The Town of the Knights of St. John’s order

Located at the foot of Ivančica, the highest mountain of Hrvatsko zagorje, there is a small town of a rich history, tradition and culture. Thanks to its natural beauties, water resources and natural diversity, Ivanec had been inhabited early in the past. Many excavated objects in the Ivanec area prove that people had been living here long before the 12th century when, for the first time, the knights of St. John’s order were mentioned in written form.They were a knight order of St. John of Jerusalem who had come to Ivanec in the 12th century. It is precisely in one of their documents from the year 1396 that the settlement of St. John is mentioned for the first time – today’s Ivanec.

Throughout history, Ivanec has been changing and developing. In the 15th century it became secular, and in the 16th century, a citadel was built. The citadel was a defence and residential fortress, which, however, was completely destroyed during past wars. Today, the ruins of the citadel can be found in the very centre of Ivanec, surrounded by park, where some trees were planted by Napoleon’s soldiers.

The life of the inhabitants was determined by the mountain Ivančica and its rich mineral resources. At the end of the 19th century, they used to go into the shafts of “Ivanec coal mines”. Ivanec miners’ troop saved the miners, and is still here as a tourist attraction to witness of their hard work.

In the walk through Ivanec, you have the opportunity to go back to history, listen to clattering of mills, find the water wells, visit churches and chapels, hills and vineyard cottages, lakes and fish-ponds. Simply put, enjoy the mysteries of the lost town of knights.