Map 8 — Red route
Pokupsko – Gladovec Pokupski – Strezojevo – Hotnja – Pokupsko
Pokupsko has always been the centre of the central Pokuplje area, and the name comes from the Kupa River which runs through it. Today, the municipality of Pokupsko is made up of thirteen inhabited settlements all situated in the beautiful nature of the tame Pokupsko region. Life in Pokupsko goes on and ows, as does its natural neighbour, the Kupa River. The route begins in the centre of Pokupsko 1 at the parking lot near to the parish Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which dominates over the landscape. In the centre, there is a small park with a monument erected to the victims of the Patriotic War. Pokupsko is a perfect place for the route’s starting point because it has good road connections, and everything you need is nearby: shops, petrol stations, a local health clinic, the bus station, and several hospitality facilities. The circular route begins on Juraja Branjuga Street and heads towards the Kupa River. On the right hand side are the buildings of the Forestry and Veterinary stations, and on the left hand side a nicely decorated elementary school with owers in each window. At the first intersection with the crucifix is the Contingo Bistro; turn left here towards the weekend villages and Sisak. The gravel road straight forward leads to the Kupa River, and the road to the right leads to Auguštanovec, where there is the small wooden Chapel of St. Elias (Ilija). It is not highlighted as a turnoff from the route, but it can be found 6 km from the mentioned intersection. At the 1.3 km mark from Pokupsko, turn left at the y intersection 2 uphill onto the gravel road and head towards Gladovec Pokupski. You will pass through the weekend villages of Sunčani brijeg (Sunny hill) and Hrtić. Ride along the ridge and enjoy the beautiful views of the area and the surrounding hamlets. You will reach the highest point near Antolovići, where there is a magnificent view of the surrounding pastures, hills and the Kupa River. After the pastures, enter the forest and at the 3.2 km mark, you will approach a y intersection (at the intersection, there is a small grove of pine trees) 3 . Here turn left and head downhill. Take caution while riding downhill as there are uneven rocks from the Kupa River scattered along the gravel descent. The paved road begins soon, and after the descent you will cross the bridge and approach the next intersection. Turn left uphill and head towards Gladovec Pokupski. Go strong as this is a constant and steep climb. In the picturesque village of Gladovec Pokupski 4 , turn right at the t intersection. Only several hundred meters further, you will pass by the wooden Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, located on the right hand side of the road. The Chapel is on a slight hill, partly sheltered by the tree crowns, but it is an ideal resting place with benches and a viewing point looking over the Pokupsko area. After a rest, continue along the wide gravel road towards Strezojevo. You are now riding in the region of Gladovska gora. At the 6.1 km mark, you will approach the y intersection in the forest 5 where you will turn left. Continue to follow the wide gravel road and hold to the left. You will soon approach the village of Skrbini. At house no. 40, turn right, cross the bridge, and there will immediately be a short climb along a gravel road and the entrance to the village of Strezojevo. Here red and green bicycle route meet. At the intersection 6 in Strezojevo, turn right and continue riding along the narrow paved road with several windy climbs and descents. There is another steep climb before entering the Jelekovci village. Climb through Jelekovci to the intersection 7 with the main road Donji Hruševec – Hotnja – Pokupsko, which does not have heavy traffic and is suitable for cycling. At the intersection, turn right. At the 11.2 km mark from the starting point, you will arrive at a t intersection 8 where you turn right and continue downhill along the paved road towards Hotnja. You soon arrive in Hotnja, where there is a store and café. You will pass by the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. There are viewing points from hilly Hotnja over the gentle pastures, fields, forests and vineyards, as well as over the scattered villages; this is a landscape that is truly relaxing. This is a landscape that inspires. Here, Matko Peić found his inspiration for “Skitnje”, and Slavko Kolar, well-known Croatian writer, wrote about much of the area in his novels “Breza” and “Svoga tela gospodar”. After a short, but constant climb, you will arrive at a y intersection 9 . At the 15 km mark from the starting point, continue straight downhill. Here begins the gravel road which heads down to the Kupa River. After riding through Antolovići and Hrtić on the left hand side, you come closer and closer to the Kupa River. Cross over two bridges and at the 18 km mark from the starting point, you arrive once again at an intersection 2 where the road that continues straight gives you the opportunity to turn towards Auguštanovec and the wooden chapel. If you decide to return to the centre of Pokupsko, turn right on the slight climb or take a break at the intersection in the comforting shade on the restaurant terrace.
Cultural-historical, ethnological and natural points of interest:
- Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pokupsko – this Baroque Church, initially consecrated to St. Ladislav, was constructed from 1736 to 1739 by Bishop Juraj Branjug, the donator of this Church, and was consecrated in 1746. It is surrounded by a wall of stone with four circular towers and towers with loopholes. With its beautiful interior and walls it was one of the highest quality constructions in northern Croatia. The Church was destroyed in 1991 in the Patriotic War. The beautiful frescos, organ and bell tower were destroyed completely, and most of the valuable Baroque inventory was evacuated. The Church was dominated by the main altar and several niches. With the statue of St. Ladislav and his two followers in the main niche, and four popular saints – the soldier in armour and boots of the Roman legionaries with a helmet decorated with feathers on the main altar and in the remaining niches: St. Donat with a grapevine, St. George spearing the dragon, St. Martin ripping his robe in half to clothe a beggar and St. Florian extinguishing a house fire. St. Ladislav is highlighted in the medieval ideal of knighthood, with a shield and battle axe, and this Church is most likely dedicated to him for the reason that he has been called up in the defence of this area throughout history. In front of the Church are the remains of the church bells which were destroyed in a fire during the war in 1991. The exterior of the Church has been completely renovated, and the interior is currently under renovations. Parish office Pokupsko, tel. +385 1 6266 046.
- Wooden Chapel of St. Elias, Auguštanovec – constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries, located in the village; it will charm you with its simple beauty. Key of the Chapel by announcement: Mr. Nikola Crnolatec, mob. +385 98 687 668
- Wooden Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, Gladovec Pokupski – erected in 1847 on the hill outside the village. The oldest piece of inventory is the oval painting of All Saint’s and a small side altar. In the Chapel, there is also a very interesting and valuable painting dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk, a votive painting from 1743 depicting the battle against the Turks in the landscape where the river ows before a fortified town. In the painting, the donor is shown riding a horse in the middle of battle. Other inventory of the Church interior dates back to the Rococo period, most likely transferred in part from the burned Church of the Holy Trinity in Slatina. Excellent for relaxation, with benches surrounding it, at the same time with a beautiful viewing point. Key to the Chapel by announcement: Slavica Zaluški, Gladovec Pokupski 9, tel. +385 1 6266 428
- Chapel of the Epiphany, Roženica (not on the route, but worth mentioning) – until 1973 there was a wooden Chapel, first mentioned back in 1740. Today’s stone Chapel has a carved altar, picture frames, chandelier, and confessionary, an artistic donation by Josip Markuz. The statue of St. George was transferred from the old Chapel and placed on the left hand side of the main altar.