The town of Donja Stubica is located in the southern part of Krapina-Zagorje County and occupies an area of 44 km2. It is nested in the central area of the northern slopes of Medvednica Mountain, in the heart of the Stubica Valley. Its southern area includes the lush forests of the Medvednica Nature Park.
Donja Stubica is a town of great traditional value. The richness of cultural elements and historical monuments make it a townof recognizable identity. Coupled with its mild climate and beautiful countryside, Donja Stubica is an irresistible vacation site, but also an increasingly attractive place for peaceful family life.
In the area of Donja Stubica there are several noble families' castles and manor houses from the period of 16th to 19th century, which flourished during the Baroque period. The best known castle is Stubički Golubovec, while the Holy Trinity parish church is one of the most prestigious Gothic sacral monuments of the Croatian region of Zagorje.
In 1899, Eugen Viktor Feller - one of the most prominent pharmasists of the time - arrived to Donja Stubica. In 1901, he built a new Neo-Baroque building for his pharmacy next to the church. Its ground floor was adapted for a factory, serving for the production of Elsa Fluid – Feller's famous elixir known worldwide. Elsa Fluid was presented as a cure for all diseases. It was exported to most European countries, as well as Egypt, Japan and China; anddue to its high content of alchool, it was particularly successful in America during the Prohibition. The cure brought significant revenues, both to the Feller family and to Donja Stubica. Thanks to the large export, the post office of Donja Stubica also generated great earnings and was the first post office in Croatian Zagorje to participate in international postal traffic. E.V. Feller was also known as benefactor: he helped students financially, as well as various associations and disadvantaged children, and in 1918, he established a foundation to help mothers of soldiers killed in the war.
Located on the northern slopes of Forest Park Medvednica is the municipality of Gornja Stubica, covering 50 km2 of the southern edges of Krapina-Zagorje County.
The first written document about the parish of Sv. Juraj Gornja Stubica dates back to 1209, while the municipality of Gornja Stubica, which today counts 6,000 inhabitants, was established in 1993.
Immediately next to the church there is a 400-year-old linden tree – the Gubec Linden Tree - a protected natural monument. It is associated with legends of Matija Gubec and the Peasants' Revolt of 1573. Although time has left its mark on the tree, it still stands tall. It is tenacious and resilient, just as its rebels – Stubičanci (men from Stubica).
In the centre of the town is the Memorial Park to Rudolf Perešin. In 1991, during the agression on Croatia, Rudi - at the time a military pilot in the former Yougoslav army - flew his airplane to Austria. His words "I am Croat and cannot shoot at my people!", are still remembered.
At Samci hill, in the greenery of a well-maintained park, is a castle erected in the second half of the 18th century, which used to belong to the noble family Oršić. There are now exhibition halls used for various purposes, a permanent exhibition of the Peasants' Revolt Museum and a shop selling souvenirs and artisanal objects. The impressive monument which dominates the Stubica valley, dedicated to Matija Gubec and the Peasants' Revolt, was made in bronze and green stone from Medvednica Mountain by sculpturer Antun Augustinčić.
Some twenty smaller or larger settlements are strewn across surrounding hills and valleys, and some of their names testify of the arrival of Turks to these parts (Sekirevo selo and Karivaroš). You will also come across entire villages where people still live in old wooden houses (hiža). On the hillsides, where carefully cultivated grape-vines are planted, there are also wooden huts.