Zagreb County Tourist Board

Croatian Historical Figures

Although a quiet area in the shadow of a big city, the picturesque villages scattered throughout Zagreb County are the birthplaces of some crucial people from Croatia's history. Perhaps it was their green homeland that inspired them to great ideas and achievements. As a result, their names are written in golden letters in the Croatian history, and the places they come from remember them with a distinct sense of pride. 

Marija Jurić Zagorka (1873. – 1957.)

A famous and prominent writer of the first half of the 20th century, the first professional Croatian journalist, and today a feminist icon, she was born in the village of Negovec near the town of Vrbovec. Although she spent her childhood in Zagorje, on the family estate, the people of Vrbovec are proud to associate with this talented and strong woman.

Milka Trnina (1863. – 1941.)

The fact that Puccini himself said that there is no better Tosca speaks volumes about the greatness of this well-known opera singer. She was born in Vezišće, in today's municipality of Križ near Ivanić-Grad, and during her successful career, she performed in the world's largest opera houses. Vezišće paid tribute to her with a monument, and in addition to that, numerous artistic events in Križ and Ivanić bear her famous name.

Dragutin Domjanić (1875. – 1933.)

The son of Prigorje, born in Adamovec, is best known as the author of the anthology poem called Fala. A great master of verse, he wrote poems exclusively in his native Kajkavian dialect and left a deep mark on modern Croatian poetry. The local cultural and artistic society is named after him, and the traditional manifestations of Domjanić's Night and the Recital of contemporary Kajkavian poetry are dedicated to him.

Đuro Deželić (1838. – 1907.)

Every time you see firefighters rushing to someone's aid, remember that we can thank Đuro Deželić for that. As seen on the monument erected in Zagreb on the street that bears his name, he is the founder of the firefighting service in Croatia. In addition, this versatile famous figure born in Ivanić-Grad was a writer, publicist, and zealous public servant.

Ferdo Livadić (1799. – 1879.)

Although he was not born in Samobor, this Illyrian spent most of his life there and became a crucial figure in the social life of that town. He also hosted Franz Liszt at his estate! He is also the first modern composer in Croatian music, primarily inspired by folk musical treasures.

Ante Kovačić (1854. – 1889.)

The village of Oplaznik near Marija Gorica is the birthplace of a famous Croatian writer whose novel "U registraturi" is a must-read. With his other works, he showed himself as a great realist, and if he had not ended tragically, who knows what else he would have created. The elementary school in Marija Gorica and the library in Zaprešić bear his name.

Ljubo Babić (1890. – 1974.)

The well-known painter of diverse works, art historian, scenographer and art pedagogue from a noble family was born in Jastrebarsko. A great intellectual, he left an indelible mark on the social life of Zagreb and Croatia. The elementary school in Jastrebarsko was named in his honour.

Josip Jelačić (1801. – 1859.)

The national hero, the most famous Croatian ban and military leader, was born into a noble family in Petrovaradin. Still, he is inextricably linked to Zaprešić, i.e. the noble complex Novi dvori. He arranged and extended the existing manor house and estate, where he lived with his family and was buried.

Vjenceslav Richter (1917. – 2002.)

One of the greatest Croatian architects of the 20th century came from a small town called Donja Drenova near St. Ivan Zelina. A prolific artist, he was also a sculptor, painter, and scenographer, and he designed the Kotarska office building project in Zelina, in 1953, for his hometown.

Petar Zrinski (1621. -1671.)

We remember this Croatian ban and poet as a tragic participant in the Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy. However, only some people know that he was born in Vrbovec. As a young man, he was the captain of the Žumberak Uskoks, with whom he fought across Europe in the Thirty Years' War. He later became a celebrated military leader in the battles against the Ottomans. The local Croatian cultural and artistic society from Vrbovec passes on his name.




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