Hrvatsko zagorje is a region north of Zagreb. It comprises the whole area north of Mount Medvednica up to Slovenia in the north and west, and up to the regions of Međimurje and Podravina in the north and east. The population of Zagorje is not recorded as such, as it is administratively divided among Krapina-Zagorje County (total population 142,432), western and central part of Varaždin County (total population 183,730) and north-western part of Zagreb County (total population 309,696). The population of Zagorje can be reasonably estimated to exceed 300,000 people.

Croatian people usually refer to this region as “Zagorje”, a word which literally means “trans-mountain area”, “beyond the mountain” (with respect to Medvednica). However, to avoid confusion with the nearby Municipality of Zagorje ob Savi in Slovenia, the Croatian part is called Hrvatsko zagorje, meaning “Croatian Zagorje”.


Based on archaeological finds it is possible to conclude that organized life in the area of Croatian Zagorje existed during the Bronze Age. The populaction of the Bronze Age inhabited a rocky hill 3000 years ago that will later create the core of towns and markets in the Middle Ages. The oldest traces of settlement in Zagorje originate from the Paleolithic. In Krapina, in 1897. remains of the so-called “Krapina Prettiest” from the ancient stone age were found. Numerous ceramic fragments, cast iron casting molds, bronze axes and traces of dwellings clearly indicate that there were persistent forms of life in the narrower area of Krapina in the distant past. The Krapina Presbyterian is one of the largest European sites.

The population in later periods, such as antiquity, is attributed to a large number of archaeological sites (eg Roman Aquae Iasae, today’s Varaždin’s Thermal Baths), Plemenščina kod Pregrade, Mihaljek’s Ditch near Krapina. Like the rest of Croatia, the area of today’s Croatian hinterland enters the historical period when the Romans rounded up their northern estates and established the borders of the Empire on the Danube. The road from Ptuj (Poetovio) to Sava seems to have passed through the strait at Krapina, so there are several significant archaeological finds that speak of the existence of a Roman settlement with a military in a travel service, as it was customary in the old system of the old age in the regions controlled by representatives of the Roman Empire. Apart from the roads of the greater traffic values on the traces of the Romans, it is possible to come up with thermal springs and mines. A whiteness of the presence of the Romans in the area of Zagorje is a monument excavated at Lobor in 1857, located in the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. It is assumed to date from the beginning of the 3rd century AD, and that at the present day Lobor was a Roman settlement.

During the 13th century until the middle of the 14th century, the process of forming the structure of the settlement has lasted, which today makes up the cities and the municipal centers of the region. In other words, in this period, the core of which has been the historical, economic, administrative and cultural development of the administrative area that today, 800 years later, is called Zagorje. The ninth anniversary of the medieval prison in the 13th and 14th centuries and their rebuilding, initiated during the struggle with the Turks, did not bring with them a stronger grouping of settlements, ie today’s municipal centers and cities. Namely, the population remained in their largely wooden houses and left them only in times of extreme danger, that is, at the time of the Turkish invasion, by lurking and defending simultaneously. For this reason, among other things, there were no conditions for the formation of larger settlements or city centers. Likewise, for this process, there were no intensive traffic connections, trade and specialized crafts, which are all the basic conditions for creating city centers. The dependence of peasants in relation to the nobility, in the legal sense – they were related to their place of residence, also prevented the number of inhabitants in individual settlements increasing by immigration. These are the main reasons, which at that time only three places began to be formed as city centers, ie Krapina, Klanjec and Varaždin. The Croatian Zagorje is mentioned in the writings from the Middle Ages, and it was first recorded on the maps in the sixteenth century. Then the area between Medvednica, Sutla, Drava and Kalnik was divided into three counties; Varaždin, Hraščinsko, and Zagorsko, but everything was quickly connected to one of the Varaždin counties.


• The historic core of the city of Varaždin In the historic center of the Central European cities, Varaždin is today exposed to its guest as a rare urban pearl – a city of harmony and intimacy.
• Trakošćan Castle The Residential Castle, which today represents the preserved ensemble of romantic park and residential architecture, a special value is attached to preserving the original interior design of the interior.
• Lepoglava lace The tradition of lacework is an example of the culture of being the essence of the landscape to which it is attached.
• The Roman excavations of “AQUAE IASAE” – Varaždinske Toplice The specific conditions of the soil around the thermal water source or sedimentary deposits have conditioned good preservation of Roman architecture, so this complex is one of the best preserved sites in Croatia.
• Bežanec Castle
• Museum of Krapina Neanderthals
• Veliki Tabor Castle
• Old Village Museum

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