Velika Gorica (Croatian pronunciation: [ʋêlikaː ɡǒritsa];
meaning "Great Hills") is the largest and most populous city in Zagreb
County, Croatia. The city itself has a population of 31,341, while the
municipality has a population of 63,517 inhabitants (2011).
Velika Gorica is the centre of the historical
Turopolje region. Franjo
Tuđman Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Croatia, is
located in the area of Velika Gorica.
5 Notable residents and people from Velika Gorica
6 Landmarks and sights
8.1 People's Open University
8.2 Libraries and galleries
8.4 Public monuments
11 External links
The name of the city consists of two words. The first one, "Velika",
is an adjective, meaning big or great. Second one is "Gorica", which
is in standard Croatian diminutive of the word "gora", meaning hill.
But in local Kajkavian dialect, "gorica" means vineyard, hence
literally translated city's name is Big Vineyard. That is because this
area was wine producing since ancient times.
Velika Gorica also has (or had) its names in other languages, notably
Hungarian: Nagygoricza and German: Gross-Gorica.
The City of Velika Gorica, located 16 km (9.94 mi) south of
Zagreb, is the centre of an area covering 552 square kilometres (213
square miles). Up until 1990
Velika Gorica had the status of a
municipality and after that it became a part of Zagreb. Velika Gorica
gained city status in 1995. The area of the old Municipality of Velika
Gorica was split into three municipalities – Kravarsko, Orle and
Velika Gorica is the largest settlement and the administrative centre
of the traditional
Turopolje region. Regarding the
among the most common opinions is that the name, meaning "Tur field",
comes from an old Slavic word "tur" which means Aurochs, an ancient
type of cattle with long horns, which was a symbol of fertility and
the sun god. These cattle died out in the 16th century. The cattle
were closely related to agriculture. Plowing had a symbolic meaning,
the fertilization of Mother Earth, so these cattle were often assumed
to have "sacred" characteristics. Because of its importance in the
life of the plowmen, "tur" became the basis for numerous toponyms.
However, as recently as the 16th century,
Turopolje was called Campus
Zagrebiensis, i.e. "
Zagreb field", or just Campus (field). At that
time the name was replaced by "Tur field", i.e. Turopolje.
The A11 (Zagreb-Sisak) highway is planned to become the western bypass
of Velika Gorica. State route D31 will be the eastern bypass. It is
planned that these bypasses will relieve the traffic along the
overcrowded Velikogorička road, the fastest link between
Velika Gorica as of 2007[update].
In the census of 2011, the total population of administrative area of
the city (the municipality) was 63,517, in the following
Bapča, population 129
Bukovčak, population 65
Buševec, population 886
Cerovski Vrh, population 93
Cvetković Brdo, population 32
Črnkovec, population 412
Donja Lomnica, population 1,732
Donje Podotočje, population 375
Drenje Šćitarjevsko, population 203
Dubranec, population 349
Gornja Lomnica, population 580
Gornje Podotočje, population 491
Gradići, population 1,860
Gudci, population 374
Gustelnica, population 118
Jagodno, population 521
Jerebić, population 41
Ključić Brdo, population 214
Kobilić, population 533
Kozjača, population 342
Kuče, population 1,453
Lazi Turopoljski, population 57
Lazina Čička, population 566
Lekneno, population 383
Lukavec, population 1,140
Mala Buna, population 261
Mala Kosnica, population 49
Markuševec Turopoljski, population 328
Mičevec, population 1,286
Mraclin, population 1,074
Novaki Šćitarjevski, population 158
Novo Čiče, population 1,255
Obrezina, population 555
Ogulinec, population 292
Okuje, population 467
Petina, population 213
Petravec, population 76
Petrovina Turopoljska, population 708
Poljana Čička, population 688
Prvonožina, population 42
Rakitovec, population 570
Ribnica, population 803
Sasi, population 159
Selnica Šćitarjevska, population 535
Sop Bukevski, population 85
Staro Čiče, population 790
Strmec Bukevski, population 366
Šćitarjevo, population 442
Šiljakovina, population 672
Trnje, population 62
Turopolje, population 953
Velika Buna, population 856
Velika Gorica, population 31,553
Velika Kosnica, population 770
Velika Mlaka, population 3,334
Vukomerić, population 158
Vukovina, population 947
Zablatje Posavsko, population 61
A monument to fallen soldiers in the Croatian War of Independence.
Velika Gorica and surrounding plain area by the
Sava river have always
been fertile and lush so it is no wonder it has been constantly
inhabited since Neolithic. First major settlement was Andautonia,
founded in 1st century where village of
Šćitarjevo stands nowadays.
It was an important Roman port on
Sava river and city on roads
Emona and Poetovio. The Roman town was large at
the beginning of the 5th century.
Croats came to these parts in the 8th century and remains from early
Croat culture were found in numerous places around city of Velika
Velika Gorica is first mentioned in 1228 as a seat of parish.
In 1278 noblemen from
Turopolje joined into a union called Plemenita
opčina turopoljska ("Noble municipality of Turopolje"). Plemenita
opčina turopoljska was granted a rule over
Turopolje by Croatian
monarchs and exists still today with mainly ceremonial and not
In the late 19th and early 20th century,
Velika Gorica was a district
capital in the
Zagreb County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.
The 20th century was by far the most important one in history of
Velika Gorica as it grew from a small village of 2,871 inhabitants to
an important and one of the largest cities in
Croatia with population
over 60 thousand inhabitants. Until 1995
Velika Gorica was part of
Zagreb and since then it has a city status of its own.
Croatian War of Independence
Croatian War of Independence the city played an important
role because of two airports in its near distance. Velika Gorica's
153rd brigade of
Croatian Army fought on battlefields all around
Notable residents and people from Velika Gorica
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed. (March 2012) (Learn how and when to
remove this template message)
Vladimir Bakarić - communist politician in Socialist Yugoslavia
Ivana Banfić - pop singer
Igor Bišćan - former football player
Tomislav Butina - former football player
Mario Cvitanović - former football player
Martina Dalić - former Croatian Minister of Finance
Barbara Jelić-Ružić - former volleyball player
Gordan Kožulj - swimmer
Tonino Picula - former Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ivo Pukanić - journalist and editor of Nacional
Rene Medvešek - actor
Sonja Smolec - writer
Ivan Šuker - former Croatian Minister of Finance
Robert Troha - basketball player
Jacques Houdek - singer
Landmarks and sights
Main Velika Gorica's sight is the
Turopolje Museum which traces human
Turopolje since Neolithic. There are also a number of
monuments scattered around the city and its environs.
Vrata od krča ("The Timber Gate") is a unique wooden monument to
human labour, risen up in forest near the city. Monument was risen in
1779 as a symbol of reclaiming the fertile land from forest. It was
torn down by the flood in 1914 and restored two years later.
Old town Lukavec is a very well preserved fortification first
mentioned in 1256 as Caput Lukavec. It was built by wood as a defense
from Ottoman invasion. It was first owned by
Zagreb noblemen and
Turopolje noblemen gained control over castle in 1553 when it already
became a ruin. It was soon rebuild in stone and became a regular site
of assembly of
Wooden chapels from
Pokuplje are unique in the world.
They can be traced far back in the early Middle Ages, but most of the
preserved ones date from the 17th century. Today there are only 11
preserved wooden chapels left, three in Turopolje, two in Vukomeričke
gorice and six in Pokuplje. They were built by groups of
timber-workers and as a rule they were made of oak-tree.
There are several small monuments to World War II anti-fascist
resistance movement (most famous being The Bomber Man in near city
center) and also many monuments to Croatian soldiers who fought in
Croatian War of Independence. The city has a beautiful new monument to
soldiers from the city who lost their lives in the Croatian War of
In a competition held among 5,300 European cities,
Velika Gorica was
awarded the Silver Flower of Europe – an award presented by the
European Association for Flowers and Landscape Entente Florale. The
award was accepted on 9 September 2004, in the French town of
Velika Gorica has four elementary schools (Eugen Kvaternik, Eugen
Kumičić, Juraj Habdelić and Nikola Hribar) and one high school. In
addition, there is a higher education institute, the Velika Gorica
University of Applied Sciences.
Velika Gorica from air
People's Open University
Established in 1960, the People's Open University (hr: Pučko otvoreno
učilište, shortform POU) began a phase of rich and complex
development in its first home, a building which was previously an inn,
and which was situated opposite the present-day building of this
institution at 37 Zagrebačka Street. In the year of its establishment
the institution as connected with the already existing Public Library,
and three years later, in 1963, by the Cinema Company “Prosvjeta”.
Together, they conducted their activities in the former House of
Cooperatives “Zadružni dom”, where the present administration is
situated and a part of the POU's activities are still performed today.
By initiating and developing numerous activities the University has
spread out to new locations. The most important step was made in 1980,
when the Cultural Centre was built, with an art gallery, an additional
library and a chamber hall in Galženica, a part of Velika Gorica.
In the late 1980s the University was also using space in the old
Secondary School at 5 Zagrebačka Street (the Music School), in the
House of Social Protection (Dom društvene samozaštite), today’s
Fire Brigade building (the radio-station) and in the Podbrežnica
settlement (the library). In 1993 the Music School moved to a new
building in Kolarova Street where it has remained until the present
It was on the premises of the People's Open University that many
Velika Gorica saw their first film or theatre performance,
borrowed their first book or attended their first concert or
exhibition. There they learned to play their first notes and master
the basics of a foreign language. They entered a disco for the first
time in their lives. They learned how to drive a car or heard their
own voices on a radio station. Some of them, thanks to this broad
spectrum of activities, published their first books or displayed their
first exhibitions right here.
In recent years, the building of the Open University has been
renovated and technically equipped. The philosophy of the institution
has been to listen attentively to the needs of the local populace and
design programmes in accord with their changing requirements.
Today, the People's Open University seeks to satisfy the diverse
cultural needs of Velika Gorica's citizens through its theatre,
gallery, concerts, publishing, cinema and other activities that
encourage people to meet and exchange ideas. A great deal was achieved
between 2006 and 2010, when actress Senka Bulić served as Head of the
POU and brought the University's theatre, Scena Gorica, to the
attention of the theatre-going public throughout the
country. During her tenure Klub 100, a multimedia space
for the development of urban culture, was additionally founded and
became an important part of the cultural landscape for young people
Libraries and galleries
Libraries and reading rooms have a long tradition in Turopolje, since
there is a deeply rooted interest in and love for books in this
Velika Gorica city library is the descendant of the
Reading Room in Velika Gorica, established in 1886. Since October 1999
it has operated independently in two locations: the Central Library at
37 Zagrebačka Street and the Regional Galženica Library at 5 S.
Founded in 1960, the
Turopolje Museum is concerned with the
preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the historic
Turopolje, Pokuplje, Posavina and
Vukomeričke gorice regions. The
Museum is housed in a building dating from 1750, which previously
served as the city hall of the Noble Commune of Turopolje. It is
situated in the centre of Velika Gorica, on the eastern edge of the
main park. This two-storey building with a colonnade on the ground
floor was built in a Baroque style with elements of the traditional
Turopolje architectural style. Assemblies called “spravišća”
were once held in the large hall on the upper floor. The rooms next to
the hall were archives where the important documents of the Noble
Commune were kept. The ground floor at one time housed prison cells.
The Museum has a collection comprising some 3,500 objects and over
10,000 photographical records. The Museum library has around 700
volumes on subjects relating to the region's history.
At the end of the 1970s in particular, moderately intensive
development of Velika Gorica's city centre and the surrounding
districts took place. In an attempt to accommodate the need both for
green space and for an aesthetic dimension to development, over the
city history a number of parks have been created, most of which
contain pieces of public sculpture.
The beginning of the 21st century was most important for urban
uprising of Velika Gorica. New central park was created that carries
the name of first Croatian president, dr. Franjo Tuđman. Tuđman's
park soon became one of the most important urban spaces in Velika
Notable sports clubs in
Velika Gorica include the football clubs HNK
Gorica and NK Udarnik, a men's handball club HRK Gorica, a women's
volleyball club OK Azena and a men's basketball club KK Gorica.
HNK Gorica plays its home games at Stadion Radnik, built for 1987
Summer Universiade while NK Udarnik has its own field in Kurilovec
neighborhood. Indoor sports are mainly played in sports hall located
in high school complex. New sports hall is currently under
construction. There also three elementary school sports halls in the
city that are used by sports clubs for trainings and youth categories.
Cresswell, Peterjon; Atkins, Ismay; Dunn, Lily (10 July 2006). Time
Croatia (First ed.). London, Berkeley & Toronto: Time Out
Group Ltd & Ebury Publishing,
Random House Ltd. 20 Vauxhall Bridge
Road, London SV1V 2SA. ISBN 978-1-904978-70-1. Retrieved 10 March
^ a b c "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census:
Velika Gorica". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011.
Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
^ "Interview: Senka Bulić". Teatar.Hr. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
^ "Škare Ožbolt ipak želi da Senka Bulić vodi Scenu Gorica".
Večernji.hr. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
^ "Senka Bulić: Kazalište neću raditi iz sobička u koji me trpa
par političara". Jutarnji.hr. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
^ "Senka Bulić: Nisam protiv političkog kadroviranja u kulturi >
Slobodna Dalmacija > Kultura". Slobodnadalmacija.hr. Retrieved 20
^  Archived February 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Velika Gorica.
Velika Gorica official web page
Velika Gorica tourist board
Velika-gorica.org – Informativni
Portal Velike Gorice
Villages of Velika Gorica
Cities and towns of
Croatia by population
Sveti Ivan Zelina
Sveti Ivan Zelina