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Wooden architecture

Wooden architecture

Forest resources gave a special feature to this region because the wood was used not only for the construction of village homes, but also for the development of all usable items in the household. The basis of the traditional architecture was an oak, as the indigenous building material to which the home masters gave soul. The oak was a building material for farmhouses - manors – timber framed country houses of wealthy people from Turopolje, blockhouses - wooden homes on floors with beautifully decorated staircases and wooden chapels.

Wooden chapels from Turopolje and Pokuplje are unique in the world. They can be traced far back in the early Middle Ages, but most of the preserved ones date from the 17th century. Today there are only 11 preserved wooden chapels left, three in Turopolje, two in Vukomeričke gorice and six in Pokuplje. They were built by groups of timber-workers and as a rule they were made of oak-tree, i.e. oak-planks. They were covered with thin pieces of oak boards called "shingle".

It is possible to enter the majority of chapels, some with impressive painted interiors, some more, some less (the key is usually kept by the local bell-ringer).


St. Barbara's Chapel, Velika Mlaka

This building is beautiful and the most representative example of wooden Baroque sacral architecture of North Croatia. It was built of oak planks of Turopolje and it testifies to over three centuries of tradition of building in wood. In its interior there is a beautiful winged altar from the 17th century depicting the life and martyrdom of Saint Barbara on the one and the Passion of Christ on the other side. Tabs and wood panelling like a gallery of our domestic paintings preserved about 150 painted surfaces depicting saints and plant motifs. In the chapel there is a rare iconographic representation of St. Kummernisse, crucified saint with a beard.

One-story wooden house with a porch of carved wood was transferred next to the church that serves as a rectory and together with the church forms a harmonious whole.

Information: Rectory of St.Barbara, 33 Školska, Velika Mlaka  10408 Velika Mlaka, 01/6234-761

The Chapel of Saint George, Lijevi Štefanki

If we take a look at its structure, its building material and size, St. George's Chapel in Lijevi Štefanki represents the most authentic example of the 17th century ground-plan for a chapel. It was built in 1677 on the spot of the earlier chapel and was moved on to the today's location and rebuilt after 1704. The chancel contains the altar of St. George with an inscription of the year 1725. The wooden carved altar with richly gold-plated acanthus-tree leaves, sculptures, marbleized pillars, tectonic retable, the central altar painting of St. George, and the image of Madonna in the altar locket is the true seal of Baroque times. Vegetal decorations in vivid colours can be found on some thirty fields of the painted ceiling. They contain painted flowers and fruits framed by the motifs of leaves and tendrils.

Information: Župni ured Uznesenja B.D.M, Pokupkso bb, 10414 Pokupsko,tel: 6266 046

St. John the Baptists Chapel (St. Apostles' Chapel), Buševec

Constructed in the second half of the 17th century, it was firstly dedicated to the Holy Apostle, and then to St. Paul the Baptist, based on the main statue on the altar from 1696. The altar is decorated with rich Baroque carvings of the leaves of acanthus. The interior of the Chapel is especially valuable with its rustic paintings which have been preserved on the vault and walls. The vault is painted with scenes from the Separation of the Apostles. There are paintings on the walls of the Chapel of the Evangelists – St. Matthew and St. John on the northern, and St. Mark and St. Luke on the southern wall. It is important to note that this artwork falls into the category of very rare maintained true national art, which differs from that in the wooden Church of St. Barbara in Velika Mlaka. This Chapel was an inspiration for a series of wooden chapels in Turopolje and Pokuplja in the post-Baroque period.

Information: Parish office of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 14 J. Habdelića, Old Čiče, 10419 Vukovina, Tel: 6230 300

The Chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua, Gustelnica

The Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua in Gustelnica was first mentioned in a visitation in 1678. It was made of timber and it contained an altar with the picture of St. Anthony of Padua. With its appearance and specific method of construction, it differed from the local traditional construction method. It was built by the timber-workers who applied planks using neither the German nor Croatian angle, but a technique called ‘na žale’. The bell-tower was added in the early 18th century and around 1720 it got a new altar. The inside walls are lined with colourful planks painted with geometrical and stylized plant motifs which are reminiscent of the motifs from the traditional national costumes. The chapel was designed by Dr. Hermann Bollé, and it was built by a group of various masters from Styria, Hungary, Germany and Croatia. In order to obtain more space the sacristy was added to the chapel in 1930 and the choir on wooden posts in 1934.

Information: Parish office Dubranec, 3 Dubranec, tel: + 385 1 6267 407

The Chapel of Jesus in Wounds in Pleso

The Chapel of Jesus in Wounds is situated on a vast field, near Zagreb Airport This chapel was erected and furnished in 1758 by Rozalija Plepelić, the widow of the nobleman Ladislav Plepelić.. The chapel is exceptional due to its facade decoration. The year 1896 is written in paint on the facade and, according to the type of chapel and the way the planks (wooden beams) are joined, could correspond to the year of construction. The chapel walls are adorned with paintings of the Stations of the Cross in wood, by artist Mate Mihinica from Obrezina.

Information: Parish Office Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, tel: +385 1 6222 170

The Chapel of the Holy Trinity, Gladovec Pokupski

It was erected in 1847 on the hill outside the village. The oldest piece of inventory is the oval painting of All Saint’s and a small side altar. In the Chapel, there is also a very interesting and valuable painting dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk, a votive painting from 1743 depicting the battle against the Turks in the landscape where the river flows before a fortified town. Other inventory of the Church interior dates back to the Rococo period, most likely transferred in part from the burned Church of the Holy Trinity in Slatina.

Information: Parish office of the Assumption, Pokupsko bb, 10414 Pokupsko, tel: 6266 046

The Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Lukinić Brdo

The first wooden chapel, according to the inscription on the bell, was likely built in the second half of the 17th century, while today’s chapel dates back to 1908 and was consecrated in 1909. The chapel was built by the carpenter’s association Marko and Jure Janković from Čička Poljana, and the main altar is the work of master Pospišil from Buševec.

Information: Parish office Dubranec, 3 Dubranec, tel: + 385 1 6267 407

The Chapel of St. Peter and Paul, Cerje Pokupsko

Most similar to the chapel at Lukinić Brdo, although it is much smaller, it was built in 1932 by the master carpenters Orečići from Lijevi Štefanki. The ornamentation is similar to that of the wooden chapel and the family homes they also built in the Pokupsko region. The chapel includes a modest altar from the 17th century, which indicates the older origin of this chapel.

Information: Parish office of the Assumption, Pokupsko bb, 10414 Pokupsko, tel: 6266 046

St. Rocco's Chapel, Cvetković Brdo

This little wooden chapel with a simple ceiling and a wooden altar Mensa existed until 1720 when a new chapel was built in its place. It was restored in 1761 and destroyed in 1867. The construction of the present-day chapel started at that time. The main altar was consecrated to the patron saint, St. Rocco, and the far right altar was consecrated to St. Vitus, crafted from wood by Josip Markuz, a self-trained sculptor from Roženica, who continud the tradition of the Turopolje wood carving masters.

Information: Parish office Dubranec, 3 Dubranec, tel: + 385 1 6267 407

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Lučelnica

First mentioned in 1668, it was demolished and a new chapel built in 1704. In the 19th century, a new chapel was built at the same location of the old one. Today’s chapel dates back to 1935. The small altar in the Baroque peasant style, from 1749, has been preserved with its two statues and painting of the crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Stations of the Cross, the work of local artist Mate Mihinica from Obrezina, hang on the walls of the chapel.

Information: Parish office Dubranec, 3 Dubranec, tel: + 385 1 6267 407

Chapel of St. Elias, Auguštanovec

Constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries, located in the village; it will charm you with its simple beauty.

With unique wooden chapels, timber-framed country houses are especially interesting examples of indigenous housing construction among wealthy people of this region. Unfortunately, just a few of them are preserved today – the timber-framed country house of Alapić family in Vukovina, the rectory in the Old Čiče, Josipovic’s timber-framed country house in Kurilovec, family courts of Pintar and Zlatarić family in Bukevje and the best preserved one, Modić-Bedeković country house in Donja Lomnica. On the ground floor of this country house there were utility rooms, and upstairs there were usually five large rooms. The largest, called the palace with a large table, served as a dining room and next to it there was a lounge with classic furnishings and three bedrooms. Spacious courtyards were surrounding these country houses and some of them are turned into beautiful parks.



Country-house Modić-Bedeković, Donja Lomnica

Country-house Modić-Bedeković, erected in 1806, stands out as an example of indigenous housing construction of Turopolje area, and the entire property is among the most valuable examples of architectural heritage of central Croatia and it was protected as a cultural monument in 1972. The type of construction is the same as in other such objects - on the ground floor there were utility rooms, while bedrooms were upstairs. The spirit of the past has been well preserved in this country-house and the rooms are decorated with beautifully preserved ceramic heaters, antique furniture and paintings on the walls by known and unknown artists, lamps and china and the genealogy of the Modić family. Particularly interesting detail represents the floor of pebbles in the vestibule, taken from a nearby creek. If you long for a rest and cool in the shade, you can find it in the spacious courtyard with a park where there is a summer kitchen (sukačnica). The last inhabitants of this country-house were sisters Vilma and Milka Bedeković who marked the life of this manor with their artistic work, and due to a very good preservation and recent renovation today there you can experience the beauty of country life at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century.

Country-house can be visited with prior notice to the employees of the Museum of Turopolje on the phone 01/6221 325,

Country-house Alapić, Vukovina

This country-house belonged to Alapić family which moved to our parts from Hungary. In 1496, a duke Ivaniš Korvin bought that estate in Vukovina. According to historical records it was inhabited by Baltazar (he died in Vukovina in 1520) and Gašpar Alapić (he also died in Vukovina in 1584) till the day they died. As the country-house has been ruined due to neglect and property dispute, more recently the protective and repair works have been carried out by The Institute of Ancient Monuments. In one part of the country-house there is a studio of Mladen Mikulin, whose works adorn a large yard and a park in front of the house.



Until the lift of the embankment in the second half of the 19th century, the area of the valley of the Kupa and Sava were periodically flooded. Due to the high soil moisture, the people of Turopolje built their houses on poles and that’s how blockhouses appeared. The lower part of the wooden house was never used for housing, but it served as sheds or warehouses (storage for tools) while the living quarters were only on the first floor. The most famous examples of this construction can be found in Mraclin and Posavina with lace-like beautifully carved porches and exterior stairways. Today they are protected cultural monuments that speak of the construction and builders in the past centuries.