Educational trail Otruševec
Meet life, customs and legends of Otruševec area.
In just an hour and a half of a leisurely stroll along a 2-kilometre trail, passing by 9 various points, you will find out about the life, the customs and the legends of the Otruševec area: from the underground wonders in the Grgos Cave, through geological and biological features to the stories of ancient giants and hard-working people in the area.
It is the first such trail in Croatia, opened in 1990 at the initiative of the Samobor’s Environmental Society and renovated in 2018. It includes nine following points:
1. Landscape – a reminder of the generations of hard-working people who tried to tame the nature and live off its fruits on the cultivated fields in this karst landscape and red soil. It is also a reminder of the legendary Hajde, ancient giants that still live in Samobor legends according to which they dwelled in the nearby caves and woods until regular, small people came and started chasing them away.
2. Forests – the greatest treasure of the area, offering cool shade in the summer and opulent forest fruits in the autumn – chestnuts, mushrooms, but also wild strawberries and other herbs growing under the treetops of Sessile oaks, hornbeams, chestnut trees and beech, while also swarming with animal species.
3. Village - Otruševec was first mentioned in the document from 1488 regarding Barbara Frankopan’s arrival to the Samobor estate – town and market, so we can easily deduce that people had lived there before that time.
4. Viewpoint – the view of the Sava valley and the Medvednica mountain further away provides a fantastic award to all those who have walked almost to the half of the trail. From here you can see Sljeme, the highest peak of the Medvednica Mountain reaching up to the height of 1035 metres. The village of Otruševec is located on a significant height – on some 320 metres above sea level where the air is cleaner, more abundant, and the views are brighter and more spectacular than in the plain. Besides, here you can find fossils from the ancient times because this area used to be covered with the Pannonian Sea.
5. Vineyards – standing as the witness of not only the hard-working people and their love of wine, which can also be heard in many local songs, but also they are the evidence that this area has been continuously inhabited. Besides, during the works in vineyards in 1931 a stone hearth was discovered alongside with some knives and bent swords believed to be the remnants of the Celtic tribes that dwelled here, probably in the 1st century B.C.
6. Karst sinkholes – holes in karst created by erosion and corrosive activities of surface and underground waters. The water that falls is quickly drained into the underground leaving, with time, very fertile soil on the surface, mostly red soil made by the chemical wear-out of limestone.
7. Pipe – holes in the ground from which the air blows out make us believe that in this limestone island there are numerous undiscovered stories in the underground, or maybe it is the air caused by the flapping of fairies’ wings believed to be seen in the nearby woods, according to the local chronicler Milan Lang. This karst phenomenon creates a draft so, in the summer, the air from the pipes is cooler and in the winter warmer compared to the surroundings.
8. The Grgos Cave – discovered by Josip Grgos in 1973, is the most beautiful cave in north-western Croatia. It is a protected geomorphological monument of nature. Some 30 metres long, rich in flowstones with 19 metres of difference in height, it also has two galleries. In 2007, a new 130-metre cave was discovered with three new galleries which have been open to visitors who may enjoy a pleasant refreshment in a nearby restaurant before and after visiting the cave and find a guide for the tour of the cave.
9. Limekiln – the tradition of making lime in special ovens (kilns) has not been forgotten in Otruševec. Even though people used to say that lime houses are the healthiest to live in, in this case, we could say that the “limekiln discovered the cave” considering that Josip Grgos discovered the cave as he was collecting the raw materials for limekiln.