National shrine of Saint Mary of Marija Bistrica


Among the green hills of Hrvatsko zagorje lies the national shrine of Saint Mary of Marija Bistrica, the most famous and visited Croatia’s sanctuary of the Virgin Mary. A great number of believers from Croatia and abroad have been coming for a pilgrimage at Marija Bistrica for centuries, seeking and finding spiritual peace.
The shrine in Marija Bistrica became a national shrine as early as in 1715, when the Croatian Parliament erected a great votive altar.
Pope Pius XI. (1922 – 1939) on December 4, 1923, assigned the shrine of Saint Mary of Marija Bistrica the title of Minor basilica. The landmark event in the history of the Church is certainly a visit of Pope John Paul II., when he declared Archbishop of Zagreb Aloysius Viktor Stepinac a martyr and beatified him on October 3, 1998.

The specialty of Zagorje


Genuinely domestic gastronomic offerings in nearby restaurants, wine cellars and wine tasting spots should definitely find their place in your plans for an ideal vacation. Among autochthonous meals make sure you try the turkey with dumplings, ham hock, pasta in nettle sauce, štrukli, strudel with apples or cherries, walnuts and poppy seed roll.
Out of other distinctiveness of the Zagorje region, by all means the production of wooden toys and medieval crafts, which are included in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage, should be mentioned. The production method is passed from generation to generation and boasts with a wide range of over 120 toys varieties. They are made of soft wood, such as willow, lime, beech and maple. Nowadays various pieces of music instruments, such as tambourines, and toys in the form of animals and the famous “zipkice” that are an original gift, environment-friendly for children. In addition to wooden toys, the licitar products that each craftsman adorns in a special way often with pictures, small mirrors with a verse or a message are also recognizable.licitar

The Licitar heart is the most recognizable form of Croatian identity. They are made from flour, water, sugar and bicarbonate. Liciters are molded with models, baked, dried and finally colored with edible dyes.

Bicycle routes in the surroundings


For those who want to spend an active vacation and learn about the surrounding bike sights, we recommend cycling tours to surrounding towns, terms or historical sights. You can bicycle on sideways or macadamous roads while enjoying the natural beauty of this area.
On the Zagorje bike  website you can find out all about the surrounding routes and we recommend the following:

Putovima dvaju izvora
Tragom termalnih izvora
Klanjec-ruta Sv. Florijan