Architectural historical center of old Velika Gorica

Velika Gorica
In the seventies and eighties of the 19th century, this area was formed as the semi-urban fabric of Velika Gorica as we know it today

In the seventies and eighties of the 19th century this area was formed as the semi-urban fabric of Velika Gorica as we know it today. The old square in front of the former Town Hall, the oldest building in Velika Gorica, today the area in front of the Turopolje Museum, used to be a fairground. After the formation of the secondary square, King Tomislav Square, the fair expanded to that square as well. Fairs were central social events in Velika Gorica. It was a place where horses were traded, so it was called “Horse square”. Cows, pigs and cattlewere sold on the new one and it was called “Cattle Square”. The fair spread from these squares to today’s Petar Kresimir Square, which was then called the new fairground. The parish church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in 1893 in the neo-Romanesque style, and the Turopolje Museum, the former headquarters of the Noble Municipality of Turopolje, built on the site of the old wooden town hall in 1765, form part of this complex.

Since the first cadastral survey of Velika Gorica in 1861, the core of the settlement was formed as a quadrangular square laid out in the northeast-southwest direction. It narrows on the northern side where the parish church is located, along the western part is a row of wooden houses, while the eastern part is closed by the Town Hall building. The southern side is dominated by a single-story brick building, the famous inn “K bijeloj ruzi” (“To the White Rose” inn) built in the first half of the 19th century. Its volume is reminiscent of late-baroque buildings and it is located on what was then the main Zagreb-Sisak road, the main Velikogorica Street, today’s Zagrebacka Street.

The first significant brick building after the construction of the town hall was the folk school today the home of the Velika Gorica University of Applied Sciences. After a short stoppage in construction the school was completed and opened in 1863. In the beginning, the municipal administration was located on the ground floor, and the classrooms were on the first floor. This building is the earliest known example of historicism in Velika Gorica and Turopolje.

In those years of the 19th century, Velika Gorica was still poorly developed and on the main road there were modest houses, mostly wooden and some brick one-story buildings. The place experienced stronger urban development towards the end of the 19th century with the strengthening of economic development, which also meant a shift in the construction of new houses and buildings in Velika Gorica.

This also meant the development of the cultural life of Velika Gorica. In 1887, a two-story building with a high ground floor with large elongated windows was built right next to the building of the inn “K bijeloj ruzi”. It was the Reading Room (library), the construction of which in urban terms meant filling the southern view of the central square, which at that time was architecturally undefined. In its place, the Mihun residential and commercial multi-story building was later built.

The 1920s was a period of increased construction in Velika Gorica, from public buildings to private houses, all with representative facades. The investor of the construction was the Noble municipality of Turopolje, and the sale of oak forests stands out as the main contribution to this development. Kosta Tomac, the “district engineer”, was in charge of supervising the construction, and the construction contractors from Velika Gorica were the contractors. In the eighties of the 19th century, Janko Hribar was in charge of the Turopolje municipality investments, and his son Nikola Hribar would become the most famous name in Veliko Gorica architecture at the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century.

That era was marked by several public projects of the municipality that have a wider meaning for Velika Gorica and in general architecture from the end of the 19th century in Turopolje. In March 1891, the Prefect of Turopolje, Stjepan Josipović, proposed “that a second floor be erected on the building of Turopolje council in Velika Gorica, in which the Royal County District in Velika Gorica would be settled. However, the upgrade did not happen, and it was decided to build a completely new building of the “Kotarska Oblast” next to the town hall. The district court building (today museum), is the most significant example of profane historicist architecture in Turopolje, just like the public hospital building iz Zagrebacka street were built at that time.

At the beginning of 1903, the Noble municipality of Turopolje began the arrangement of the new fairground, i.e. today’s Peatr Krešimir Square, the fair guardhouse (Matice hrvatske bb) was erected – the place where the fair fee was collected during the fair. Turopolje guesthouse was also built, which in appearance defined the corner between the squares, and there was a need for the construction of rental houses that NMT built for the residence of dignitaries. In 1903, two beautiful houses were built on the south side of the main square, one for the chief forester of Turopolje, the other for the head of the Turopolje region. Their construction finally defined the southern view of Cattle Square, but, like the inn, these houses fell victim to the radical devastation of the square in the seventies of the 20th century.

The architectural ensemble of old Velika Gorica also consists of private houses, the best of which were built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, there is very little information about their construction because they were mostly built by merchants and craftsmen who mostly did not attach importance to the preservation of family archives. It was the legacy of these craftsmen and merchants that left the biggest mark on the historical urban complex of Velika Gorica. Most of them were small brick buildings with a few rooms, while wealthier families built tall one-story houses. Some of the preserved old houses that today form the old core of the city are: Tarbuk House (Zagrebacka 5), Trdak House (Kurilovecka 2), Butura House (Zagrebacka 9). The most important for the urban planning and historical development of Velika Gorica are the historicist buildings from the end of the 19th century, such as the old post office (Trg kralja Tomislava 41) and the Seitz pharmacy (Zagrebacka 1), while the most luxurious are the Bachrach house and the Cop house (Trg kralja Tomislava 6 and 8 ) and the second house Cop (Setaliste Franje Lucica 15).