Municipality Orle, Veleševec and Selce
The Municipality of Orle was established as a local government unit in 1996. It comprises ten villages in a predominantly agricultural area. The land yields an abundance of cereals and the municipality is blessed with good crops of maize, wheat, barley, and oats.
Three cultural and artistic societies are active in Orle, a municipality especially interesting to visit because of its many churches and chapels. The municipality is situated between two rivers, the Odra and the Sava, and fishing is very popular.
The village of Orle is the centre of municipal administration. The chapel of the Three Holy Kings is the most attractive sight in the village. This is the oldest chapel in the Veleševec Parish, built in the Romanesque style. The area outside the chapel is used for a popular St Bartholomew’s Day festival, which includes a procession representing the kurijas, the stately houses of Posavina, and also carriages. Known as the “horse procession”, this festival has been described in a story called “The Young Gentleman” by the nineteenth century writer August Šenoa.
“…. Close to the Sava, straight across from the village of Oborovo, a small church of St Bartholomew stands among trees beyond the banks of the river. The church is small but very old, built of wood but sturdy… Since ancient times, a great feast has been held here on St Bartholomew’s Day in early autumn; nowhere in Croatia or anywhere else in the big wide world will you find such a feast…”
The “Posavina” cultural and artistic society in Orle was established in 1986, and remained active until 1991, when its activities were interrupted by the war. In 1997, the society resumed its work on the preservation of local traditions and now has thirty-five active members. They perform both original and choreographed folk dances typical of the Turopolje, Posavina and Draganić area..They have had six performances in towns in Slavonija, Baranja and Podravina, and have also taken part in two folk festivals. Besides dancers, the society has a band of stringed instruments known as tambura.
The parish of St Peter in Veleševec was founded in 1870, and the parish church was built in 1871 in the Gothic Revival style. It is interesting to note that a painting in the church is called “St Zvonimir”, although this Croatian king has never been canonized by the Holy See. In 1993, the wooden structure of the tower roof was replaced with a new one and the church organ, destroyed in World War II, was finally restored.
On St Peter’s Day, on 29 June, a traditional church fair takes place in Veleševec. Many folk groups add to the festivities after the church ceremonies and the holy mass.
There is a lake not far from the church, especially attractive for week-end fishing trips. The fish stock is renewed once a year.
The local cultural and artistic society “Glas Posavine” (The Voice of Posavina) was established in 1997 and has twenty-five members. The society has promoted original songs and dances of the Posavina region at various folk events, at the “Gorice Evenings” Festival, in Sveti Ivan Zelina, and at many fairs staged in the municipality.
Selce is a small village near Veleševec and close to the Turopoljski Lug woods. The village is well known for its all-day hunter’s festival, which traditionally takes place in August.
On the day, hunters assemble at the hunter’s lodge to compete in clay pigeon, running-hare and air rifle target shooting. Besides hunting competitions, football matches are also organised. The River Odra is locally very popular with those who seek refreshment in the summer months and is a favourite fishing spot all year round.