The direct cause for this monograph is the 670th anniversary of the first written memory of the church and parish of Saint Cross in Začretje, in so far the oldest List of parishes of Zagreb’s diocese, made in 1334 by Velika Gorica’s archidiacon Ivan, as all the other anniversaries mentioned in the monograph’s foreword.

Before establishing new parishes in Zabok in 1653, and in Bedekovčina in 1726, the Saint Cross parish extended much further. The noble family Keglević was the first patron of the church, from 16th to 18th century. In the 19th century, patrons were noble families Sermage, Schlippenbach and Vranyczany (this family also in the first half of the 20th century). The church of the Saint Cross that stand today was built in the mid-17th century (the oldest saved parts of the church are Gothic), and its main altar in 1705. In that time the main altar was situated, as in all Christians churches in the East, where the main entrance is situated today. This change happened sometimes between the years 1767 and 1778, because the local cemetary was first relocated around 1740, from the Square to the west hillside behind the church in order to enable the construction of the road that would run through Začretje en route to Krapina, and then again, about 100 years later (1850), it was relocated to a hill beside Čvek, where it is situated today. So that the appearance of the county and of the main Square demanded big changes on the church itself. The parish’s beautiful bell-tower was built sometimes between 1734 and 1738 by the order of a very deserving vicar Josip Thausy.

Worth mentioning is also our 15th century gothic relief “The Crying of the Christ”, still being restorated in the Restorations Institute in Zagreb, which is very well known in professional’s circles, but unfortunately not among us parishioners. Apart from the church, three beautiful and valuable chapels exist in the parish, of which the chapel of Saint Vid in Komor (366 m above sea level) is mentioned in the above-mentioned List from 1334, while the other two are much younger: the chapel of Lord’s Mother in Klupci and the chapel of Saint Ana in Završje. The first one must have existed in 1502, because the visitation from 1676 mentions it as blessed by the bishop Stjepan from Zagreb in the year 1502. The chapel of Saint Ana in Završje was mentioned for the first time in 1627. The parish used to have, beside these three chapels, 6 more chapels: the chapel of Saint Jelena in Zabok (but when the parish was established there, it became it’s church), the chapel of Saint Antun in Grabrovec, the chapel of Saint Margareta in Mirkovec, the chapel of Saint Lovro in Donja Šemnica, the chapel of Saint Jacob in Trnovec and the chapel of Saint Wolfgang (Vuk) in Kovačevec. Through this long period of time, the parish was led by at least fifty vicars, of which we know the names of only 24, and 120 of their chaplains, and 18 priests originating from this parish. In 1797 the parish had 2.892 parishioners, of which only 2. 160 adults. In 1936 the parish had the biggest number of parishioners, around 11.500. Today the parish has 25 villages, 2.003 families and 7.366 parishioners. The place Saint Cross Začretje has 300 families and 1.000 inhabitants. Parochial archive and library possess some very valuable documents and samples of books from 17th, 18th and 19th century. The most of the books are liturgical, missals and rituals.

At the east side of the Square lies the Saint Cross castle, mentioned for the first time in written documents dating back to 1662, when the sons of Juraj Keglević the Third divided their father’s estate. In mid-18th century, by matrimony, the castle and Saint Cross’ manorial estate become property of counts Sermage, then Schlippenbach and Vranyczany, who, just before World War II, sold the castle with it’s manorial estate to Banovina Hrvatska, which is why locals still refer to the castle as Banovina. Dr. sci. Janko Mršić bought the castle in 2001 and plans to open, after the necessary restorations, the Croatian centre for information’s innovation. According to historical sources, first organised forms of government authority date back to the beginning of the 16th century. A session of the Croatian Parliament – Sabor was held in Začretje. By an Act of Sabor in 1860, Croatia was divided into Counties, and as a result of that Saint Cross belonged to Varaždin County, as did the entire Hrvatsko zagorje, while Saint Cross was also the center of the Topličko-Saint Cross Subcounty. It’s secretary was Lavoslav Vukelić. The local library started operating in 1876, and the Fire Department in 1884. Through the years the organisation of local government changed, so that Saint Cross Začretje was initially organised as a municipality, then as a local community – part of Zabok municipality, until it was reorganised in 1993, according to Law on Local Goverment and Administration, as a municipality with the following governing bodies: municipal council, municipal government and head prefect.

The Primary school in Saint Cross was founded on April 13th, 1838, in Temovec on April 24th, 1940, in Sekirišće on December 18th, 1945, in Kozjak on November 4th, 1946, and in Mirkovec on September 1st, 1947, in the Cooperative Hall building. The first modern Primary School building was built in the year 1914 at the local square. In 1974, a very valuable new Primary School building, with an area of 2.878 square meters, was built. At that time, 1.080 pupils attended the school, while only 564 of them attend it in 2004. The building is work of two architects: Tomislav Krznarić and Tomislav Odak. In 1998, a very nice new District-school Mirkovec building, with an area of 440 square meters, was put to use. From the foundation of the Primary School to this day, over 300 teachers performed class in it.

During the past 40 years, cultural and entertainment life in Saint Cross is at full bloom, widely spread into many associations, such as: wind orchestras “Ivo Tijardović – Regeneracija” and “Pačetanci”, “Week of Culture, Entertainment and Sports”, cultural club “Lavoslav Vukelić”, “Cvrkutići”, ethno-group “Zvirek”, Stjepan Jačmenica’s Museum collection; and a few more choirs and sports clubs. The final part of the monograph is dedicated to our Primary School, its teachers and pupils, and their various activities. We present you with the list of all teachers in Saint Cross and primary school graduates: there are 4.177 of us in 48 generations. We have also selected some of the most valuable and award-winning literary works of our pupils.

Four scientists – university professors, and 7 artists, known throughout the country and some even abroad, originate from our parish. 150 parishioners have a university degree, about 60 members have a two-year degree, and about 125 of them are university students. In it’s very end, the book is enriched by numerous historical and contemporary photographs.