Hrvatsko zagorje

Hrvatsko zagorje is a region in the northwestern part of Croatia, to the north of Mount Medvednica, and to the east of Slovenia. It is a place of beautiful nature (lush green hills, its landmark, and woods) and rich cultural heritage (numerous castles, forts, churches, and a rich folk culture). Traditionally a rural, agricultural region, it is densely populated and clustered with small towns, most of them with less than 500 people. The region has much tourist potential because of its landscapes, cultural heritage and high-quality organic agricultural products. Zagorje (literally “beyond the mountain,” referring to Mount Medvednica) has been inhabited since the Stone Age – the Hušnjakovo Hill near Krapina is one of the largest Neanderthal archeological sites. The region is known throughout Croatia for its delicious food, folk songs (popevke) and hospitable, humorous people. Its culture and mentality is similar to that of the nearby Central European countries, such as Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic or Slovakia. Of the Croatian items in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, three are from Zagorje: gingerbread craft, the Lepoglava lacework and the traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys.