The red-covered village of Marija Bistrica on the slopes of Medvednica Mountain in Krapina-Zagorje County is the largest and most important place of pilgrimage in Croatia. that the statue has miraculous powers because it was not destroyed during the later attacks of the Turks.Although the original parish church dates from 1334, it was rebuilt between 1879 and 1882. The Viennese architect grafted the Neo-Renaissance style onto the old foundations, designed new arcades and enlarged the parish court. Religious paintings and sculptures were also added. During the restoration, another miracle occurred when a fire destroyed the entire interior of the church, except the altar and the miraculous statue of the Madonna.The sanctuary in this picturesque village attracts up to 800,000 visitors a year, many of whom place the "Way of the Cross" behind the church. This arrangement of 14 cross stations is decorated with sculptures by Croatian artists and leads to the hill of Calvary.Even with all the attention it receives, the greatest celebration of the shrine took place in 1998 when Pope John Paul II visited the Blessed Croatian Archbishop Stepinac.The visit to Marija Bistrica is also interesting for the presentation of traditional Croatian crafts. In an effort to encourage tourists to stay after visiting the shrine, the tourist office funded the development of crafts such as wooden toys, pottery, gingerbread and candles. It's a great place to pick up traditional Croatian souvenirs!
№401 in Villages and settlements of Croatia