Map 12 — Green route
Dubrava – Koritna – Cugovec – Habjanovac – G. Vukšinac – Dubrava – Zvekovac – Prnjarovac – Zetkan
The population of the Dubrava area, rich in lands and forests, has been mentioned throughout history in connection with the establishment of the Zagreb Diocese. As the name itself implies, Dubrava (Croatian = woods or glade) has always been known for its dense, green oak forests, alternating with fertile plough fields and lush meadows. The Hungarian King Ladislav, who established the Zagreb Diocese in 1094, gave Dubrava to the bishops, thereby transforming it into a bishop’s town (castle), encircled by walls and a deep moat. Eight well known clergymen were born in Dubrava in the 15th and 16th century. The bishop’s town of Dubrava succeeded in fending off attacks from the Turks right up until the 16th century, when it lost the battle. It is important to note that this historical town was also the venue for the Parliament Assemblies of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia on four occasions, in 1527, 1536, 1537 and 1539. At the Parliament Assembly held on 6 January 1527, Ivan Zapolja was chosen to be the Croatian king.
The bicycle route begins in the centre of the municipality on the main square (Trg Slobode) 1 , which is suitable for parking and planning out your trip with a morning coffee. From the square, the route leads you down Strossmayerova Street. You will soon arrive in Brezje. At the y intersection 2 , 1 km from the route starting point, turn right next to the crucifix and mill. Continue riding down the narrow and less busy paved road through the fields and villages. You will soon reach the village of Dubravski Markovac, at the 2.9 km mark. The lovely Chapel of Our Lady of Carmel stands in the shade of tall trees in the centre of the village. The route continues on through the picturesque village of Mali Markovac. On the left hand side of the street is an interesting chapel-shrine, adorned with many small gifts from the local population. At the 4.9 km mark of the route, you will reach the y intersection 3 with a busy road. Turn left at the intersection, and ride very cautiously down this busy main road to Koritna. In the village of Koritna, at the t intersection 4 at the 5.9 km mark of the route, continue riding straight to the right of the chapel, along the narrow and less busy paved road. The Chapel of St. Florien and statue of St. Florien, the patron saint of firefighters, and crucifix from 1905 stand in the centre of the town. The route continues along the picturesque road that offers fantastic views of the surrounding fields, forests and idyllic villages. This part of the route is at a somewhat higher altitude, and in the distance, one can see two mountains, Zelinska gora and Medvednica above Zagreb. You will also have a good view of the two landmarks of the town of Vrbovec, the church tower and water tower. Soon you will enter into the village of Zabrđe, and after this, into the village of Grabrić. At the 11.7 km mark of the route, you will reach the Chapel of St. Barbara, which stands on a small plateau in the midst of the cemetery. On this part of the route, the vistas stretch all the way to Mt. Kalnik, and Mt. Ivanščica and other mountains in Inland Croatia. Ride northwards to Cugovec and the y intersection 5 , at the 12.3 km mark. In nice weather, you can see the Kalnik cliffs in the distance if you look northwards from the distance, right between the houses. At the intersection, turn right to the south and head towards the artificial lake, the Fuka fish pond. The route continues along the hills, past the fish pond, right to the y intersection in the Brezik forest 6 , at the 16.4 km mark of the route. At the intersection, turn left in the direction of Habjanovac and continue riding along the narrow paved road through the woods. You will soon pass the Zrno Eco Estate (Habjanovac 45), a suitable place for rest and refreshment, and later pass the Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity. After leaving the hilly and idyllic village of Habjanovac, you will reach an intersection in the Bukovac forest. At the intersection 7 , at the 20.3 km mark, continue riding straight down the gentle descent, along the wide gravel road through the Bukovac forest. The ride through the forest is a special experience. On the left are fenced hunting grounds and, if you’re quiet enough while passing through, you might catch a glimpse of some wild boar. The ride through the forest ends next to the Sokol Hunting Society, where the paved road continued towards Gornji Vukšinac. In Gornji Vukšinac, at the t intersection 8 , at the 24 km mark of the route, turn right. After 200 m, at the next intersection with the crucifix, turn left onto the gravel road. The route continues through the vineyards and orchards, through the surrounding fields, towards the Vukšinac fish pond (private property – restricted access and movement through the area). From here, you will have a nice view of the fish ponds with the surrounding centuries old common oak forests. The gravel road turns into a dirt road, which gently leads you down towards the fish pond. Right before the entry ramp into the fish pond area, pay attention to the poorly visible intersection 9 , at the 25.9 km mark, where you need to turn right into the forest on the unmarked forest trail. The forest trail continues for another 100 m, and then you will come out onto a meadow to the north (right) of the lateral canal. Continue riding through the grass or push your bicycle along the edge of the forest, sticking to the lateral canal, until you reach the wooden bridge. Cross the canal and continue along the dirt road through the field towards the village of Kostanj. The dirt road ends at the t intersection 10, at the 26.7 km mark of the route, where you turn right. The road to the left leads to the Dubrava fish pond (private property). When riding through the village Kostanj, on the right hand side of the road you will see a private wooden structure, called “Štagalj” or the Barn. Thanks to the initiative of two enthusiasts and warm hosts, a local poet, Mrs. Mirjana Bobanac Sačer and Mr. Davorin Supek, this is a venue for cultural events and artist gatherings and socialising with neighbours from the village. Various exhibits, concerts, plays and poetry evenings are hosted in the Barn and its courtyard several times throughout the year, and you are certainly welcome to attend. Continue riding and enjoy the lovely vistas surrounding you. You will soon pass through Podlužan. At the y intersection 11 , at the 30.3 km mark, continue to the right in the direction of Dubrava. Upon returning to Dubrava, this route gives the option of continuing the ride in a figure eight, this time by heading south of Dubrava. In Dubrava 1 , again continue along Strossmayerova Street towards Brezje. This time, at the intersection with the mill 2 , turn left along the busier road towards the villages of Zvekovac and Gornji Marinkovac. In Zvekovac is the Zvekovac Sport Airfield of the Dubrava Aero-club. In Gornji Marinkovac, at the t intersection 12, at the 36.2 km mark, turn left along the less busy road in the direction of Pehardovac. In Gornji Marinkovac, you will see the gravel road turnoff for the Varoški lug Zoological Reserve, managed by the Vrbovec Forestry District (visit to the Friends of Nature Trail possible for groups, by appointment only). After riding about 1 km from the intersection, a beautiful view opens up over the surrounding areas and fields. The road winds through the field, and in the distance, you will see the red and white tower of the Church of St. Margaret in Dubrava. The route continues through Pehardovac and continues through the field in the direction of Prnjarovac. In rainy weather, parts of the road can be muddy or ooded, so it will be necessary to occasionally push or carry your bicycle over short distances. After the picturesque ride through the fields, you will enter into Prnjarovac. At the t intersection 13, at the 40.2 km mark of the route, turn left northwards. The route continues down the road, past the well maintained mill building from 1922 (on the left hand side), a very harmonious structure, and you will soon pass by the quaint Chapel of St. Nicholas with its cemetery. Upon returning towards the centre of Dubrava, you will pass through several more idyllic villages through this predominantly livestock breeding area. You are sure to notice the specificity of this area, with large barns and stables for keeping machinery and animals dominating virtually all the yards. This picturesque bicycle route through the wider area of the Dubrava municipality ends back at Trg Slobode 1 in Dubrava, after a pleasant 46 km ride of medium difficulty, full of unexpected impressions of beauty from this little known part of the Zagreb surroundings. We recommend you take a look at how Dubrava looked as a bishop’s fortress, in the sketches on display in the Klub D cafe, which is also open on weekends.
Cultural, historical, ethnological and natural points of interest:
- Parish Church of St. Vitus, Vrbovec – The Baroque altar of St. Vitus dominates the church. Painter, lithographer and art conservator Josef Ritter von Hempel (1800) from Vienna, who moved to Vrbovec in 1859, brought exceptionally valuable paintings and engraved altars, works of Tirol masters, and donated them to the church. Later, during the restoration of the church, due to a lack of money, parish priest Valdec gave the altars and paintings to the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Strossmeyer Gallery in Zagreb in return for repairs to the church. The parish church was likely already built in the 14th century, but was heavily hit in a Turkish attack in 1591, when the town of Vrbovec was conquered and torched. The church was completely restored in the 17th century, only to be destroyed again in a fire in 1754. It received its present day appearance in the 18th century, when it was given a Baroque appearance, with only the Gothic layout of the original church remaining. A very tall tower was raised next to the church; in the past this served the important role of a watchtower. Contact: Vrbovec parish office, tel. +385 1 2791 226.
- Tower of Petar Zrinski, Vrbovec – The Zrinski Tower (Kula) is a remnant of the old Vrbovec castle of the Zrinski family, built in defence from the Turks after 1528. The stormy history of this area is evident in the changes of ownership of the castle: the Erdödy, Zrinski, Patačići and other families. Today, only the cylindrical tower remains of the castle. At the time of construction, this tower was erected more as a symbol of power, than to serve for defensive purposes. In 1621, the great patriot and Croatian Ban (Vice-roy) Petar Zrinski, was born in Vrbovec. The tower stands in the main town park and has since become a landmark of the town and a detail on the town’s coat of arms.
- Lovrečina Grad Castle, Kućari – It was the Gregorian monks who erected this castle on their property, though it would later change owners many times. The medieval lowland fortress, encircled by a moat, was first mentioned in the historical documents in 1540. The city originally had three wings in the shape of a triangle, with cylindrical towers at the corners; today only one side of the triangle and two cylindrical towers remain. It was adapted in the 19th century, and Historicist elements were added. Today, it is owned by the Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent de Paul, who have given the space for the use of the Cenacolo community for recovering addicts. Contact: Vrbovec Tourist Board, tel. +385 1 2791 661
- Church of St. Lawrence, Lovrečka Varoš – mentioned in the list of parishes in 1334. The church was of imposing size in a lovely position, but was destroyed during the Turkish conquests. Later, the structure was more modest in size, with a single nave, and stylistically belonged to the late Baroque period. A pair of free-standing sculptures of saints stand before the church entrance, something rarely seen in Croatia. The simple pulpit in the form of “Jonah’s fish” (1780) stands out. This iconographic motive is unusual in Croatia, and is more commonly seen in the Czech Republic and Silezia. It is the work of an unknown sculptor, and the style of sculpting is impressive and powerful. Contact: Lovrečka Varoš parish office, tel. +385 1 2726 533
- Parish Church of St. Margaret, Dubrava – A parish has existed in Dubrava since the 12th century and early on, the region of Ivanić was also included in this parish. Thanks to the frequent presence of the bishop, as the parish belonged to the diocesan estate, it became an important ecclesiastical centre. It was a lovely late Gothic church, but was heavily damaged in a Turkish attack in 1552 when the town of Dubrava was destroyed. It was restored in the late 16th century. The church was adapted and expanded several times. The present day appearance, with the vaulted sanctuary and main nave, arose in the period 1758–1765. The church interior is dominated by the lovely altar and church inventory. Contact: Dubrava parish office, tel. +385 1 2725 218.
- Parish Church of the Wounded Christ, Gradec – The town of Gradec is mentioned in the historical documents in 1292. The Chapel of St. Peter was first mentioned in 1325 and again as a parish in 1334. After the Turkish conquests of Dubrava in 1552, the Zagreb Bishop transferred his seat to Gradec. The old Parish Church of St. Peter was situated in the Bishop’s manor, and was thus small in size. When the number of residents increased, a new, larger church was erected and consecrated to the Wounded Christ. The Zagreb Bishops assisted the construction of the church, which took many years (1768–1824). After the old bells were melted down for war needs in 1917, the church received three new bells in the period from 1925 to 1927, and the godfathers of the bells were the leaders of the HSS party, Vladko Maček, Juraj Krnjević and Rudolf Horvat, whose wife Jeliseva, president of the esteemed society “Croatian Woman”, was born in Gradec. Contact: Gradec parish office, tel. +385 1 2797 155.
- Ethnography collection, Sveti Ivan Žabno, established in 1975 as a museum collection; permanent exhibition in the municipality building. Visit by announcement to Mr. Antun Toni Šramek, tel. +385 48 851 055 or +385 48 211 010 (Sveti Ivan Žabno municipality).
Accommodation, hospitality facilities, sport and recreation:
- Hotel & restaurant Bunčić–Vrbovec, Zagrebačka 4, tel. +385 1 2728 744, www.buncic.hr
- Motel & restaurant Marina, M. Gupca 36, Vrbovec, tel. +385 1 2791 502, www.motel-marina.hr
- Zrno Eco Estate, Habjanovac 45, Dubrava, tel. +385 1 2728 173, www.bio-zrno.hr(Organic food production since 1988, on a 12 ha farm. In addition to healthy food, they also offer educational programmes, recreation and accommodation).
- Česma Hunting Lodge (Mešić family), Kabal, Kabal bb, Kabal – Farkaševac, (6 double rooms), tel. +385 1 2727 024, t/f: +385 1 2312 685, email@example.com
- Galerija restaurant, Brdo 4, Vrbovec tel. +385 1 2791 058, www.restoran-galerija.com
- Pizzeria Amigo, Brdo bb, Vrbovec, tel. +385 1 2792 514, open weekends
- Dinamo ice cream parlour, Trg P. Zrinskog 6, Vrbovec, tel. +385 1 2793 168
- Vrbovec Cyclists Club, Zleninska 11, tel. +385 1 2791 036, +385 98 829 088 (Darko Vadlja), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vrbovec Equestrian Club, Konak 26, Konak, tel. +385 1 2796 130
- Hunting (there are 11 hunting societies in the area, each with its own hunting lodge; in Vrbovec and Gradec, there are trap shooting galleries)
- Fishing (Bajer Lake – Amur Sports Fising Association (SFA), tel. +385 1 2793 141, +385 91 251 1540; Örnec Lake – Örnec SFA, tel. +385 1 2750 208, +385 98 659 796; Fuka Lake (manmade) – Šaran SFA, tel. +385 1 2790 173, +385 91 578 5928; Lonja – Glogovnica canal – Štuka SFA, tel. +385 1 2792 366; Vukšinec SFA, tel. +385 1 2725 575, +385 91 506 2826)
- Vrbovec Tourist Board, Trg P. Zrinskog 7a, tel/fax: +385 1 2791 661, email@example.com,www.vrbovec.hr
- Vrbovec City Council, Trg P. Zrinskog 9, tel. +385 1 2791 122, www.vrbovec.hr
- Vrbovec Open University, Kolodvorska 1, tel. +385 1 2791 115, www.pou-vrbovec.hr
- Vrbovec Forest Office – Bjelovar Forest District, Kolodvorska 26, tel. +385 1 2791 127, http://vrbovec.hrsume.hr (manages Varoški lug, special zoological reserve with the “Friends of Nature Trail” and the Öesma forest vegetation reserve (protected since 1982), Novakuša forest vegetation reserve (since 1982) and the Varoški lug forest (since 1988)
- Health clinic, 7. svibnja 14, tel. +385 1 2791 048, Emergency services: +385 1 2793 004 or 94
- Coner Pharmacy, Trg P. Zrinskog 10, tel. +385 1 2791 772, +385 91 1211 225, open weekends
- Vrbovec Police Station, Zagrebačka 1, tel. +385 1 2791 124
- Vrbovec Bus Station, Bubanj bb, tel. +385 1 2791 326
- Vrbovec Railway Station, Kolodvorska bb, tel. +385 1 2791 501, www.hznet.hr
- Parking lots – a large parking lot is available in the centre of town, across the street from the church and behind the Town Library and Zagrebačka Bank. Poginulih branitelja Street, where the market is, also has plenty of parking. Parking is free of charge. You may have trouble finding parking on Tuesdays, which is fair day in Vrbovec.
- INA petrol station, Zagrebačka 2, Vrbovec, tel. +385 1 2791 010
- KOS petrol station and tyre repair, Luka, tel. +385 1 2727 483, www.kos-doo.hr
- Akord Dubrava petrol station, Greda 12, Greda, tel. +385 1 2724 904
- Bank machines: Zagrebačka Bank (Trg P. Zrinskog 8; Hotel Bunčić, Zagrebačka 4); Privredna Bank (Trg Petra Zrinskog 10); Raiffeisen Bank (bus station, Bubanj 27); Hrvatska Poštanska Bank (Brdo 3 – FINA building); Erste&Steiermćrkische Bank (Zagrebačka 146 – Pevec store)
- Dubrava municipality, tel. +385 1 2725 821, firstname.lastname@example.org (Municipality Day: 10 June, St. Margarete)
- Silađin tyre repair and car wash, Strossmayerova 16a, tel. +385 1 2725 633
- Zvekovac Air Field, Dubrava Aero Club, mob. +385 98 640 290 (Mr. Stjepan Požgaj)
- Dubrava Bus Station, A. Starčevića, tel. +385 1 2725 950
- “The Barn” Kostanj, Mrs. Mirjana Bobanac Sačer, organization of cultural events: plays, concerts, exhibits, poetry evenings and socializing, tel. +385 1 2725 757
- Dubrava restaurant, Trg slobode 19, tel. +385 1 2725 501, open weekends
- Klub D cafe, Braće Radića 2, Dubrava, tel. +385 1 2726 303, open weekends
- Dubrava Shooting Club, Pereglin family, Radnička 132, www.crossbow-croatia.hr/sd_dubrava
- Gradec municipality, tel. +385 1 2797 390 (Municipality Day: 14 September, Feast of the Holy Cross)
- KOS petrol station and tyre repair, Gradec, tel. +385 1 2797 440
- Farkaševac municipality, tel. +385 1 2727 003 (Municipality Day: 15 July, Feast of the Dispersion of the Apostles)
- Preseka Municipality, tel. +385 1 2724 768 (Municipality Day: 29 June, Sts. Peter and Paul)
- Rakovec Municipality, Rakovec 54, t/f +385 1 2798 005, 2798 009, www.rakovec.hr (Municipality Day: 15 May, historical date)
Sveti Ivan Žabno
- Sv. I. Žabno Municipality, Trg Karla Lukaša 11, tel. +385 48 211 010, fax. 211 031 (ethnographic collection) or Mr. Antun Toni Šramek, tel. +385 48 851 055
- INA petrol station, B. Radić 2, Sveti Ivan Žabno (on the route), tel. +385 48 851 033