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Visiting Samobor, Croatia
Samobor is the center of the one of the most developed parts of Croatia. It is a colorful and picturesque town obviously inhabited from prehistoric times according to the finds in the vicinity. Samobor has a tradition of tourism from 19 Th century when it was already a favorite spot for inhabitants of Zagreb. Nature around is beautiful, restaurants and inns offer local and international culinary hits and town has a cozy charm. Samobor is situated on breathtaking entrance to the romantic valley on stream Gradna. Samoborsko Gorje and numerous mountains (Plesivica, Zumberak, Japetic and so on) shelter this Baroque town.
Town itself has a long and diverse history. From preroman times to middle ages when it became a market town with a charter and a privilege from Croatian Hungarian king. Copper mines in Rude near Samobor were opened sometime in 14 Th century and with them started development of metalworking crafts.
In Napoleonic times samobor was headquarters of Napoleon Illyrian provinces. This is the time when local drink Bermet started being produced. Names Bermet and Vermouth are close and so are the tastes... although not the same. So here it is a centuries old local version of Vermouth and delicious one it is. In 19 Th century town blossomed. It culminated with 1901 opening of Samoborcek. Local train that operated till late 1970es.
Burg above the town is in ruins today. It changed many hands with passage of time. It is a place to visit if nothing else for stunning view of town and its area.
Center of town is square named after Croatian king Tomislav. It is lovely accentuated with interesting buildings and with summer coffee shops, outside tables and parasols it looks like big and comfortable leaving room. each building is very special and unique.
So many things got transformed in time and of some only old name remains. Old pig market was transformed into promenade, Art nouveau building on the main square used to be famous coffee shop, bridge on central square from 1906 used to be last word of technology and craftsmanship when it was built. It was second largest of its kind in its time and of all places in Samobor.
Museum of Samobor is in Livadic mansion. Museum is structured around several diverse collections. Plan and program is to show past of Samobor and its region through centuries. They posses large collection of town panoramas and portraits.
Part of Franciscan cloister is Baroque church of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary. It has beautiful baroque altars and is known for illusionist style composition of the Ascension.
On Tepec hill is baroque chapel of St Anna, patron saint of Samobor. Promenade Anindol is considered to be the most beautiful one. On the bottom of the same hill there is a sports and recreational center Vugrinscak.
Manor houses, parish churches are placed around samobor, here and there so tourist can be positive that in every direction there is something to be seen and rediscovered. Rude, known for its copper mines are today beginning for hiking tours. For nature lovers Grgos caves are absolute attraction. Filled with stalactites and stalagmites they proudly represent the most beautiful caves in Northwestern Croatia.
Very interesting cave system can be seen in Vilinske jame, Grdanjci.
South of Samobor is Okic. Medieval burg situated on the top of the hill sits there from 12 Th century and can be valuable part of any outing around Samobor.
Samoborsko gorje is considered to be cradle of Croatian hiking. For over 150 year people from Zagreb, Jastrebarsko and Samobor made it a destination for their trips and excursions. In central part of Samoborsko gorje trails are well marked and mainly equipped with mountain huts or lodges(Ostrc, Veliki Dol and Soic house in Lipovac)
Eastern parts are much more enjoyable for hunters and sports fishermen.
For urban people eco village in Kalje is breath of fresh air. Domestic animals can be observed in the local farm, horse back riding is an option as well as an ordinary picnic or just strolling around.
If one is not in Samobor for almost 200 year traditional carnival celebration, Trout day, Chestnut festival or St Martins day with blessing of new wine any day is good occasion to go there and taste custard slices.
Special trip to Samobor can be made only for and because of the food. Venison, trout, garlic sausages and more are rewarding enough to just drive from Zagreb or any other near location and get a delicious meal.
Tourist information about Samobor are easily available.
About the Author: Josephine Boehm is an Art Historian and author. If you want to read more of her writing visit her blogs: Guide to Croatia and Josephines art history blog. Her web site Croatia vacations is a great place to find short information about almost every major Croatian vacation spot and resort.