Municipality of Gornja Rijeka, established in 2000, is the youngest municipality in Koprivnica-Križevci County. Located in the north-western part of the County, stretching ina n area of 33 sq.km., it covers 14 settlements and has a population of 1779.
Gornja Rijeka’s inhabitants mainly live from agriculture and to a lesser degree from small crafts and industrial production (wood manufacturing).
Due to its significant amount of originating nobles who played an important part in Croatia’s history, Gornja Rijeka deserves being called noble.
The title ‘Plum nobles’ is pridely carried by Gornja Rijeka’s inhabitants. The first Croatian Prima Donna Sidonija Rubido Erdödy lived in Gornja Rijeka and she left a significant mark on this area.
ARCHITECTURE AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE
Gornja Rijeka’s remarkable architectural heritage has been preserved in the villages. The village Kolarec is a unique example of rural architecture.
The wooden house in Kostanjevec Riječki is an ethnographic portrayal of life in the region. It depicts a rural way of living through old objects.
The Erdödy-Rubido Castle
This famous castle from the 17th century holds a noble history of Gornja Rijeka – that’s where numerous nobles and representatives of the Croatian National Revival gathered. The Croatian reveille ‘Još Hrvatska ni propala’ was performed in the castle for the first time.
Church of the Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Gornja Rijeka
was mentioned for the first time in 13th century. Throughout the history, the church has changed styles and forms of construction. Today, the gothic influence is the most apparent. In addition to church organs with ten registers which were set in 1908., the church also has three alters.
The Chapel of St. Francis in Dropkovec is one of the rare buildings of central type with circular ground plan and arched dome with octagonal lantern.
It is characterized by supreme architectural quality and peculiar spatial organisation.The main altar dating from 1740 is one of the rare ones in our region that is composed in monstrance shape.
Waterfall in the woods called Sopot is a few meters high. This area is one of the Croatia’s areas richest in oxygen, thanks to forests, and the fact that it does not have the so called dirty industry and traffic pollution.
Aristocratic town of Mali Kalnik, today a protected area, was already mentioned around the year 1200. It was changing owners often, and among other, the King Bela IV resided here. He was the one whom the Kalnik farmers saved from Tatars and kept him alive by feeding him with plums during the invasion and who were later granted aristocratic titles from him as a sign of his gratitude.
Today, Mali Kalnik is a tourist attraction of the municipality. The seat of paragliding club is located at it’s foot. There are also two hunting societies within the municipality and five volunteer fire-fighting associations.
Association Potkalnički plemenitaši was founded in order to preserve cultural and historical heritage. The association is most known for it’s dance group, which program includes numerous waltzes, polkas, quadrilles and other court dances from the 19th century.
The municipality also has a football club and several sports clubs.
- Sidonijin dan (Sidonia’s day)
A celebration in honor of the first Prima Donna Sidonija Rubido Erdödy, it’s being held annually around the 17th of February.
- Dani plemstva (Days of the noble)
Dedicated to the ‘Plum nobles’ from this region, it’s being held during the feast day of the Ascension of Mary in August
- Šljivarijada u Dropkovcu (The Plum days in Dropkovec)
A cultural event honoring local customs and tradition, it’s being celebrated on the last week in August.
- Kostanjevečka kestenijada (Chestnut days in Kostanjevec)
A event dedicated to chestnuts and local products, it’s being celebrated on the first weekend of October.
Since almost everything in Gornja Rijeka carries the characteristics of the first Croatian Prima Donna and a famous Illyrian, Countess Sidonia Rubido Erdödy, elementary school and municipal library were named after her as well.
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