40km from the capital city of Zagreb. In Marija Bistrica there is an old Marian shrine of the Black Madonna visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. In 1545 a local priest hid the wonder- working statue of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus from the Turks in a secret location. In 1588 bright light shone from the place where it was buried and, according to the records, it was discovered again. On 3 October 1998, the Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) visited Marija Bistrica and beatified Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac (1898 – 1960).
Spread across a large area, this destination is nothing if not diverse. Choosing a single place to focus your time, that is a true challenge. There are attractions everywhere so be ready to come back another day, and after some time here, that’s exactly what you’ll want to do. Exploring the Area The biggest cities are along the coast. History