Stubičke Toplice center square in January 2020
|• Municipal Mayor||Josip Beljak|
|• Total||27 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+385 49|
Stubičke Toplice (Croatian pronunciation: [stûbitʃkeː tǒplit͡se]) is a municipality in Croatia in the Krapina-Zagorje County. With its centuries-old tourist tradition, it is a very popular vacation spot located in the continental part of the country, serving as a spa center and health resort. Connected by the state road D307 and L202 railway it is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) north from the country's capital city Zagreb. From amalgamation of a local community, the municipality of Stubičke Toplice was founded on 27 April 1993 as a unit of local government.
The name of the town literally means "the spa of Stubica", marking it as the spa resort near the town of Donja Stubica.
Stubičke Toplice has a long, rich and diverse history. It is believed that the town was known as early as the time of Roman Empire, due to two Roman coins from the era of emperor Hadrian that were found near the pool in 1963.
13th to 18th century
In the Middle Ages, Stubičke Toplice was mentioned in 1567, in the investigation against Franjo Tahy, when this area belonged to the Susedgrad-Stubica seigniory. The final battle of the great peasant fight in 1573 took place on the hill Kapelšćak. At the top of the hill, there was a small chapel of St. Catherine at the time, for which the visitation[clarification needed] from 1622 suggests was once a parish church.
The sources of thermal water hot springs in Stubičke Toplice were first described by Hungarian historian Nikola Isthvánffy in the 17th century. In the 18th century Stubičke Toplice was owned by counts Vojkffy - Vojković from Donje Oroslavje. In 1776 count K. Vojkffy built, besides the springs itself, the first swimming pool, which represents the beginning of a future spa and balneology tradition.
Maksimilijan Vrhovac period and sudden development of the resort (18th and 19th century)
A significant period in development of Stubičke Toplice began in 1806, when the Zagreb bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovac (Karlovac, 23. 11. 1752. - Zagreb, 16. 12. 1827) bought nearby Golubovec castle from the Domjanić family and then thermal springs in Stubičke Toplice from counts Vojkffy – Vojković. Until 1811, Vrhovac systematically bought the surrounding land, increased the possession of the place and turned it into a large complex where a modern thermal spa would be built.
In 1811, the construction of the main building – Maksimilijan's bath – began. The draft was made by the official builder of Bishop Vrhovac – Heinrich Vesteburg. The great building of the Maksimilijan bath, well-composed and functionally solved, made in baroque style, was a very large investment for its time. It was also the first regulated thermal spa in Croatia, which, in some of the later modifications, still works today. In the park, behind the Maksimilijan bath, a neo gothic-stylized octagonal pavilion was built, named the Steam bath of Dijana, presenting one of the first applications of the neogothicism at this area.
The third building of the whole resort complex, the classicist chapel of St. Catherine, was built by the same person. It was built and dedicated in 1814. It is important to emphasize that on the complex of Stubičke Toplice, the same person, at the same time, built the three objects and applied different styles (baroque tradition, neo-gothic, classicism). At the invitation of the bishop of Maksimilijan Vrhovac in Stubičke Toplice, the most famous doctors and surgeons come to investigate and confirm the healing and possible health care enabled by using thermal springs.
During the 19th century, the owners of the spa were heirs of Vrhovac in Stubički Golubovec - Novosel nobles, counts Sermage, barunes[clarification needed] Rauch and Barunes Steeb as the last owners. By 1918, the bath did not change its mode of operation[clarification needed].
20th century - present
The first illustrated tourist guide publication of Stubičke Toplice, The Mineral Bath and Spas of Stubičke Toplice, was printed in 1914 when the owner of the spa was Levin Baron Rauch. Activity at the resort and spa was then cut off following World War I. Before the construction of the Zabok-Gornja Stubica railway in 1916, the town was connected with the neighbouring town of Zabok with the spa-owned car.
Between the two world wars, the spa became a joint-stock company. Outdoor pools, catering and other facilities are built. Stubičke Toplice became the most visited excursion site in the vicinity of Zagreb. In the second half of 20th century, significant expansion of the spa began, with upgrading of the baths, rehabilitation center and construction of a new hotel.
Prior to 1993, Stubičke Toplice belonged to the territory of the former Municipality of Donja Stubica (which earned town privileges in 1997). Since the municipality of Stubičke Toplice was founded on April 27, 1993, a large number of building, infrastructural, culture, educational and social projects in the town were realized through the initiative of Vladimir Bosnar, arguably the most favored and memorable mayor by the town inhabitants, who served in this position from the municipality's inception until his death in 2017 (with a short break in early 2000s).
On March 22, 2020, during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Stubičke Toplice got hit by 5.5 magnitude earthquake (the strongest one in that area since 1880) which caused no reported casualities and only few minor material damages in the town's area. A 3-metre wide (10 ft) sinkhole opened on the grounds of Special hospital for medical rehabilitation after the earthquake. Neighbouring town Donja Stubica and municipality of Gornja Stubica, however, suffered significant material damage.
Geology and topology
Stubičke Toplice, one of the smallest municipalities in the county, occupies 25 square kilometers (10.4 square miles), and is 162 meters above sea level. It is situated in the southern part of Krapina-Zagorje County, lying underneath the northern slopes of Medvednica mountain, approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the capital city Zagreb (which is situated beneath the opposite, south side of the mountain).
Protected by the hills Kamenjak from north-east and Kapešćak from south-west, Stubičke Toplice marks the confluence of the local creeks Vidak and Topličina. About 80% of the town's area is located in the Nature park of Medvednica - the natural landscape value of the municipality.
The whole area of the municipality is covered by the hills that are connected to the Medvednica massif on the southeast and to the Krapina river valley on the north. The area of Stubičke Toplice is stretched by a dense network of mountain creeks, which belong to the Krapina river basin. It is an area of diverse vegetation made up of forests, plateaux, valleys, meadows and preserved streams of mountain valley watercourses. Oak, hornbeam and beech communities predominate on the slopes of the local hills. However, on the higher and colder parts of Medvednica mountain, the most common are the forests of beech and pine. The vegetation along the creek valleys is primarily made of willows, alders and secondary communities of humid habitats in the form of a tall sedge. Swamp areas occur in places with slower water flows.
The settlement borders on the east with the town Donja Stubica, west with the village Krušljevo Selo (territory of the town Oroslavje) and Zagreb County, more precisely with the municipality of Jakovlje (village Igrišće), north with Oroslavje and village Andraševec (Oroslavje territory), south with the municipality of Jakovlje (more precisely Kraljev Vrh), the city of Zagreb (neighborhood Podsljeme) and southwest with Zagreb County (municipality of Bistra).
Stubičke Toplice area has a humid continental climate, with average relative humidity of 75-80%. The average temperature in the town is 9.6 degrees Celsius (49.3 °F); 18.9 °C (66.0 °F) in summer and 0.2 °C (32.4 °F) in winter. Estimated annual rainfall is 1164 mm (according to the 2013 census). The most common winds are southwest (SW) and northwest (NW).
Economy, tourism and culture
Stubičke Toplice plays an important role in the country's continental tourism. The town lies on the healing thermal springs, which offer natural wealth and potential to the town. The municipality bases itself on development of health, congress and recreational tourism.
Health and congress tourism
Stubičke Toplice is a home to special hospital for physical rehabilitation, surrounded by a spacious park that stretches all the way to the forest slopes of the surrounding hills. It is a complex of three buildings: the oldest part of the hospital, Maksimilijan built in the 19th century and modernized/reconstructed in 2010s, Toplice built in 1973, and the newest Dijana featuring a fitness center, built in 1997. Today, the Special Hospital is a successful provider of health tourism, using the tradition of treatment with thermal water as a natural healing factor and modern medical rehabilitation. Thermal spring water is known for its therapeutic properties, which can be used to treat various injuries, muscle inflammation, rheumatism, etc. It is characterized by high temperature at the source (43–63 °C), which is evidence of great depths. High temperature, and a rich chemical composition give great healing properties. Together with the neighbouring 3-star congress hotel Matija Gubec built in 1972, rehabilitation center provides modern wellness/spa, sauna, professional hydro massage and indoor/outdoor swimming pool services.
Stubičke Toplice enjoys a picturesque landscape where the Medvednica forest slopes descend towards thermal springs. With its specialties (rich cultural heritage, healing thermal springs, Kapelščak and Kamenjak hills filled with historical stories, Lake Jarki, promenades, parks, biodiversity of the Medvednica Nature Park etc.), Stubičke Toplice attracts many hikers, tourists and mountaineers.
The historic educational forest trail Kamenjak, with its natural, religious and historical significance, was restored on the Kamenjak hill and the forest of the same name in late 2004 / early 2005 and again in 2014. It is located on the southwest side of Kamenjak forest, in the northeastern part of the Stubičke Toplice municipality, near the hotel Matija Gubec and the Special Hospital. The length of the track is 1200 meters and the altitude difference is 87 meters. The richness of the plant and animal world is the main feature of the forest. At the end of the trail there was an oak called Galženjak which collapsed in 2010s, former protected monument of nature since 1965, where, according to folk tales, the rebellious serfs of the 1573 peasant fight were hung. As a continuation of the peasant fight story, on the neighboring hill, the scenic and historical-memorial locality Kapelščak, there is a memorial plaque which marks the place where the revolt leader Matija Gubec was caught. The final part of the promenade leads to the small chapel of St. Catherine situated on the Kapelšćak hill.
Events, manifestations and cultural life
Stubičke Toplice's tourist board, in cooperation with active associations, promotes the cultural life of the town throughout the year. Exhibitions, concerts in the parish church, live bar music and various cultural and sporting events are organized. Cultural and historical values, traditional inheritance, protection of the environment and gastronomic traditions of Hrvatsko Zagorje region are promoted, with events like The Mushroom-picking autumn event in the village of Pila (Gljivarenje v Stubakima), „Easter“ (Vuzem) and „Christmas“ (Božić) in the local square etc.
The municipality hosts several associations aiming to promote different sports. Among the prominent sports associations, are clubs for auto-moto, cycling, fishing, mini football, table tennis and taekwondo. Since 1993, the mountain car race "Grand prix of Stubičke Toplice" (Velika nagrada Stubičkih Toplica) has been held.
Each year at the time of the Snow Queen Trophy event (a World cup alpine ski race held on Medvednica mountaintop Sljeme usually in early January), bus transfer for race-visitors is traditionally organized between Stubičke Toplice and Sljeme.
Stubičke Toplice is a recognizable ecological destination and a long-time winner of the prestigious "Green Flower" (Zeleni cvijet) award for the cleanest town in continental Croatia.
Stubičke Toplice has a school that provides elementary education program, serving grades 1–8. Construction of the building began in 1994. As a part of the elementary school in the neighbouring town of Donja Stubica, it began with its work with the program for grades 1–4 in 1996. For the students who finished grade 4 in Stubičke Toplice there was ensured extension of their elementary education from grade 5 at Elementary school Donja Stubica at that time. Since 2009, the school has been upgraded to serve grades 1–8, supporting entire program. Later the same year, the school made secession from Elementary school Donja Stubica and started with its independent work.
The town lies on the intersection of the state road D307 that connects Marija Bistrica, Donja Stubica and Oroslavje with the A2 highway in Zabok and regional road ŽU2219 that connects Stubičke Toplice with Stubički Strmec, Pila and Sljeme. On call taxi services are also available from the town center.
Stubičke Toplice has a train station on the local L202 railway corridor that is served by daily passenger trains.
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