Monday, 17 February 2020

Anno Domini 1573: Reenacting the Peasants Revolt in Croatia

February 17, 2020 - It is almost 450 years since the famous Peasants Revolt of 1573, but the memory and tradition live on each year in Donja Stubica. 

In the mystery of the misty hills of Zagorje, last weekend, you could hear a strange noise. While one voice screams, "Bunaaa!" (The Revolt), hundreds of others reply, "Trajeee!" (lasts). All of that followed by the rattle of weapons. The place: Donja Stubica, Hrvatsko Zagorje. Year: 1573. Why does it matter? Croatians took the courage to confront the authorities.

peasants-revolt (2).JPG

On the night of January 27-28, 1573, the famous Peasant Revolt led by Matija Gubec began with an attack on Cesargrad. Reasons for the rebellion were multiple, with the chief increase in giving and terror by royalty. Among the most famous is the violence of the pillar owner Franjo Tahy, especially against peasant women. His four sons also joined him in inhumane actions against his serfs, so the peasants' resistance to the Tahi estate began as early as 1571. The farmers refused to return under Tahi's rule and start to get serious. They formed a kind of peasant government, headed by Gubec, whom they called a bey.

peasants-revolt (3).JPG

After complaining in vain to the king about the atrocities of the nobles, the villagers stopped paying unreasonable taxes in protest. Subsequently, Tahy sent in his armed mercenaries, but armed villagers readily welcomed them. Due to this resistance, the Croatian Parliament, headed by Ban Juraj Draškovic, declared the peasants' traitors to their homeland.

peasants-revolt (4).JPG

The news of the Zagreb conviction vigorously shook the entire peasantry in Croatia and Slovenia. They began heavily arming themselves, and the peasant revolt spread with increasing speed, and the serfs in these areas began to cancel obedience to their masters. A war plan was also drawn up, according to which peasants gathered around Matija Gubec, and Ivan Pasanac were to remain in Donja Stubica (where the main focal point of the rebellion was) as part of an army that would defend the area.

peasants-revolt (5).JPG

Ilija Gregorić led the peasants from Cesargrad, who were the originators of the revolt. Soon the rebellion spread throughout Carniola and Styria, and units of serfs fought bravely and conquered more and more land, including the area between Brežice and Mokrice. Their goals, the abolition of feudalism and the seizure of power by establishing a kind of imperial province in Zagreb, were ever closer.

peasants-revolt (6).JPG 

Then there was a breakthrough. Namely, the Žumberak Uskoci, well-armed and experienced soldiers counted by the peasants, after a short hesitation, put themselves on the side of the feudal lords (who richly rewarded them for that). On 5 February 1573, the peasant army experienced its first defeat at Krško, routed by the Uskok troops led by Captain Thurn. In the battles of Kerestinec, Mokrica, and Krško, a large number of peasants were killed, which discouraged them, and their continued resistance in these areas was increasingly weakened. The army sent by the great men was steadily increasing, and it was the beginning of the end of the Croatian-Slovenian peasant revolt.

peasants-revolt (7).JPG

The decisive battle took place on 9 February 1573 at Stubičke Toplice. The royal army was led by Gašpar Alapić (later Croatian Ban), and when Matija Gubec realized that the royal soldiers were approaching them, he decided to fight to the end. At first, the peasants fought bravely, but numerical superiority and weaponry were certainly not on their side, and defeat was imminent. Mogaić was killed on the battlefield as were many other peasants, and many were captured.

peasants-revolt (8).JPG

Matija Gubec and Ivan Pasanec were brought to Zagreb and brutally executed on St Mark's Square on 15 February, 1573. According to legend, Gubec had to wear a blazing crown on his head, after which the Hungarian landlord Morencz Bahiczy cut Matija into several pieces. 

peasants-revolt (11).JPG

On a cold winter's day every year for the past 12 years, hundreds of reenactments take place on the field of Donja Stubica to repeat this piece of history. The main organizers are Družba vitezova Zlatnog Kaleža, while more than 20 medieval groups reconstruct the historical battle. One of them was Knight Order of Saint Nicholas Varaždin, about whom you can read here. Every year there are more and more visitors, so now we are talking about over 20 thousand people. This reenactment event got the "Simply the Best" award for the best historical display and tourist event. The whole event was accompanied by a cultural art program, a fair of old crafts, and the reconstruction of a medieval village with a gastronomic offer from that time. Kids learn about the Peasant Revolt kids in school, we read about it in books, and one Croatian band even sing about it! In case this topic got your attention more than usually, here is the movie Anno Domini 1573.

peasants-revolt (9).JPG

If you missed it this year, be prepared for the next time, because remember... The Revolt, lasts!

peasants-revolt (10).JPG

peasants-revolt (12).JPG

peasants-revolt (13).JPG

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Re-Enactment of "1573 Peasant Revolt" to Be Held on 8 February in Stubica

ZAGREB, January 28, 2020 - The 12th annual educational and historical re-enactment of "1573 Peasant Revolt" will be held on 8 February at Golubovec Castle in Donja Stubica and the event will be followed by the "Buna party", where Croatian rock groups will perform, the organiser said on Tuesday.

"The battle of all battles, a realistic re-enactment of the biggest battle of the Croatian peasants for justice, will be recreated for the 12th time on the hills of Zagorje. It is a memory of the peasant uprising in the 16th century against the nobility who had been oppressing them, and the event was attended by 20,000 people last year," Ivan Štefek told reporters.

In this year's most magnificent edition, adds Štefek, the highest number of battle participants, more than 250, will gather. The programme will take place in two locations with special effects, and in addition to exhibitions and presentations there will also be a medieval fair.

The director of the tourism board of Donja and Gornja Stubica, Kornelia Vnučec, underscored that the "1573 Peasant Revolt" re-enactment was the winner of the "Simply the best" tourism award for the best historical display and tourist event.

"The Museum of Peasants' Uprisings in Gornja Stubica will be open on 31 January for Museum Night. There will be a video mapping 'Gubec Theatre' at the monument to the Peasant Revolt and Matija Gubec, the exhibition Jan Vitovac - Czech knight, Zagorje Count will be opened, and there will be a promotion of the comic book by Nik Titanik called '1573'", she said.

More festival news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Salvus Realises Investment Worth 50 Million Kuna in Donja Stubica

As Jozo Vrdoljak/Novac writes on the 12th of September, 2019, the new headquarters of the Croatian pharmaceutical company Salvus have now been opened in Donja Stubica. This is the largest private investment in Hrvatsko Zagorje in recent times, worth more than 50 million kuna.

This is Salvus' first own space since its founding back in 2003, spanning 4444 square metres, and its construction and furnishing has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Most of the highly qualified 145 employees are currently working at the new headquarters, and in addition to its current office and distribution purpose, Salvus will soon begin producing its own production portfolio of M.E.V. Feller, with whom they want to go global.

Donja Stubica has a long and famous tradition of being in the world of pharmacies because it was here that Eugen Viktor Feller, a pioneer of industrial drug production in Croatia, opened his first pharmacy way back in 1899 and started production of the Elsa fluid preparation several years later, which he exported throughout Europe, the USA, and even to China.

"We strive to connect the celebrated Croatian-conquered Donja Stubica tradition of pharmeuticals with modern technology and scientific advances. Our highly qualified team, whose education we're continuously investing in, are focused on developing and marketing products that promote taking responsibility for one's own health, disease prevention and self-treatment. With this investment and business expansion, we want to strengthen the efficiency of the company and increase its competitiveness on both the domestic and foreign markets, which will ultimately lead to an increase in revenues and thus new employment,'' said Teodor Švaljek, CEO of Salvus.

The Salvus company was initially formed from the Švaljek Pharmacies, begun by Teodor Švaljek with his mother Josipa Švaljek, back in 1997 in Marija Bistrica. In addition to the pharmacy business, the Salvus Group now operates regionally, representing others and creating its own product portfolio of nutritional supplements, medical products, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

They operate across six markets with headquarters in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo.

The Group, together with Švaljek Pharmacies, employs a total of 265 people, whose average net salary is 8,000 kuna. The company saw continuous revenue growth of almost 136 million kuna in 2018, of which just over 23 million kuna is from exports, and this year exports are growing at a rate of 67 percent.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Yearly Celebration of Gubec's Rebellion to be Held in Donja Stubica

One of the most famous and celebrated events from the Croatian history, Gubec's rebellion, took place in regions today belonging to Croatia and Slovenia in 1573, and each year the attempt to improve the living conditions of the poor people of the region is remembered in the region of Donja Stubica and Gornja Stubica.

The rebellion (in Croatian called "Seljačka buna") happened in late January of 1573, and it was organized by Matija Gubec, to fight against the unbelievably cruel treatment of local peasants by baron Ferenc Tahy. The peasants just wanted to improve their lives, there was no major political agenda behind their actions, they just wanted to work hard and get some food for it. The rebellion lasted for 12, and was ended with the defeat of the rebels and again, incredibly cruel and bloody retribution by the nobility against anyone who was part of the rebellion.

Each year, the Tourist Board of the Donja Stubica and Gornja Stubica area organizes the commemoration of the Gubec's rebellion and the peasants participating in it, and in the past several years that event has grown into two weekends of combining the history with celebrations and parties. 

On Sunday, February 3rd, the first events will take place in both Donja and Gornja Stubica, where Matija Gubec's life before the rebellion will be presented and re-enacted in Donja Stubica, and after that the original uprising of the peasants will be re-enacted by the Gubec's Linden Tree (which is an important monument for the rebellion) in Gornja Stubica. In addition to that, you will have the chance to see the Matija Gubec Museum with expert guidance for half-price of admission at 11 am.

The "main event" will take place on the Saturday after that, on February 9th. In the morning there will be a medieval festival organised in front of the church in Donja Stubica. Then "the peasants" participating in the re-enactment will gather there and start their route to the Stubički Golubovec Castle. That's where the main event, the re-enactment of the Battle of Stubica which ended the Gubec's rebellion, will be held at 2 pm. The re-enactment is performed by members of many groups who appreciate the medieval traditions. After that, the party will take place in a tent in the centre of Donja Stubica.

On February 9th, there will be a way for you to get from Zagreb to Donja Stubica and participate in the events of the day. ZET buses will be taking passengers from the centre of the city to Donja Stubica, leaving at 10, 11, 12 am and 1 pm, and leaving Donja Stubica back to Zagreb at 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 pm. The bus will be free and will be leaving from the tourist bus stop in front of Importanne Center, near Zagreb Main Railroad station. 

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Reenactment of "1573 Peasant Revolt" Attracts Thousands

ZAGREB, February 10, 2018 - The 10th annual reenactment of "1573 Peasant Revolt" in Donja Stubica attracted about 10,000 visitors in that northwestern Croatian town on Saturday.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Celebrating Autumn: Chestnut Festivals in Croatia

Chestnut Festival, which is locally known as kestenijada or marunada, is a very popular type of food festival in October in Croatia.