14History of photography in the town of Ivanec is lasting from the first photo works of Juraj Draskovich during the 19th century. Betwen the first and second world war Ivanec was the centar for photography in the former Yugoslavia. Photo section of Ivanec mountaineer's section “Ivančica” was the first organized society of photo amateurs in Ivanec, it was founded on the initiative of Otokar Hrazdira in October the 30. 1931. First exhibition of photo art in Ivanec was held in the next year, 1932.

Otokar Hrazdira was the most famous photo amateur in former Yugoslavia. According to the American annual book of photography (Boston, 1934.), Hrazdira was exhibiting on eight international exhibition with 18 exhibited and awarded photos. Reputation of international photo art artist he obtained exhibiting on international fairs and by wining international awards, some of them are: in Cannes (Prix offer and a bronze medal); Luzerne (silver and three bronze medals); Prague (third price for collection of contact photos) and many others rewards. He was born in Czech Republic and he came in Ivanec in year 1920. as a mining officer. There he experience public affirmation.

He was the publisher of a magazine for artistic photo “Gallery” with headquarters of redaction in Ivanec. The magazine had been for seals for six months from October 1933. till March 1934. (in all 6 numbers were printed), he had parallel redactions in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Hungary. The magazine had stopped printing because of too little subscribers and high criteria of a main publisher.

His successor was Petar Jagetić, who was the best advertising photographer in former Yugoslavia in 1950th. After the Second World War in 1950 he founded Ivanec photo club, whose members were participating in exhibitions which had been organized by other photo clubs in the country, as well as by Ivanec photo club. Photograph activities busted more since 1976. They had organized photo courses, exhibitions of artistic photography, and in short time Ivanec´s photo amateurs were having successes in the country and abroad. Ivanec´s photo club was elected the best club in the country and in 1982, in Trakošćan, they organized manifestation “Days of Yugoslavia photography”

From 1932 till today in Ivanec are organized more then 30 photo exhibitions.


rudariMining in the district of Ivanec has a long tradition. The oldest finding of an iron ore can be found in the valley of a small river Željeznica, with the trace of iron cinder that reflect upon industry of melting iron ore in ancient history. Iron ore loess was being dug under the chapel “Sveti Duh" (chapel of St. Ghost) beside “Vražija pećina” (Devil’s cave), which was used for painting. In “Tamni dol” (Dark valley) above Prigorec was location of iron manganese ore dig site, that was confirmed by finding sites of abandoned pits and traces of different ores in them.

Mining riches had attracted different miners to Ivanec, and there are indications that in the past there was mining colony from Germanic and French miners.

First geological survey in north western Croatia was conducted by Austrian geologist in middle of 19th century, and knowledge of structures and deposit of minerals in that area had enabled quicker exploitation. Different corporations from Vienna, Budapest and Belgium were involved in exploitation of our mineral riches.

During 19th century, a mine on northern hillside of Ivančica was in operation, excavating ores of zinc and lead in the area of Velika obres. At those time deposits of minerals in the mine, “Krasevski zviri” had been estimated at 20000 tones of ore. It was abandoned because of penetration of large quantities of water and lesser and lesser quantities of ore.

With this finding site, in close relations, was a zinc foundry in Kuljevčici, which was in operations from 1863. until 1883., when it was closed because of shortage of ore from Ivančica and expensive transport of ore from district of Koruška.

In the beginning of the 20th century in Ivanec mining is developing intensively. Finding sites of brown coal are estimated at 100 years of exploitation. Many of mining shafts had been opened and 800 workers had been working in mines until Second World War.

Excavation of brown coal had been ended in 1962, and production in coalmines in districts of Ivanec and Ladanje had been terminated in 1975. Exploited sums of coal until 1945 is estimated at 3, 5 millions tons of coal, and from 1945 till 1975, at 7, 8 million tones of coal.

Watermill work

Because of its steady flow, stream Bistrica is an ideal place for building watermill, sometime ago there were 19 watermills on it. Even in 1849 a family Pust reconstructed former snuff factory into an artificial mill, which at the beginning of 20th century achieved the biggest annual profit in the district, even bigger than that of Vienna industrial-coal yard company which was the second in total production.

Beside the successful artificial mill of Franjo Pust on stream Bistrica there were small private mills which grinded wheat for the needs of district Ivanec. One of them is Friščićev mill in Prigorec. The mill was built in 1956. and it was used for grinding wheat for citizens of Prigorec.

With a lack of water in stream Bistrica the mill was closed 20 years later and the same fate fell upon other Ivanec mills.

The mill was rebuilt in 2005. In the surrounding are of it, one can see two large sculptures from authentic Lepoglav artist Dragutin Jamnić - Dragec, three meters high sculpture of a mill worker Andria who is carrying a basket of flour on his head, and sculpture of a miller’s wife with twisted hair carrying pots of water.

The mill is the first class tourist attraction for numerous hikers and mountaineers on the way to Ivanica, and by the Frišćič mill visitors can refresh from well of fresh water that Jamnić called Jamnička.

Ivanec Mining Company

A work of miners was always difficult and dangerous. Especially at the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century in Ivanec mines, where all work was being done by hand with no machinery and other adequate equipment present.

Some times later in mineshafts, horses were used to pull mining carts. Because they did not go out of the mineshafts, they soon become blind, and due to heavy weight that they were puling, they were becoming exhausted. After that, they were brought out of the mines and sold to butchers.

In those conditions, accidents occurred frequently, so at the end of 19th century, with the approval of Royal mining company, and on initiative of mine owner, Ivanec Miner’s Company for rescue was established.

The company was responsible for miner rescuing and helping victims of accidents, and it counted 20 members. It was composed from better mineworkers, craftsman and clerics trained for different rescue types, paramedics and doctors.

Company work was organized so that in every shift of miners, they were few members of Rescue Company and others could join fast, in case of emergency and accidents, to help victims.

Members of company hade special uniforms, which were composed from hats with mining symbols with, laurel wreath that was made from brass, belt, pants and boots. Gold plated strips on a collar designated company commander, his deputy, doctors, trumpeters, paramedics and the rest of the staff. A constituent part of the uniform for celebrations was a miner’s axe with symbols of a complete mining process. The look of the uniform was regulated and it could only be sawed by an approval of the Royal mining company.

With the time, the company got needed resources and appropriate offices for work and with her help, many lives were saved. As a part of the company fire brigade and metal instruments were operating.

On the initiative of Boris Jagatić Daroboš, Ivanec miner’s company was established again in 2006. as a historical formation of Croatian army. The main goal for the reopening of the company was to thank former miners, but also to keep the part of Ivanec tradition from being forgotten and to include it actively in the tourist promotion of Ivanec city. The first line up of company was on 24th of June 2006. within the celebration of Day of Ivanc city. Interesting uniforms are sewed according to one that was preserved from the end of 19th century.

Ivanec miner’s company is the only one of its kind in this area of Europe.


P1120544A pottery, a kind of handicraft product, was highly developed in this region. Three most important centers of pottery production in northwestern Croatia were Jerovec, Bedenec and Dubravec. A skill of making ceramics was passed from one generation to another, and in mentioned places, the most of male population was involved in producing it.

The most of their products was taken and sold at market places in Zagorje, Međumorje, Podravina or even to Vienna.

Clay for making ceramics was being dug manually in dry period, on clayey soil that can be found in surrounding areas. Excavated clay is being stored in enclosed space, which is called “gnjilnjak” (clay pit). As the quality of products depends on quality of clay, special attention was being paid to it processing and cleaning. Dishes were shaped on a potter’s wheel known as “kolombar”. It is powered by potter’s lag so that his hands could be free for working on dishes.

Dishes that are already shaped, to prevent its breaking, are dried on the air for a few days. Half-dried dishes is being covered by a thin layer of white clay, which is being decorated afterwards.

Pottery products are being baked by the rule two times. During the first baking that is lasting between 4 or 5 hours temperature is slowly climbing up to 500° C while the color of dishes is changing.

Cooled dishes is being polished by enamel, in recent times was made by grinding on milestone. By enameling dishes are becoming firm and waterproof. Enamel material can be green, yellow and white.

And so polished dishes is being put back to furnace and baked again, this time at 1000°C to 1200°C