Of all the places suitable for living, with all its advantages and disadvantages, the Neanderthals chose a cave on Husnjak hill. They liked it.
The cave seemed safe, spacious, and - most importantly - an entire family could take shelter in it from bad weather and other dangers that threatened from all sides. The hunters were also pleased with what they found. The hills were wooded, and the forests were inhabited by animals and rich in nutritious berries.
In addition to berries, there was also plenty of other food, because if it wasn't like that, they probably wouldn't have stayed long, but would have moved on, looking for someone bolis a place. AND bolis a place of this they could not even imagine.
It was built just a few hundred steps away from the place where the Krapina primitive people camped in the old days Museum of Krapina Neanderthals. Embedded in the landscape between two hills, the museum looks exactly like the Krapin half-cave from the beginning of the story. From an architectural point of view, the building is full of simbolike, so there is a stream under the museum, which springs up again and again in front of the entrance and which represents the passage of time.
By crossing it to the big door, you enter the past. And that "past" at the very entrance is made of "artificial stone" as we will call concrete, as a kind of simulation of a prehistoric habitat where visitors can observe the external environment from the perspective of a Neanderthal. Well, we went to the entrance together, and then you continue alone... With this introduction, the Krapina Zagorje Tourist Board invites you to the path of prehistoric man.
The door that leads you into prehistory
Krapina prehistoric man, scientifically known as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, was discovered back in 1899 when geological and paleontological research began on Hušnjakovo hill in Krapina. Excavations, led by a professor Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger, a well - known Croatian geologist, paleontologist and paleoanthropologist, lasted six years and made a significant contribution to European and world science of fossil man.
As many as nine hundred human fossil bones were found in the sandstone deposits of the eight-meter-high cave. This makes the most numerous and richest collection of Neanderthal man gathered in one locality. Numerous fossil remains of cave bear, gray wolf, elk, giant deer, rhinoceros, proboscis, and many other animals were found in this very place.
More than a thousand found pieces of stone tools from the Paleolithic period, i.e. the older stone age, testify to the material culture of the Krapina primitive man. The age of this rich paleontological site corresponds to 125 years ago.
According to the Museum, there are various theories about the interpretation of the Krapina site, which are the subject of many discussions today. After several centuries of existence, it is particularly attractive precisely because of its paleontological importance and the large number of fossil specimens. It was protected as the first natural paleontological monument in the Republic of Croatia in 1961. We are also working on one of the richest Paleolithic habitats of Neanderthal man in Croatia and Europe.
Zagorje - a fairy tale in the palm of your hand
This is how the story that takes you in begins Zagorje to the Krapin Neanderthal Museum. Since its opening in early 2010, it has been attracting visitors from all over the world. This is a tourist story that takes you along the paths of prehistoric people, and this is also one of the most interesting Croatian tourist stories that will take you to experience a fairy tale in the palm of your hand.
If there were no people living in it, Zagorje would be just fairytale hills. There would be no story. And people love to tell stories, create experiences and write history. Then save all that history to museums and castles to leave a mark for those who come. Therefore, if you are interested in what Zagorje is famous for, stop by one or more bolis, all Zagorje museums and castles and find out everything that interests you. Instead of a time machine, get into them!
And when you discover Zagorje, then the inevitable point is the Museum in Krapina, which is located on almost every tourist route, not only because of the intriguing concept. NEANDERTALS, certainly because of the specific way of presenting the life of prehistoric people that sets this museum apart from others.
The authors of the project and realization of the Museum, paleontologist Jakov Radovčić and architect Željko Kovačić, managed to bring the Krapina Stone Age inhabitants closer to the visitors in the most interesting way. 125 thousand years ago lived here. The exhibition was made as a time machine through the history of the Universe, the Earth, man to the present day, with special emphasis on the time of the Neanderthals.
Source: TZ Krapina Zagorje County, Museum of Krapina Neanderthals
Cover photo: Archive of the Museum of Krapina Neanderthals