Audio guide




Ivanec has been using the waterpower of the Bistrica stream for more than 150 years. Even before the use of electricity, this stream was a real blessing for the operation and development of milling in our region.

The stream springs above the village of Prigorec at the foot of Ivančica and creates picturesque cascades as it passes through the center of Ivanec, before joining the river Bednja. There is a height difference of about 200 meters between the source and the mouth of the stream, which enabled the creation of an impressive hydropower system with as many as 20 buildings, including mills and sawmills.

Before the use of steam engines and electric motors, the inhabitants of Ivanec relied on hydropower potentials such as this stream. Through precisely controlled channels and grooves, water was directed towards the wooden mill wheels, using the power of the water and converting it into the energy of the hydropower potential. The then state even granted a concession for the use of the water right on the Bistrica watercourse to Božidar Kukuljević.

There used to be roads here on both sides of the stream. Horse-drawn carriages crossed the riverbed, and pedestrians used wooden bridges to cross from one bank to the other. On this part of the stream, women washed clothes in the clear water, and the rattling of the mill wheels was the most common sound that accompanied the women's hard work.