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440th Anniversary of the Peasants’ Revolt stamp from Croatia

440th Anniversary of the Peasants’ Revolt stamp from Croatia
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Hrvatska posta issued a stamp to commemorate the 440th anniversary of the peasants' revolt.

The commemoration of the 440th anniversary of the Peasants' Revolt evokes dramatic events from the year 1573. Many notable Croatian writers, like e.g. August Senoa and MiroslavKrleza wrote about the rebellion led by MatijaGubec while the representations of the rebellion locally known also as Muskapunta have often been perpetuated in the works by painters such as OtonIvekovic, MirkoRacki and KrstoHegedusic, while the sculptor AntunAugustincic paid his tribute to the revolt's organizer and leader by his colossal monument situated in GornjaStubica.

During past four decades from its founding the Museum of Peasants' Revolts has been visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors, while in the surroundings of the museum there are also a lot of other attractions in connection with the Revolt like e.g. the MatijaGubec lime.

Anno Domini 1573 is a bloody saga imprinted deep in the memory of the people from Stubica region. It has been a long time since the ruins of the castle disappeared, in which resided the ill-famed Franjo Tahy, known for the fact that it was just at his manor in Susedgrad-Stubica area where the greatest peasants' revolt in this part of Europe initiated. The circumstances at the manor had been unstable for a long time and the increase of duties and taxes was a frequent cause of peasants' revolts; 508 peasants in their great claim submitted to the ruler against Tahy described his inappropriate practices and exceedingly high impositions.

In the preparation of Peasants' Revolt several peasants' leaders were active among whom the most charismatic was AmbrozGubec, later called MatijaGubec, from the village Hizakovec. The revolt began with an attack on the Cesargrad fort on 29 January 1573 and in the first days of rebellion a great area of about 5000 km2 was affected. After the initial success the peasants suffered two heavy defeats on 5th and 6th February near Krsko and Kerestinec, which prevented further spreading of the revolt. The great defeat took place in Styria near St. Peter (Sentpeter) on 8th February when the ban's forces led by Gaspar Alapic finally defeated the Gubec peasants on 9th February 1573 in the Stubica valley.

The fate of MatijaGubec is today still unknown; however, the correspondence between Ban Draskovic and Emperor Maximilian proposed execution of the peasants' leader in a terrible way - by coronating him with a glowing iron crown. Just this martyrdom and suffering of the peasants' leader in his fight for fairer society and freedom of each individual made him a kind of symbol of resistance against repression. Matija Gubec is certainly among the most positive personalities in Croatian history and his name is today given to many streets and squares in almost all towns in Croatia.

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