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Famous Croatian-Slovene Peasants’ Revolt of 1573 Reenacted

dsOnce again thousands of visitors will have the opportunity to see the famous Croatian-Slovene Peasants’ Revolt – Battle of Stubice (Seljačka buna – Bitka kod Stubice) reenacted at the traditional celebration of the anniversary of the uprising…

The Croatian–Slovene Peasant Revolt of 1573 was a large peasant revolt in the territory that nowadays belongs to Croatia and Slovenia. The revolt, sparked by cruel treatment of serfs by the baron Ferenc Tahy, ended after 12 days with the defeat of the rebels and bloody retribution by the nobility. The rebels’ political programme was to replace the nobility with peasant officials answerable directly to the emperor, and to abolish all feudal holdings and obligations of the Roman Catholic Church.

A peasant government was formed with Matija Gubec, Ivan Pasanac and Ivan Mogaić as members. Far-reaching plans were drawn up, including abolition of provincial borders, opening of highways for trade, and self-rule by the peasants. The captain of the rebels, Ilija Gregorić, planned an extensive military operation to secure victory for the revolt.

On 5 February, imperial captain Turn defeated Ilija Gregorić and 2,000 men near the Lower Styrian town of Brežice. The next day, another rebel force was subjugated near Samobor. On 9 February, the decisive Battle of Stubičko polje was fought. Gubec and his 10,000 men resisted fiercely, but after a bloody four-hour battle the baronal army defeated and captured Gubec. The revolt failed.

Retribution was brutal: in addition to the 3,000 peasants who died in the battle, many captives were hanged or maimed. Matija Gubec was publicly tortured and executed on 15 February.

Organisers this year have promised the biggest manifesto to date. Held over 2 days (6-7 February in Donja Stubica, around 40 kilometres northeast of Zagreb, there will not only be reenactments of the battle, but also concerts, activites for the kids, as well as of course some local delicacies and drinks. Seljačka buna associations from Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary will be taking part this year.

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