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Marija Bistrica

(4.1/5 based on 35+ reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: religious sites, sightseeing
Marija Bistrica is a town and municipality in the Krapina-Zagorje County in central Croatia, located on the slopes of the Medvednica mountain in the Hrvatsko Zagorje region north of the capital Zagreb. The municipality has 6,612 inhabitants, with 1,107 residents in the settlement itself (2001 census).Marija Bistrica has an old Marian shrine of the Black Madonna which is a place of pilgrimage and visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. On 3 October 1998, Pope John Paul II visited Marija Bistrica and beatified Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac in front of a crowd of 500,000 Croatians.HistoryThe first written mention of the settlement Bistrica dates back to 1209 AD, as the possession of Croatian-Hungarian king Andrew II. Documents from 1334 first mention the church of Sts. Peter and Paul.ShrineIn 1545 a local priest hid the wonder working statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus, which previously stood in a wooden chapel on the Vinski Vrh (Hill) nearby, within the church to save it from the Turks and took the secret of its hiding place to his grave. The statue was discovered in 1588, when according to the records bright light shone from the place where it was buried. In 1650 the statue had to be once again hidden to be rediscovered in 1684.
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