Dragutin Karazinec’s watermill
This important watermill was located in the centre of the town, opposite St Mary Magdalene's Parish Church, and was built using massive masonry structures. It also served as a family house that had a room for labourers too. The watermill was powered by two large waterwheels. What makes it special is the fact that its owners changed frequently in the past. The watermill was first owned by Franjo Pust, followed by his “obermlinar” (Eng. chief miller) Viktor Karažinec. It stopped working in 1969. The mill's last miller was Dragutin Karažinec, who inherited it from his father Viktor Karažinec. Dragutin Karažinec graduated from grammar school in Varaždin and started studying agronomy. After the fourth semester, the situation at home prevented him from continuing his studies. He completed an accountancy course and found a job in administration services. However, some time later, he started working at the watermill.
He was an active mountaineer since 1948 and performed important duties not only in the Ivanec Mountaineering Club but also in various mountaineering associations throughout Croatia. He was awarded a silver medal by the Mountaineering Association of Yugoslavia for his mountaineering merits in 1958 and received numerous acknowledgements of local, county, and municipal authorities. According to gathered information, there was constant rivalry among the owners of the watermills, especially during the summer months when water resources of the Bistrica were reduced. During that period, the watermills in the upper part of Ivanec were in a better position. Karažinec's watermill with two waterwheels frequently did not have sufficient quantity of water, i.e. water resources, which caused problems when performing milling activities. All things considered, there is an unbreakable bond of Bistrica, watermills and Ivančica. As Dragutin Karažinec was an exceptionally active mountaineer, it is necessary to take some note of our Ivančica. A long time ago, all important events and interesting facts were recorded in the then newspapers.
AN INTERESTING DETAIL
Ivanec's parish priest Milan Kučenjak described in the “Naše pravice” (Eng. Our Equities) magazine in 1912, Issue 25, an interesting event, “… He was over there, and we were on Ivančica. We communicated using powerful mirrors. At midday, we spotted his mirror as a fiery bright dot. He also spotted ours. We communicated by covering the mirror with one hand in the same way they use telegram letters. At noon sharp, we were informed from Ivanić that it was 12 o'clock p.m., so we set our watches. Our lieutenant let him know that a few ladies and gentlemen came for a visit; he replied that he was not as lucky because he was on his own. We sent greetings to him and he thanked us. In Zagreb on Sljeme there was also one such geographer, however, he had finished his work a day earlier and left. On that occasion, we were observing sunspots at 4 p.m. as here we had all kinds of telescopes and instruments. For all of us this was the first day of enjoying the nature, an unforgettable day…”
Except that, in the text he also wrote about the importance of Ivančica in the past, “… The French are no longer here; and Croats do not seem to care about their natural wonders. Ivanec's former enthusiastic tourist Josip Hruby, MD., current royal district doctor in Kostajnica, is also gone, and he was the one who knew our mountain best. He owned a beautiful collection of stones from Ivančica, which made him believe that long time ago Ivančica was a fire-throwing mountain. Other devoted tourists were Nikola Jordanić, Ivanec's district judge and current member of the ban's council in Zagreb, engineer Ante Vavrović and surveyor Pajek, who climbed onto Ivančica without difficulty at any time. I think it was the year of 1886 when a ten-day long geographical study, including surveying of Ivančica, was carried out for the then lieutenant by a member of the Vienna Geographical Society, Mr Rehm. I visited him on Ivančica's peak with a larger group of people. We spent the entire, beautiful July day on the mountain. Let's go to the mountains, our dear Croatian mountains, where fairies attend the ancient freedom even today!”
When talking about the hydro-energetic potential of the Bistrica Stream, we must also mention Ivančica because the stream's source is located at the foot of that mountain. Here, the reality of the past times begins, even though all we have left today are the memories of the watermills. The stream, winding past newly-built houses today, flowed past small white houses many years ago… That interesting period of our past was interwoven with various social activities (economy, culture, tourism, heritage, etc.). Long time ago, all major features of our Ivanec were admired by foreigners (Frenchmen, Belgians, Austrians), who lived here at one point in time. Long before them, the Ivanovci knights (Knights Hospitaller) used to live here. All things considered, we must emphasize the geostrategic, economic and military importance of our region.