Zagreb and Environs Sights

Hodočasnička Crkva Majke Božje Bistričke (Pilgrimage Church of St. Mary of Bistrica)

  • Trg pape Ivana Pavla II. 32 Map It
  • Marija Bistrica
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 01/14/2016

Fodor's Review

Croatia's preeminent religious pilgrimage site, the Crkva Majke Božije Bistričke is home to the Blessed Virgin of Bistrica, a black wooden, 15th-century Gothic statue of the Holy Mother associated with miraculous powers (having survived not only the Turkish invasion but a subsequent fire) and set in the main altar. The church, which was proclaimed a Croatian shrine by the nation's parliament in 1715, was rebuilt in neo-Renaissance style in the late 19th century by Hermann Bollé, who also designed the Zagreb Cathedral; the shrine complex adjacent to the church was enlarged in time for a 1998 visit by Pope John Paul II, who was in town to beatify Alojzije Stepinac, who became Archbishop of Zagreb in 1937 but was jailed and later placed under house arrest in postwar, Tito-led Yugoslavia. Behind the church is a huge amphitheater that was built for the pope's visit, and from there you can climb up Kalvarija (Calvary Hill) to the stations of the cross, ornamented with sculptures by Croatian artists.

Sight Information


Župni ured, Trg pape Ivana Pavla II. 32, Marija Bistrica, Krapinsko-Zagorska, 49246, Croatia

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Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Masses Mon–Sat 10:30am and 6 pm Sun 7:30 am, 9am, 11am and 6pm

Published 01/14/2016


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