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Samobor

 

Samobor (15.000 inhabitants today) is an ancient town which was listed among medieval prominent "free royal marketplaces" by the King Bela IV Charter in 1242. From these days on rich historical and cultural heritage was accumulated in this town and area. You can find it squeezed into a dozen small picturesque streets, in the rich collection of the Samobor Museum, on the business buildings' facades, in the main baroque square, inside the walls of the parochial church and the Franciscan monastery. In the greenery of the pine and beech woods the ruins of the old Samobor castle tell the silent history, and dozens of ancient chapels (almost one on every hill) attract the eye and soul of an accidental traveler.

Amazed by all these, the great Croatian poet Antun Gustav Matoš wrote about Samobor: "Samobor is beautiful. The vicinity of the capital gives it the magic of the nearby countryside like Tibur, Tivoli, Versailles, San-Cloud, Schoenbrunn, Windsor. The surroundings are a lucky combination of hill and plain, field and wood, garden and nature, river and mountain, village and hamlet, town and countryside."
Noblemen' mansions and manors in the town and its surroundings impress everyone who comes by, as well by their exteriors as by the treasures kept inside. If you visit Samobor (and you should, by all means) ask about the grave of Ljubica Cantilly. A wonderful love story is connected to this name. The poet Stanko Vraz was unhappily in love with Ljubica. He wrote her poems, sent roses. But Ljubica, persuaded by her family, married another and one great love remained only in poems. In memory of this great love every year Croatian poets gather around her grave and bring flowers and read their love poetry. Every year in May, a month born for the enamored, those in love come by.

Samobor is the town of numerous cultural events during the whole year. The soul of Samobor cultural life is Public Open University Samobor. Thanks to this institution, every month is filled with diversity of cultural activities: theatre plays and art exhibitions (in halls and open spaces), concerts in the music school or in the attractive acoustic premises of Samobor churches or Samobor Museum. Samobor Music Autumn must be especially mentioned, a classical music festival that has turned the town into a great stage every autumn for decades.

This is the town poets and painters, sculptors and composers fell in love with. They wrote about Samobor, they created in Samobor. They would come... and they would go, only to return again because no one has managed to discover it completely so far. This is the charm of this little place, it is so enriched with various things that every coming or staying is just an invitation to a new encounter. Beside its prominent tourist and excursion characteristics, from ancient times this town is renowned for its excellent artisans and craftsmen. Here you'll find products of traditional crafts that are extinct elsewhere, the hand-made products which will become your precious Samobor souvenirs. The Samobor crystal, hand-cut, has spread the name of Samobor throughout the world. You will be delighted too! Beside more than two thousand different crafts and trades, ecologically clean industry is developing in Samobor, because this green emerald is worth guarding and preserving...

So, when you visit Zagreb to get to know the Croatian capital, when all the business meetings are over, when you finish strolling through old and new parts of Zagreb, through its churches, cathedral, its museums and galleries, when you become tired with the tumult of the city, remember that only twenty kilometers away is an idyllic green oasis of peace, Samobor.