Matija Gubec

Ambroz Matija Gubec was born in 1548 in Hižakovac, a small village in Hrvatsko Zagorje. He spent most of his life working as a farmer in Stubica on the estate of Franjo Tahy, a nobleman of Hungarian descent who was raised in a military setting. Thanks to his military success, Tahy gained respect for the Habsburg court and managed to forge links with the most respected Croatian families. In 1564 he became the owner of half of the Susedgrad and Stubica estate and in the following years clashed with the villagers over abuse. His actions led to three peasant revolts. The last of these, known as the Peasant Revolt or the Croatian-Slovenian Peasant Revolt, began in 1573, because of Tahy's decision to increase his rent and his terror over the peasants. After complaining in vain to the ban and the emperor, the villagers stopped paying taxes, and Tahy in response sent an army of armed mercenaries to restore order. After successful resistance, the Croatian Parliament declares the peasants traitors. But this does not stop their fight, and they soon respond to a universal uprising against feudalism. Thanks to his intelligence, courage and organizational skills, Matija Gubec was chosen as the leader of the movement and, together with his associates, the most famous being Andrija Pasanac, spread the movement in Croatia and Slovenia. On February 9, 1573, a decisive battle took place under the leadership of Podban Gašpar Alapić near Stubičke Toplice. Matija Gubec led an army of about 6,000 peasants. But they have suffered heavy defeat with many casualties. Gubec himself was captured and taken to Zagreb, where he was executed. According to legend, he was tortured on February 15, 1573 in St. Mark's Square. First, a hot iron crown was put on his head, presenting him as the "peasant king", after which he was quartered. Due to his heroic deeds, he has remained in the national memory to this day as one of the greatest national heroes, and is regularly honored. The famous Croatian writer, August Šenoa, wrote a novel called “Peasant Revolt”, which tells the story of Matija Gupac's life, and a 6.5 m high statue with his character was built in Gornja Stubica. Also, the fact that the most common street name in Croatia is “Matija Gubec Street”, testifies to his glory. In addition, Gornja Stubica today houses the Gubec Linden tree, a 400-year-old tree protected by the state that bears the title of a cultural monument.