History


Archaeological sites in the Haloze-Zagorje Tourist Zone testify on settlement since the ancient times. A number of stone axes from the Neolithic period (5-2 thousand years B.C.) were found here. There are rich remains and sites from the Bronze Age (1750 B.C.) and the Iron Age (700 B.C.) – the Hallstatt culture and from La Tene Celtic culture from the 4th century B.C. There are also Old Slavic sites from the 8th century and foundations of early Christian churches from the 9th century.

The best known archaeological site in the area is the Špilja Vindija cave near Donja Voća where they have found evidence about human presence since the Palaeolithic.

Stone axes from 1200-1000 B.C. were found in Žetale and elsewhere. Only a small part of found objects was preserved in the area, the bulk is in museums in cities all the way to Vienna.

The Tourist Zone features a great number of Roman sites as the famous Roman town of Poetoviona, today's Ptuj was nearby. Testimonies of the fighting between people from Zagorje and Haloze with the Turks have been preserved from later times. The most famous stories are about how the Turks destroyed the old Vinica Castle on Vinica hill and about the grave of a Turkish grandmother on Turški vrh hill.

There is a big marketplace in front of the Church of Mary on Ptujska gora. In 1447, the settlement became a borough with its own lower courts and market rules. A state court was even located here for a short period of time witnessed by the pranger – pillory to which caught cheats and offenders were tied to be publicly ridiculed as a warning to others.

The main square in Vinica still features two interesting and rare monuments – a pillory and a measure for cereals – proving that Vinica was also a trading and judicial centre. Vinica also existed in Roman times as Vinea. The ancient Romans produced vinecit stone in a quarry at Marčan, which can be processed and is extremely solid. That stone was used to build many churches, partly even the Zagreb Cathedral, and palaces in Varaždin, Zagreb and Vienna. The stone is still being produced for use in restoration works. Special sandstone was cut in the valley under Jelovice near Majšperk from which a number of palaces all the way to Austrian Graz were built.

The vicinity of archaeological and paleonthologic sites of Krapina prehistoric man – Neanderthal – in Donja Voća confirms that Zagorje and Haloze were settled early on. Findings from the Bronze and Iron Age, Celtic coin from Turški vrh, the Roman name Colles for vine hills and a number of other things confirm that the land with a pleasant climate, sunny slopes and forested northern slopes has been interesting and suitable for life since the ancient times. No historic remains of larger settlements have been discovered as probably there were none. However, the land at the edge of a major Roman town Poetovia was not without people as the town was a centre of wine trade even then.

Haloze were the western border region of the Pribin's Pannonia for a while, and in 811 Charlemagne approved them as the most eastern region of the Aquileum patriarchy. Constant movements of borders and eternal staying at the edge were only eased by the vicinity of the east-west transport route, adjacent location of the Drava river and the river crossing near today's Borl, which in all language variants means crossing a river. From the Ptuj lords to (short reign) of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus and subsequent owners of the Borl lordship and Ptuj Minorites, Haloze and Zagorje lived through their turbulent and calm centuries.

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