Kulmer Castle in Šestine
The last landlord of Medvedgrad, Stjepko Gregorijanec, built this castle in Šestine in the 16th century and moved into the castle with his family in 1590, when a powerful earthquake devastated Medvedgrad. The castle was subsequently owned by families Zrinski, Čikulin, Sermage and Kulmer. The last owner of the castle was the prominent painter Ferdinand Kulmer who lost all of his possessions after the World War II, including this castle. The castle was completely destroyed at the end of the war in a fire and ammunition explosion. It rose from ruins in the early 21st century when it was bought and renovated by a private company. Even though it is closed to visitors, this impressive neo-Renaissance castle on a hill above Šestine still reminds us of the glory days of Croatian nobility.
Castle Junković in Gornji Stenjevec
Castle Junković, the centre of the old Gornji Stenjevec manor, has been mentioned in historical documents since the middle of the 16th century. The castle was owned by families Vojković, Rattkay, Rauch and Sermage, and in 1825 it was bought by the Junković family. The crest of this family is featured on the gable above the balcony, on the western side of the castle facade. The park that surrounds the castle is protected as a park architecture monument. It is a home to one elegant 500-year-old: an Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis). This ancient beauty impresses visitors with its mighty trunk with the circumference of 6,5 m and diameter of 2,1 m. Despite its age, the tree is completely healthy.
Castle Oršić in Gornja Bistra
The most significant building of Gornja Bistra is without a doubt the castle Oršić. It is situated at the end of the south extension of the main Bistra road, at the very bottom of Medvednica. This wonderful Baroque building is hidden from looks by ample tree crowns in the long alley of hornbeam trees.
The castle was built by Count Krsto Oršić, and his heirs spent a whole century there. The French Count Carion bought it from the Oršić family and refurbished it into the most beautiful castle of Hrvatsko zagorje. The people described the Count as a “man of exquisite taste and culture”, and parts of the castle interior are among the best preserved examples of profane Baroque architecture in Croatia. The era of Counts and nobility ceased with the victory of communists in the World War II, when the nationalized castle became the property of the people, and its purpose dictated by various social needs. Therefore for a while, the castle had a social function of a home for fallen girls who were salvaged from the streets of Zagreb and sent there into isolation. The castle subsequently became a resting resort for children, and today it functions as a special hospital for children with chronic illnesses.
Castle Golubovec between Donja and Gornja Stubica
Half way between Donja and Gornja Stubica, in an enchanting park-forest near Vilinske poljane, there is a romantic castle Golubovec which used to belong to the great Susedgrad-Stubica nobility. In the 17th and 18th centuries its owners were the Susedgrad family Mallakoczy and the Zelina family Domjanić. Regina Domjanić decided to build a big Baroque castle in the place of a modest building. The valuable garden around the castle is the work of the Zagreb bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovec who bought the castle in the early 19th century. The garden is designed as an English landscape garden and is a valuable example of garden architecture of that period.
Castle Oršić in Gornja Stubica
Gornja Stubica is famous for the Great Peasant Revolt from 1573 which became a synonym for the battle of a “small man” for justice. Two most prominent buildings in Gornja Stubica: Oršić castle, which hosts the Museum of Peasant Revolts, and the great monument to Matija Gubec, are dedicated to this historical event.
It is quite interesting that the Museum of Peasant Revolts is situated exactly in Oršić castle, the residence of the hated nobility against which the peasants were revolting. If we disregard the wrath of the oppressed peasants, we must confess that this castle is a really nice Baroque building. It was built in 1756 by Count Krsto Oršić in a place of a former medieval castle whose remains are still preserved in the yard. The exhibition of the museum is not limited only to numerous peasant revolts; it comprises the whole feudal era, from the Middle Ages until the abolition of serfdom in 1848. This castle is one of few castles in Hrvatsko zagorje which didn’t have an arranged garden around it at the time of its construction. The reason for this are the extraordinary views of Stubička valley and the northern slopes of Medvednica, so the castle simply “borrowed” them instead of creating its own park landscapes. However, today you can enjoy the beautiful garden designed by Dragutin Kiš in 1973 for the opening of the Museum.
In the garden by the castle there is an impressive monument to the Peasant Revolt and its leader. The monument is the work of sculptor Antun Augustinčić. On the relief above Petrica Kerempuh, the most famous “troubadour” from Zagorje, the content of his ballads is “told” in bronze: the bloody everyday life mixes with creatures of the joint imagination of battered commons.
The castle comes back into life every year in early June when a knights tournament takes place in its gardens. The visitors of this tournament can see how knights fought on horses, how they besieged towns and how the warriors measured their strengths and skills of handing weapons. The event features a medieval crafts fair, fun educational workshops and children’s playgroups.