Medvednica National Park near Dubravica.
North of Zagreb, Gornji Stenjevac.
All year Tue-Sun, Hol 11-18.
Closed on Easter Weekend.
Mid-APR to DEC Sat, Sun 10-16.
Every hour on the hour.
Mountain lodge Grafičar:
All year Tue-Sun, Hol 9-21.
Mon-Fri: Adults HRK 50, Children (7-18) HRK 25, Students HRK 35, Seniors HRK 35, Families (2+3) HRK 100.
Groups (20+): Adults HRK 35, Children (3-18) HRK 20.
Sat, Sun: Adults HRK 60, Children (7-18) HRK 30, Students HRK 40, Seniors HRK 40, Families (2+3) HRK 130.
Groups (20+): Adults HRK 40, Children (3-18) HRK 25.
Adults HRK 25, Children (7-18) HRK 20, Students HRK 23, Seniors HRK 23, Families (2+*) HRK 50.
|Classification:||Lead Mine Zinc Mine Silver Mine|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||D=30 min.|
Rudnik Zrinski, Medvednica Nature Park, Bliznec 70, Zagreb 10000, Croatia, Tel: +385-1-4586-317, Fax: +385-1-4586-318.
Planinarski dom Grafičar, Sljemenska cesta 30, 10000, Zagreb, Tel: +385-1-4555-844, Tel: +385-98-783-084.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|16th century||lead-zinc ore galena discovered, Zrinski mine opened.|
|17th century||mine closed.|
|04-DEC-2004||opened to the public.|
|2006||registered as protected cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.|
The Rudnik Zrinski (Zrinski Mine) was named after its owners, the Zrinski family. It was operated from the 16th to the 17th century. The Medieval lead and zinc ore mine in the Nature Park Medvednica has been renovated for several years, before it was opened on St. Barbara's day 2004. St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners, and a small chapel or at least a vault with a sculpture of her is found in every mine in Europe. This is the first and so far only tourist mine in Croatia.
The long reconstruction time was used to make the tour safe and comfortable, but also to install scenes of Medieval mining. Miners in clothes and with tools of those times are shown in scenes of their daily work, built by Damir Pavelic. The atmosphere of former times is completed by sounds from numerous hidden loudspeakers: the muffling conversations, the creaking of wooden wheel-barrows, and pick blows in the rock.
This area is called Rudarski vrt (Miner’s Garden) because it was known for seams of valuable ores and there are several other mines. The Zrinski Mine was opened in the 16th century, after galena, the lead-zinc ore which also contains silver, was found at the Miner's Garden. Some 30 miners were working shifts of 10 to 12 hours using hammers, wedges, pickaxes and shovels. Oil lamps and wax candles were the only light source. The mine was actually based on the silver, as tin and lead alone would not be profitable. Unfortunately the silver content was very low, about half a kilogram per ton of galena ore. As a result the mine was never very profitable and finally the owners of the mine, the Zrinski family, closed the mine in the middle of the 17th century.
To reach the mine take the Sljemenska cesta, a panoramic road which was built across the park. Park at the Planinarski dom Grafičar (Mountain lodge "Grafičar"), which can be reached on a narrow but paved road. From here it's a short walk to the mine entrance, where the tour starts. There is a special miners greeting in most countries, which always was an expression of the dangerous job, and the high risk of being hurt or killed during work. In Croatia this is the word sretno, which means "good luck". (Good Luck) With this greeting the 30 minutes underground tour starts.
The park is actually a part of the capital territory Zadar, so there are enormous amounts of weekend visitors who make the short drive to spend some time in the nature. As a result the whole area is crowded on weekends, especially good weather weekends, and there are higher entrance fees. Unfortunately its quite the opposite with mine tours, the guides are at the mine for individual visitors only on Saturday and Sunday. During the week you need a reservation, which is possible only for a group of 20 persons, or probably you can join another group. If you want to go on weekdays you must call ahead and ask for .
The underground mine tour is completed by other geologic sights of the park. There is the geologic educational trail Miroslavec nearby. This path was created by count Miroslav Kulmer for the pleasure of his wife. Lately the old signs were renovated, and replaced with educational signs which explain the complex geologic history of the area. The signs are very informative, but only in Croatian language. Another nearby sight is the Veternica cave. We recommend to start the visit at the Centra za Posjetitelje Medvedgrad (Medvedgrad Visitor Center). It is located in the medieval castle Medvedgrad and has exhibitions on various aspects of the park. It's also a good place to get more information, buy maps, or book a ticket for the mine tour.