museum is one of the most modern museums in the world. It has a lot to offer.
A movie about the life of Neanderthals, and very realistic wax figures in real life size were made with help of ”Lord of the Rings” crew.
Then the theory of big bang, history line of evolution, dinosaurs, homo-sapiens etc. If you take my word for it, it’s one of the most interesting museums I’ve ever been to.
If you are a sucker for nobleman stories this one is for you. So starting in the 13th century the land that is Zagorje today, needed a fortress a lookout. Trakoscan is a huge castle with a beautiful land around it, it would be hard to believe it was used for protection but once you are inside you can see the real fortress, with old swords and guns, and you can see their hunting achievements.
Veliki Tabor was structured in the 15th century but became a castle in a late 17th century. It was a home to many noble families such as Celjski, Korvin, and family Rattkay and famous Croatian artist Oton Ivekovic.
Lužnica Castle also called Mary’s Castle, is the spiritual and educational center. It has changed many owners over the centuries. Its first role was family home for a nobleman, but after it got into Church hands, more specific Sisters of Mercy was a time when it became a shelter for old and for people in need. It’s great for relaxing and for peaceful few days. There are many group visits so you can go with your loved ones.
Kumrovec is relatively close to Zagreb, only 48km away. It was the birth town of Josip Broz Tito, also known as the president of Yugoslavia for 40 years. You have the chance of looking inside of houses to see how did Croatian ancestors live. It is the only village museum in Croatia so don’t miss the chance to visit it. It is surrounded by ruins of fortress Cesargrad, also you can see the monument to Croatian anthem ”Lijepa naša”.
The meaning of this church has grown quickly over the years. It was mentioned in the 13th century. Some people come here to seek for forgiveness, some for help or they feel some kind of supernatural power radiating from here. Whatever the reason might be, everybody is welcome. Even the Pope John Paul II came to Marija Bistrica on the 3rd October 1998.
This museum shows the life in the feudal system back in the day. It’s suited within the Castle Orsic in Gornja Stubica. The museum opened in the year 2002. With visiting this museum you get the knowledge of armors, arms and the construction of late-medieval Castles. It will tell you what happened to lead to rebellion against feudal. Also, the museum offers to take you to tour of the Baroque chapel of St Francis Xavier and exhibition ecclesiastical art in Croatian Zagorje and wine cellar, and you can also get a temporary exhibition.
If you’re in Zagorje, you MUST visit Varazdin. It’s kind of like the capital of Zagorje. Also called the ‘City of Towers‘, you can’t resist the beautiful architecture and history of this town. Locals are very polite and helpful, so you can ask them any questions you might have. Visiting museums and monuments in Varazdin is not a bad idea, but if you don’t want to work yourself you can always take Spa Day. Did you know that Varazdin’s Thermae where used by Ancient Romans?
Zagorje is a really beautiful place to visit, and to take a good look at. Starting from the people who take care of the important monuments, castles, museums, and remains of the past, to the country which helps keep them safe and active for us which want to learn something new. It also teaches us to take care of culture and show to our own kids and making someone appreciate history and not destroy the remains that future generations will use. So. let’s be careful.