The Green Zagorje

The gentle green landscapes with hills, fields and valleys, rivers and streams, lakes, ponds and hot springs – this is the Croatian Zagorje. Situated south of the baroque picturesque city of Varazdin, north of Zagreb, i.e. on the “other side” of the Medvednica Mountain.

The popular song from Zagorje describes the region’s selfawarenss as Green: “Lepe ti je, lepe ti je, Zagorje zelene, Zagorje zelene” “pretty is our region, the green Zagorje”. To explain the beautiful green landscapes people here like the legends about the Green George (popular St. Georges, or in Croatian Sveti Yura).

Zagorje, Gupceva Lipa
Gupceva Lipa, the Inn next to the Linden tree where Matija Gubec gathered peasants for the first revolt in the 16th century

There are several things to know that are important when you hear us, Croatians, talk about Zagorje: Green, hot (thermal waters), revolt, Tito and – food.

Three men marked the history of Croatia and thanks to them the mentality of the people here were formed. Those three men were born in Croatian Zagorje: Tito, the most famous lifelong president of the ex-Yougoslavia. Then Matija Gubec, a peasant from Stubica (pronounced Stubitsa), a serf from the 16th century who organized the first jacquerie, a peasant revolt with a tragic outcome, but mythological legacy. And the third Franjo Tudjman, the first president of the independent post-Yugoslavia Croatia.

The mix of beautiful natural landscapes and the rich historical heritage makes this region a very popular destination for excursions and tours. After Dalmatia the Croatian Zagorje has the biggest quantity of historical monuments – from the beginning of time until the contemporary period. The most famous item from outer space – the meteorite – is kept in a museum in Vienna.

Croatia Castles Veliki Tabor
Veliki Tabor Castle, Zagorje region

 

The most popular sites among the visitors are the Krapina Neanderthal Museum (museum about the human evolution), two beautiful castles: the fancy Trakoscan and the authentic medieval Veliki Tabor, and the ethno village Kumrovec – where Marshal Tito was born. Along with those mandatory tourist sites, we like to mention the ruins of ancient cities like Cesargrad or Grebengrad, the religious heritage with a mix of the gothic and baroque styles you can see in many little provincial churches and some of them are a real work of art like the baroque church of St. Mary of Snow in Belec, Trški Vrh in Krapina or St. Georges chapel in Purga Lepoglavska to mention just three of them.

Zagorje is particularly popular for its rich and quality thermal sources or spas: Stubicke Toplice, Tuheljske Toplice, Krapinske Toplice or Terme Jezercica. Other thermal sources are waiting for investors and renovation.

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