This collection was created as ...


Introductory word by dr. Juraj Batelja:

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the priest service, the silver priesthood jubilee, I've decided, apart from the mass in front of the Chapel of the Mother of God the Queen of peace in Rastoki to give a gift to my birth place in a form of the book: "Pilgrimage in the Slavetic and Sveta Jana region". The book tells a story of not only the already mentioned jubilee, but also reminds of the 400th jubilee of the existence of the Church of St. Anthony in Slavetic and the silver priesthood jubilee of the current slavetic parson, reverend Stjepan Jakov.

When the Croats moved in to their south European homeland, they also located themselves in Podgorje. Here, in the XIIth century, tribes were reigning with their prefects and princes. In the XVIth century, Orsics moved here, which were proud of their blood heritage with king Zvonimir. Over this small area the Frankopans and Erdődys ruled with a mighty hand. Here in the XVIth century the judges were writing law cases in glagolic script, with the priests and the people using the script for daily communication and said their thanks to God in croatian language. The existence of catholic districts in Pribic and Petrovina was guaranteed before the founding of the Zagreb archdiocese. All of this contributed to the progress of the people, that lived the harmonious and fruitful life, and followed communion with the God's words and the body of Christ.

Going through the articles of E. Laszowski, I. Kukuljevic-Sakcinski, the book "History of districts and churches of the Jastrebarsko deanery" written by PhD Dragutin Nezic, the memos of count Adam Orsic and his family's archive in the Croatian state archive in Zagreb, the archive of the Zagreb archdiocese, the district archives in Slavetic and Sveta Jana and being inspired by literary works of the priest Mato Paljug, I came to the idea to simplify the facts for myself and every pilgrim of the Slavetic and Sveta Jana about the main contours, based on the Christian witnessing and croatian patriotism, that make this area of Prigorje recognizable.

That's why I've invited several croatian artists, shortly before the yearly fair in the sanctuary of the Holy Mother of Dol, on the "križevska" sunday, 4th June 2000., to participate in a so-called "art workshop" and to capture the current moment of life in Prigorje. The artists that responded were: Mladen Bolfek from Karlovac, Daniel Butala from Karlovac, Josip Falica from Jastrebarsko, Petar Grgec from Karlovac, Vanja Krmpotic from Karlovac and Nevenka Nekic from Zagreba. The artists that joined later on were Stjepan Djukic-Pista from Zagreb, Tomislav Spikic from Milano, Zeljko Jurkovac from Celin and Zeljko Marekovic from Karlovac.

This is how this book came to life, from friendly socializing, painting and writing. Each author tried to stop in front some of the facts, which depict this place and people. Through a surprising mood, a question loomed: why is it that today, near Zagreb, a traveller meets people in Prigorje that flee from their old homes, finds deserted lots, vineyards and fields, overgrown natural fences and locked family homes? Is life so without chances here, that people sell their homeland for pennies? What is the reason that the locals move away in sadness and the outsiders move in with happiness? Is it possible that in such strong, in former times, Christian roots, so easily the seeds that have nothing in common with the Christian heritage come to light? Along which, so skilfully and maliciously the ungodly and exanimate, selfishness and greed become fertilized!

Meaning to encourage you, dear reader, along with each inhabitant and friend, to a more active love and care towards the Slavetic and Sveta Jana area, the happy fellowship, with this "art workshop", wanted to evoke, with the images and articles, the memory of the glorious past and a hope for a better future. Its noble intention is to encourage the potentates, which politically rule and govern over the economy, to create a life in this rea to stop the sinister departures and withering away of the nation.

I'd like to thank all the artists for the friendship and created works. I'd also like to thank all the sponsors which helped in publishing this memorial book, and also all of the benefactors and supporters. I need to thank prod. Neveka Nekic for writing down her observations and put them in literary form. I'd like to thank my parents, my brother and his wife and the entire family, that has been a joyful host to this, for Prigorje remarkable and rare, "art workshop". 


Collection paintings:


  • ur01_oronula_ljepoticaOilapidated beauty
  • ur02_oda_rodnom_krajuOde to the homeland
  • ur03_vjera_ufanjeFaith, hope, ...
  • ur04_oda_rodnom_krajuOde to the homeland
  • ur05_oda_rodnom_krajuOde to the homeland
  • ur06_portret_batelja_jurajPortrait of mons. Juraj dr. Batelja

Contact me

Ravnice 89A, 49124 Veliko Trgovisce, Croatia (all inquiries)

+385 91 50 90 348 (Pišta, croatian language only)