Marija Bistrica

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Marija Bistrica
coat of arms
coat of arms
Marija Bistrica (Croatia)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Coordinates: 46 ° 0 ′ 15 ″  N , 16 ° 7 ′ 7 ″  E
Basic data
State : Croatian flag Croatia
County : Flag of the Krapina-Zagorje County Krapina-Zagorje
Height : 191  m. i. J.
Area : 67  km²
Residents : 5,976 (2011)
Population density : 89 inhabitants per km²
Telephone code : (+385) 049
Postal code : 49 246
License plate : KR
Structure and administration
(status: 2013, cf. )
Community type : local community
Mayor : Josip Milički ( HDZ )
Website :

Marija Bistrica is one of the most popular and most visited Marian pilgrimage sites in Croatia . The name of the place is a combination of the name of the Holy Mother of God, of whom there is a statue in the village, and the river Bistrica , which flows through the village. Around 500,000 believers take part in the 50 or so pilgrimages that take place from the beginning of April to the end of October. Marija Bistrica is located in the Krapina-Zagorje County , about 27 kilometers by road in a northerly direction from Zagreb , north of the Medvednica Mountains.


Bistrica is mentioned for the first time in a document in 1209, when the Croatian-Hungarian King Andrew II Vratislav recaptured his confiscated possessions that were lost in the civil war. The legend about Bistrica begins around 1545, when the priest of that time removed the statue of the Holy Mother of God with the little Jesus from Vinski Vrh before the Turks and secretly walled it into a wall in the church of St. Peter and Paul in Bistrica. Here it was forgotten until 1588, when, according to legend, the priest of the parish Luka noticed a light in the church in the evening and had them dig there the following day. He found the statue of Mary and set it up for worship. In 1650 it was walled in again because of the Turkish threat, and in 1684 it was dug up again and erected. At this time the pilgrimages began. In 1710 the Croatian Parliament promised to erect a large wooden altar, gilded and painted, in the church in Marija Bistrica, which was fulfilled in 1715. With the consecration of the newly established church in honor of the Holy Mother of God by Bishop Juraj Branjug in 1731, this sanctuary and place is called Marija Bistrica. News of the miracles spread across all countries of the Habsburg monarchy, which is why the stream of pilgrims to Marija Bistrica increased. The church was then expanded in the neo-Gothic style. On August 14, 1880, a great fire destroyed the entire church except for the altar and the statue, which remained completely undamaged.

The present church was built from 1879 to 1882 according to the design of the Viennese architect Friedrich von Schmidt and his pupil Hermann Bollé in the neo-renaissance style. Pope Pius XI awarded the church the title of minor basilica in 1923 . In 1935, the Archbishop of Zagreb, Antun Bauer, crowned the miraculous statue of Mary and the Infant Jesus with gold crowns and appointed Mary Queen of the Croats. The Bishops' Conference raised on the XIII. International Marian Congress on December 3, 1971 the shrine in Marija Bistrica became the national shrine for Croatia.

Pope John Paul II beatified Cardinal Stepinac on October 3, 1998 in Marija Bistrica. Alojzije Stepinac was a younger archbishop who made pilgrimages from Zagreb to Marija Bistrica. With great effort and sacrifice, he began to build the Way of the Cross in 1940, but only the first four stations were completed because of the war. On October 3, 1993, Catholic soldiers made a pilgrimage to Marija Bistrica for the first time. In 1990 the last station of the cross was erected. On May 18, 2003, a monument was erected for Pope John Paul II.

The statue of the Holy Mother of God

There have been written records of the statue of the Holy Mother of God in Marija Bistrica since the end of the 15th century. It belongs to the Black Madonnas series , although it was discovered during its restoration that its dark color is not original. The late Gothic wooden statue of the Holy Mother of God is the work of an unknown master. The statue's power lies not so much in its artistic merit, but in its importance to the faith and the nation.

see also: Marian apparition

Picture gallery

Web links

Commons : Marija Bistrica  - collection of images, videos and audio files


Individual evidence

  1. The place of pilgrimage in Marija Bistrica
  2. a b Bazilika Majke Božje Bistričke on