Treasure Chest

Mountaineering in Ivanec

THE HISTORY OF MOUNTAINEERING IN IVANEC

Fairy Ivanec is marked on the European map as one of the leaders in Croatia as far as mountaineering is concerned. Mountaineering in Ivanec began to develop twenty years after the founding of the Croatian Mountaineering Society in Zagreb (which was founded in 1874 and was the twelfth in Europe, and the first in its southeastern part).

How did a wooden pyramid pave the way for organized mountaineering?

The year 1893 marks an important moment for Ivanec and the Ivančica mountain. At that time, a wooden pyramid was built on Mt. Ivančica, and a lodge was also built not far from it. This initiative and the construction funds came from generous donors such as the forest owner Traussig and the merchant Hinko Blumschein. The wooden pyramid built from pure oak and the wooden lodge have become symbols of Mt. Ivančica, as well as practical shelters for visitors.

The first mountaineering society was named after the Ivančica mountain

The formal organization of mountaineering in Ivanec began in 1898. One of the founders was Božidar Kukuljević Sakcinski, who then became a member of the Croatian Mountaineering Association in Zagreb and proposed the name "Ivančica" for the mountaineering association in Ivanec, a name that later became its official name.

Mountaineers had their own magazine that regularly followed them

In today's age of the Internet, it is hard to imagine that someone would devote themselves to a magazine that follows local mountaineering activities, but in those days, mountaineers were well informed through their own media.

At that time, mountaineering was reported about with the help of the magazine Hrvatski planinar, which regularly reported on the activities of Ivanec’s mountaineers and the visits of famous people, such as Count Emil Kulmer and Nikola Faller.

Adalbert Spiller – The father of mountaineering in Ivanec

Mountaineer and photographer Adalbert Spiller, who restored mountaineering in Ivanec after World War I, played a key role in the development of mountaineering. Spiller was a lover of artistic photography and became known as its pioneer. Adalbert Spiller also bears the flattering title of "Father of Ivanec Mountaineering". He founded and edited the magazine Galerija which promoted this art and popularized it in Ivanec. During the thirties, many art photography exhibitions were organized, including those where famous photographers, such as Tošo Dabac, exhibited their works.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SKI SECTION AT MT. IVANČICA

At that time, Mt. Ivančica became the seat of numerous mountaineering activities, including the establishment of a ski section under the leadership of teacher Stjepan Vuković. A meteorological station of the Geophysical Institute from Zagreb was also installed on the top of Mt. Ivančica.

MT. IVANČICA AS A MOTIF IN PHOTOGRAPHY

In the 1930s, Mt. Ivančica flourished through the cultural activities of individuals. Otokar Hrazdira founded the "Photo Section" in 1931, which led to the organization of several art photography exhibitions. In the early 1940s, hiking was temporarily stopped due to World War II.

OPENING OF THE MOUNTAIN LODGE AFTER WORLD WAR II

After the war, mountaineering in Ivanec experienced a second renewal. In 1948, a restoration assembly was held, and hiking was renewed again in Ivanec and its surroundings. The mountain lodge on Mt. Ivančica was officially opened in 1951, while the pyramid was renovated in 1958. During this period, the Stričevo lookout point and the viewing pyramid, which was opened to visitors on July 4, 1958, were also renovated.

AFTER WORLD WAR II - A WALK TO THE PRESENT TIME

Mt. Ivančica also played a key role in the establishment of the Zagorje Hiking Trail in 1958, and mountaineers again began to restore the trails and facilities on the mountain.

Mt. Ivančica became the host of various events, including the first descent of young mountaineers of Croatian Zagorje in 1957, in which about a thousand mountaineers participated. The society actively participated in the maintenance of the Zagorje Hiking Trail, took care of the markings, supply of the mountain lodge and maintenance of hiking facilities and the environment. In 1964, the lodge on Mt. Ivančica got electricity, and in 1974, an access road was built.

RENOVATION OF THE MOUNTAIN LODGE AND THE STRIČEVO LOOKOUT POINT

As the lodge became more and more dilapidated, they began to think about its renovation. In September 1981, work began on its general renovation with the support of the authorities and local businessmen. The lodge was officially opened on July 4, 1982. In the same period, the Stričevo lookout point was also renovated, while the pyramid was protected with a protective coating. In 1986, the Ivančica community rooms were opened in Ivanec, which were furnished by mountaineers with the help of numerous sponsors.

Small Ivanec as a center of mountaineering activity - 800 registered mountaineers

At that time, the highest number of members was reached: in 1989, Ivanec had 800 registered mountaineers. During the Homeland War, the number of members decreased to 150, and today the number of members is slowly returning to its old level. Enduring and resistant to all changes and challenges, the history of mountaineering in Ivanec represents the most vital part of the rich heritage, and its signature "Mountaineering Town" bears witness to the key symbol of the town - the mountain Ivančica.