Croatian Zagorje (Zagorje meaning – upland) is a region situated in the north-west of Croatia. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Zagorje are beautiful, picturesque, gentle hills full of green forests, small wine yards and cultivated fields.
Partly because it is so nicely positioned in the entrance to mid-Europe, Hrvatsko Zagorje is also rich in history and cultural heritage. It offers numerous medieval castles and fortifications, churches and archaeological sites that attract visitors.
Zagorje has, besides magical hills and endless green sceneries, a big amount of healthy thermal water wells which makes it the region with possibly the most thermal spas in Croatia and further.
The region of Zagorje has given to Croatian culture some of the best dishes to be found. Although many associate Croatian cuisine with Dalmatia and seafood, it’s the continental gastronomy that all Croats relate as “soul food”.The famous dish is the Zagorje strudel – štrukli. Simple in preparation and delicious in taste, this delicious cheese pastry is ideal for an appetizer or a healthy snack.Another dish that is found in many homes in continental Croatia for holidays and special occasions is turkey with mlinci (flatbread) from Zagorje.
Good to know
Cities to discover
Kumrovec, Marija Bistrica, Varaždon
Krapinske Toplice, Varaždinske Toplice, Tuheljske Toplice
Old Town of Varaždin is a great town to see and to walk around enjoying Baroque, Rococo, Classicist and Secessionist houses and villas as well as one of the oldest City Halls in Europe. The rich religious heritage tells another story about Varaždin as a city of bell towers. Varaždinska feudal fortress, from ancient times, called Old Town, the most important historical buildings of Varaždin, built from 14th to 19th the century.
It’s the city of bell towers and angels… like Anđelinjak or Angel’s nest. Varaždin is just beautiful, but the most interesting is in the last days of August in days of festivities – famous Špancirfest
Trakošćan castle, built in the 13th century, is surely one of the most interesting castles in Croatia. It was named after the Thracian fortress. Thracians are ancient indo-European tribes that moved to Eastern Europe to settle. Another story says that Trakošćan got his name after the Knights Drachenstein who supposedly, ruled the region in the early Middle Ages. Trakošćan Castle is a real cultural heritage and extremely well preserved.
Another great preserved, late medieval and Renaissance castle is Veliki Tabor, built by the noble Rattkay family during the 16th century.
Kumrovec is most famous for it’s Ethno village where Josip Broz Tito was born and many political courses were held there in the ex-Yugoslavia, even at that time, Tito’s village was one of the must-sees. Beautiful Ethno village represents the expression of life in those small houses and surroundings. It is also known as the “Old Village” and it all started when a monument was built in front of Tito’s birth house.
Krapina Museum of Neanderthals represents a magical and mystical idea of the prehistoric people of Europe. The Museum’s architecture evokes the habitat of the prehistoric man: the semi-cave, the volume, proportions and the front of which are a result of the analysis done on the appearance of the ancient Krapina semi-cave. The Krapina Neanderthal museum offers a closer view of the life of Neanderthals focused on Stone Age inhabitants who lived in this area.