Famous persons

Matija Smodek, (1808.-1881.), lawer, university professor

matija smodekHe was born in village Novaki in 1808. in a wealthy peasant family. He undergone education in Varaždin, Šopron, Zagreb and Budapest. In the time of forceful hungarization in Croatia he had lectured Croatian language in the period from 1831. to 1840. at Academy - Kajkavian dialect. After that he lectures economic law, political science and Hungarian-Croatian law at the law school(Faculty). From 1835. he is a professor of statistics and mining law and in Pravoslovna akademija (Orthodox academy) from 1849. to 1874. he had lectured, beside the cited subjects, the law.
He dedicated his life to the science, education of the young generation, and he was dedicated to the highest Croatian goals, and that obtained him a great respect in the eyes of his students and professors of University of Zagreb of that time.

Ladislav Kukuljević-Sakcinski, (1815.-1896.), lawyer, landowner of Ivanec

kukuljevic sakcinski ladislavHe studied the law and graduated in Požun. He joined the struggle against Hungarians and banus Jelačić appointed him a deputy for supply of Croatian army in region of Varaždin. He also performed the duty of archive keeper and judge of Varaždin district, while in the district of Križevac he was vice-Prefect and the great Prefect from 1867. to 1871. After that he resigned from the political life and spend the rest of his life in Ivanec.
From his father Franjo Kukuljević he inherited the estate Ivanečka Kaniža, and from the family Šarlaj he bought the castle of Ivanec with accompanying estate. He was dealing with corn and berries production, breeding of the noble kinds of the cattle, and he held under lease a mail service with horses.
He had acquired the ownership over 800 rala of forest and 100 rala of ploug-fields, meadows, orchards and other real estates. He has built several residential and business buildings by the main Ivanec street toward Lepoglava. He become the richest citizen of Ivanec in 19th century.
He has contributed to renewal of Ivanec county church, and in the park by castle of Ivanec he raised chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary dedicating it to his deceased wife. The chapel was torn down in 1961. In his testament, besides his wider family, he had gratuitously gifted charities, cultural societies and associations.

Đuro Arnold, (1854.-1941.), pedagogue, philosopher, poet

arnold duroHe was born in Ivenec in 1854. he graduated from Faculty of philosophy in Zagreb. His professional education he was receiving in Göttingen, Berlin i Paris. He worked as gymnasium professor, then as director of teachers school, and as professor of Pedagogy of philosophy at Zagreb university.

He was selected/appointed to position of Rector of University and the first member of JAZU(HAZU). He was president of Matica Hrvatska from 1903. to 1909., editor of Vijenac and a honorary member of the Brothers of Croatian Dragon (Braća hrvatskog zmaja).
He published following collection of poems: Izabrane pjesme (1899.), Čeznuće maštanja (1908.), Sa visina i dubina (1918.), Izabrane pjesme (1924.). At university of Zagreb, in 1986., he initiated a pedagogic seminary for theoretical and practical education of secondary-school teachers.

He is author of scientific works Ethics and history (1880.) Philosophy of the natural science and sociology (1889), Art toward/according the science (1906.), Unique Croatian folk culture (1909.) and of the secondary school textbook Logic (1888.) and Psychology(1893.).

Božidar Kukuljević-Sakcinski, (1861.-1927.), poet, landowner of Ivanec

kukuljevic sakcinski bozidarSon of the famous Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski. He studied the law in Vien and Zagreb, and after completion of the studies he worked on the position of vice-prefect and scribe in Zagreb and of district prefect/head in Varaždin. From his uncle Ladislav he inherited, in 1986., the estate of Ivanec with the castle. He was a music and literature fan and had published reviews and critiques, working for magazines Vijenac, Prosvjeta, Hrvatska vila, Balkan. He had correspondence with writers and artists of his time: Gjalski, Vojnović, Trnski, Fijan, Mandrović, Zajc, Kuhač, Faller.
He was inspired by idyllic historical, social and natural motives. In his prose work Youth of Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski he describes the day of youth of his father.

After him there left unfinished ‘History of noble family Kukuljević Sakcinski’, and from history of Ivanec he recorded reviews of consecration of chapel of uncle Ladislav, consecration of banner of Voluntary fireman association Ivanec in July of 1891. and of school flag in 1901. He was founder of "Brothers of Croatian Dragon", president of singing society "Kolo" in Zagreb and "Vila" in Varaždin.
He founded a branch of Croatian alpinist society in Ivanec in 1898.

Nikola Faller, (1862.-1938.), composer and bandmaster

faller nikolaHe was borne on his father pastoral castle Pahinsko. He studied music in Varaždin and Zagreb and later on conservatory in Vienna and Paris. In Croatian school for music he lectures piano. He was director and bandmaster of Zagreb opera house from 1896. till 1902., commissary of Osijek Theater, conductor of Split’s and Zagreb’s music society “Zvonimir” and “Kolo”, and he was a chairman of Croatian singer’s society from 1924. until his death.
Thanks to him, a ballet assemble as separate one in 1894. and he enriched theater with new opera plays from: R. Wagner, P.I. Tchaikovsky, J. Massena, G. Puccini, P. Massaging, G. Bizet, A. Thomas, R. Leoncavalla, L. von Beethoven. He also made possible that opera from Croatian composers were played: V. Lisinski, S. Albini, F. S. Vilhar and V. Baresa. Nikola Faller composed commemorated music, choir songs and church music.
Nikola Faller was involved in collecting and systematization of mountain flora, and developing of modern Croatian crossword and enigmatic games.

Mavro Spiller, (1869.-1940.), physician

spiller mavroHe came to Ivanec from Kostajnica in 1909. as royal district physician. He was committed to his work, and was respected for his dedicated work in Ivanec were he spent 35 years in praxis, from which he spent 30 years working as physician in Ivanec mining brotherhood, which was responsible for health of miners and their families. With his regular work as royal district physician he led local ambulance in region of Ivanec and Golubovac which was responsible for more then 1000 miners with their families and this number raised to approximately 4000 people under his medical responsibilities.
He was active member of social life in Ivanec: he was director of public library, president of Ivnaec´s Red Cross society, and in the years close to war he was a respectable member of Croatian farmer party (Hrvatska seljačka stranka). At the end of his public duties he was posted as high sanitarian inspector. He passed away during a visit to his son Emil, forest engineer, who lived in Jajce in year 1940. His sons took the surname of their mother, Georgijević, in 1941.

Bruno Županić-Steiner, (1893.-), lawyer and writer

zupanic steiner brunoHe was one of the first soccer players in Varaždin, and he was noticed in history of this sport in Varaždin as a person who scored first goal in one official match in a match between soccer clubs “Varaždin” Varaždin and “Olimpija” Karlovac on May 15th 1910.
After he visited law schools in Vienna, Prague and Zagreb he was employed as justice clerk, and he worked as lawyer in Ivanec from 1921. He took active role in public life in Ivanec between two World Wars.

He published his lyric works in magazines “Mlada hrvatska” (Young Croatia), and he was correspondent for magazines “Naša pravica” (Our Justice), “Književne novosti” (Literature news), “Savremenik” (Contemporary), “Hrvat” (Croat), “Šišmiš” (Bat), “Književni horizonti”(Literature horizons), “Varaždinske novosti” (News from Varaždin) and “Hrvatsko pravo” (Croatian justice).

His literal works are including contrabands from foreign literature (literal works from Turganjev, Scheyer and Adamčić) and history of Croatian literature (works from Mihanović, Bublić. Vilović, Margel Gotalovački, Galović, Marković, Miholjević). He published work of Dr. Ante Starčević “Croatian justice” and work of historical chronologist Đuro Vilović, “Međimurje” in 1923.

He published “Memories of 60 years of the mountain walk on Ivančica” in 1968. in magazine “Zagorski kolendar”.

Pavica Hrazdira (rođ. Milić), (1895.-1975.), writer, entrepreneur, chairman of mountaineers section “Ivančica”

pavica hradziraShe was an active member of public life in Ivanec between two World Wars she was writer, amateur actress, chairman of mountaineers section of Ivanec and entrepreneur in mining business. She had tried her self in writing lyrics, novels and stories about poor people in Ivanec. Her song “Villages of Ivanec” was renamed and Rudolf Rajter composed music for that song and it became very popular in Kajkavian are of Croatia.

Otokar Hrazdira, (1898.-1944.), mining clerk, international art photograph

otokar hrazdiraHe came to Ivanec from Czech Republic after First World War. With his wife, Pavica, he opened two small coalmines in the near of Ivanec. He was exhibiting on eight international exhibitions with 18 exhibited and awarded photos. Photo section of Ivanec mountaineer's section “Ivančica” was founded by him in 1931. First exhibition of photo art in Ivanec was held in the next year, 1932. He was the publisher of only one, magazine for artistic photo “Galerija” (Gallery) with headquarters of redaction in Ivanec, and in sales between two wars. Six numbers were published, and main editor was Pavao Spiler.
Because of collaboration with anti fascistic movement ha was hanged in 1944. in the center of Ivanec together with four others a distinguished citizen of Ivanec.

Adalbert Georgijević, (1899.-1991.), physician, medical doctor, renovator of mountaineers section “Ivančica”

adalbert georgijevicTogether with his accomplishers he founded Ivanec sport society in 1920. He renewed work of mountaineers section “Ivančica” and was responsible for passing thru initiative for building mountaineers home and pyramid on the top of hill Ivančica in 1929. He emphases him self as well know medical worker, and in Greda he built a library and gave donation of few hundred books to that library. He was a big friend of all citizens and town of Ivanec, and was in love with hill Ivančica.

Josip Kraš, (1900.-1941.), labor worker and active politicians

josip krasAs a childe of poor and big family from mine worker Valent Kraš, he starts his education as baker in Varaždin with only 15 years, after which he is living to Zagreb to work as baker. After First World War he gets involved in workers movement and becomes labor activist. He was convicted for 5 years and detained in prison in Sremska Mitrovica. He was editor in news papers “Borba” (Battle) and “Radnik” (Worker). He cooperated with left wing activists from that time. He was the leading figure of miner’s strikes in 1936 and 1937 in Ivanec, after which miners got some better working conditions. He joined communist party in 1937 and was a high ranking communist party member. He was killed in 1941 in Karlovac as organizer of anti fascistic movement of Kordun, Banovina, Gorski Kotor and Primorje. After his death he was proclaimed ”narodni heroj” (people’s hero).

Stjepan Vuković, (1905.-1975.), archeologist

vukovic stjepanAt the beginning of his career he was working as teacher in Jurketinc, Donja Voća, Pahinsko and Varaždin. He was founder of Archeological department in museum of city Varaždin, in which you can find relics from ancient history of mankind. He was involved in exploration of wide areas of Ivanec district: cave Vindija, surrounding area of Punikve, Draguševac and Krč in the near of Cerje Tužno. Exploration of Vindija cave was his life work. In the near of Punikve, in the year 1939, he discovered finding site of Paleolithic stones which belonged to early stadium of that age and they are the oldest hand made stone tools that had been located in Croatia. Their old had been estimated on 500 thousand years.

Rudolf Rajter, (1912.-1969.), music professor and composer

rudolf rajterHe was working as music teacher in many schools in Croatia; he was leading member of many musical companies, string orchestras member and member of opera house from Osijek. In ´50th years of XX century he finished studies of music on Pedagogical academy in Zagreb. From 1954. till 1969. he lectured musical education and led the choir “Jordanovec” from Primary experimental school in Zagreb where he left remarkable influence. He had composed music for song “Poleg jedne velike gore” (In the near of one big hill), and his numerous songs from Kajkavian were played and revered on many festivals of Kajkavian songs in Croatia. In Almanac from Zagorje, 1961., he published article on Singers and musical associations in Ivanec in XX century.

Ivo Ladika, (1912.-1984.), author

ivo ladikaHe was borne in Stažnjevac in teacher’s family. He went to faculty for Philosophic sciences in Zagreb were he lectured on different high schools. He worked for four years as journalist in redaction for art and culture in Radio “Zagreb”, and seven years as editor in Lexicographic institute of Federal socialistic Republic of Yugoslavia in Zagreb He also was professor on high economic school in Zagreb. He started to write lyric works during his high school days, and first song he published in prose “Jesen” (autumn). He was editor in magazines and collections of papers: “Književna revija” (Literature revue), “Književno ogledalo” (Literature mirror), “Književna tribina” (Literature forum) and Yearbook of Zagoreje.

Metod Hrg (1916.-1989.), archive worker and national and church historian

metod hrgHe wanted to the Elementary school in Ivanec, and gymnasium in first generation of Archdiocese internet for boys in Šalata. He graduated on Catholic faculty in 1942. and became monk. He worked in archive of Zagreb capitols from 1966. till retirement in 1976. He worked on categorization of archives in capitol and archdiocese, which was not united and categorized earlier. He explored and published “Cannon rules for archdiocese examinations” with co writer, Josip Kolanović. Together with him he wrote “New materials on Jurja the Dalmatian and Peasant uprisings in XV till XVIII century. From big importance for national church history was publishing of “Dairy of bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovec”.
He explored old history of Ivanec, and he published those important articles in Almanac of Ivanec.

Ladislav Šaban, (1918.-1985.), piano teacher, music scientist and writer of Ivanecs history

ladislav sabanHe spends his childhood in castle of Ivanec with his grandfather Božidar Kukuljević and his grandmother Klara (baroness maiden name Maroičić). His father dr. Josip Šaban bought the castle of Ivanec. He explored Ivanec past and left notes, on the old city of Ivanec, that are based on facts from original documentation and personal knowing of family heritage, which was from big importance for Ivanec.

He finished studies of piano at Musical academy in Zagreb, also he studied, in class of professor Svetislav Stančić, concert and pedagogy. He committed him self in pedagogical work and stayed on Musical academy to teach piano and methodic of that instrument, until end of his life.

He was involved in exploring Croatian musical heritage and cultural history, and was specially attracted by organs. He wrote many articles on musical history of Varaždin and his surrounding areas, history of musical education in Croatia and duties of Croatian musical institute. In 1975. he became member of Science academy of Croatia and former Yugoslavia.

Ćiril Kos, (1919.–2003.), bishop of Đakovo and Srijem

ciril kosHe was born in Ribić Brijeg, and his family is moving to Slavonija in 1925. because of better life conditions. He went to elementary school in Hrkanovica, classic Franciscans gymnasium in Široki Brijeg and Seminary in Đakovo. He becomes monk in 1944. He was in jail for two and half years because unjust political guilt. After that he was becomes secretary of diocese office in Đakovo.
He became bishop of Đakovo and Srijem in 1974. and he will be remembered as bishop who built retirement home for retired priests and renewing of diocese economy. On his suggestions new churches and parish homes were been built, and the old ones are reconstructed.
On his intercession in 1982. celebrations were held in memories of 100th year jubilee from dedication of Strossmayer´s cathedral, 1100th year jubilee after death of St. Method and Cyril in 1985. then 750th jubilee of Đakovo´s memorial and creation of Đakovo diocese in 1989. He retired in 1997.

Mirko Malez, (1924.-1990.), paleontologist

mirko malezElementary school and machine craft education he finished in Ivanec, and high school education in Varaždin. As a student of high school he was involved in archeological surveys in the area of Varaždin under the leadership of Stjepan Vuković. He studied geological science at Natural science and mathematics faculty in Zagreb. During his students days he worked as technical correspondent in Geological and Paleontologist collection and laboratory at Yugoslavian Academy for Science and Art, which under his leadership becomes Institute for Paleontology and geology. He defended his doctor’s dissertation in 1963. and becomes member of Yugoslavian academy for science and art in 1979.

He achieved huge reputation in fields of fossil zoology, fossil anthropology, speleology and geology at down of mankind. He contributed to world science by publishing his works about cave sediments in Vindija, in Velika pećina on Ravna gora, appearance of ice bolts, developing of river terraces etc. The vast numbers of his works he committed to examination of Pleistocene fauna of mammals, their spreading, movements and types of species in geological history.

He analyzed finding sites of fossil human remains in Vindija, Big cave in Ravna gora and other locations and compeer his exploration with exploration in Europe. He was decorated with many medals and was appointed as member of Austrian science academy in 1989. He published more then hundred works and one of the main spots in his explorations was Ivanec.

Josip Vresk, (1925.-2005.), academic painter

josip vreskFrom the early stadiums of his childhood he was interested in making art works, in beginning first in wood and clay, his gift was first noticed by his teacher in school in Kuljevčica, Šime Kurelić. Dr. Adelber Georgijević recommended him to painter Ivan Režak and Professor Ljubo Babić. When he was 14 years old, as the youngest painter together with Krsto Hegedušić, he participates in art exhibition with group “BA-BE-MI” – Babić, Becić and Miše. After the exhibitions he goes to Guild school and after that he goes to Art academy in Zagreb.

From 1948. he participates in every exhibition which is organized by artist from Hrvatsko Zagorje and Međumurje, and on exhibitions which are organized by Croatian Association of Artists in 1960. and 1978. He exhibited alone in one gallery in Varaždin in 1978., and his retrospective exhibition of paintings made from 1932. till 1982. was held in gallery “Karas” in Zagreb in the year 1982.
Maltase knight’s order of St. Johan Jerusalem’s accepted him as member in their order on December 30th 2004. and appointed him with title knight commander. But Vresek pasted away before he got that acknowledgement which was on the road from Rome to Croatia. He was rewarded with plaque of city Ivanec, post-mortem, in 2005. for representing the city and for huge contrabands in cultural life in Ivanec.

Milivoj Županić, (1925.-?), lawyer

milivoj zupanicHe went to primary school in Ivanec and gymnasium in Varaždin. He was member of anti fascistic movement during Second World War, and after the war he was editor of “Varaždinske vijesti” (Varaždin news), and correspondent from Varaždin for news papers from Zagreb. He graduated on Faculty for justice in 1949. After he graduated he works in Public comity for districts of Ivanec and Varaždin as law referent, advisor, commissary and secretary. He was responsible for rebuilding of pyramid on Ivančica and decorating the well of Mrzljak in 1958.

He was advisor and secretary of Constitutional court of Croatia from 1964., and in the year 1983. he was elected as member of that court. In two mandates ha was Member of Parliament justice and legislative commission, member Zagreb’s parliament and chairman of commission for questions and rules in city parliament.

He was involved in making of Constitution from 1974. and changing’s of republics constitution in ´80th. He was president of Croatian constitutional court from 1988. till 1989. After that he was elected once more as judge of Constitutional court until 1992. when he was retired. He is author of numerous works that are considering law and legislative. After he passed away his wife, Nataša, carried out his last will and donated his valuable personal library to library’s in Ivanec and Varaždin.

Franjo Sanković, (1928.-), full time professor at the Veterinary faculty in Zagreb

franjo stankovicHe was born in Vuglovec, he was going in primary school in Ivanec and gymnasium in Varaždin. In 1947 he went to study veterinary science in Zagreb, and graduated 1953. He first work as veterinary in Ivanec and in apt ambulance in Bednji, and from 1961 he worked in Veterinary surgery at faculty in Zagreb. He became doctor of veterinary science in 1962. He went on specialization, on famous universities at Cambridge and Utrecht, to work with cows and other domestic animals. For docent of Veterinary faculty in Zagreb he was elected in 1970., in title of professor in year 1975. and for full time professor of chirurgic, orthopedics and ophthalmology he was elected in 1981. and he stayed at that position until his retirement in 1993. He also lectured chirurgic on Sarajevo Veterinary faculty from 1984. till 1989. He is author of 75 science articles and 25 expert and educational articles.


Zbornik 600 godina Ivanca, Marijan Kraš – Znameniti Ivačani, Ivanec, 1997
(Collection of 600 years of Ivanec by Marijan Kraš- Famous people from Ivanec, 1997)

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