NP Žumberak Homepage

HISTORY

MIDDLE AGES


When was it?
The period between 476 – 1498

After decline of the Roman Empire, numerous Germanic and later Slavic tribes passed across the Pannonian plain. Almost nothing is known about the great movement of the peoples and the period when the Croats came to Žumberak. The earliest written texts and archaeological finds enlighten the history of Žumberak from the 12th century on. It was the period when Žumberak was the border between two big feudal states – the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom and the Germanic Empire.


What remains from the Middle Ages are found in Žumberak?
Samostrel
The remains of the material culture of the Middle Ages in Žumberak are today visible as ruins of fortified towns built at the end of the 12th or at the beginning of the 13th centuries. Among the most important are Tuščak and Lipovac, as well as Okić – the oldest fortified town in Croatia and Old Town of Žumberak, the central fortress in fortification system of this part of the frontier. It is situated deeply in the Žumberačko gorje on desolate 500-meter-high plateau. Historical documents mentioned it for the first time in 1249 as a property of Carinthian duke Majnhard. On the list of the parishes of Aquilean diocese from 1296 (Žumberak belonged to that ecclesiastical administrative unit at the period) Žumberak is mentioned as "Sicherberch" (old form of the word out of which word "Žumberak" derived). Old Town of Žumberak architecturally belongs to the category of fortified towns or "burgs" and consists of defensive tower, gate tower, fortified city walls and the church of St. Cross which was built outside city walls. At the beginning of the 14th century the noble family of Babonić took over the town. After that it became the property of Austrian dukes who governed over it until Ottoman rule and arrival of the Uskoks in the 16th century. At that period Old Town of Žumberak was deserted and in the vicinity, few kilometers to the east, a new fortress – New Town of Žumberak - was built as a part of the Croatian Military Border.

Where can you see the finds?
The remains from Old Town of Žumberak are kept in Ministry of culture, Directorate for Cultural Heritage Protection and Conservation Department in Zagreb.