We previously covered all the basics of what one should see when visiting Samobor, but we also got in touch with local expert Janja Severović for more information about the region.
Janja is a licensed tour guide for Zagreb and surrounding areas but also specialises in walking tours of the historic core of Samobor. During her tours, visitors can taste local food and drinks, and return home with authentic handmade souvenirs.
You have an interesting name on your public profile – Sanoborka. Is it related to any particular historical name of Samobor?
A little bit yes, because people used to refer to our city in the slang term Sanobor. There are different stories about the name of our small town, the one I like the most is the story about a city surrounded by pinewoods because nature is so beautiful and peaceful.
You do city tours in costume. What are the sites you visit during your walking tour?
It depends on the tour; sometimes I wear the costume of Samobor’s Juliette, Julijana Cantilly. I collaborate with our Tourist Board, so they usually lend me a costume, or sometimes I walk around my town in the national costume of Samobor. I usually meet my group in our city’s centre, and we start our walk from Samobor’s Museum.
If my guests request it, we also visit the city museum and learn more about the town’s history and about the owner of the Ferdo Livadić manor. There is a story that famous composer Franz Listz came to Samobor and visited Livadić’s manor. There is our City Hall, and Juliana Cantilly’s balcony.
Then we walk through the main square. If my guests are thirsty, they can drink water from The Well. A legend says if you drink water from the well, you will return to Samobor once again.
Then we go to the parish church of Saint Anastazija, and we visit the grave of Juliette. We see the famous lyrics that her Romeo poet Stanko Vraz wrote to her. From there, we continue to the Franciscan monastery, which has one of the most beautiful Nativity scenes in our country during the Christmas period. We continue to Zlatko Prica Gallery, where we learn about the famous painter and his life and then we finish the walking tour.
For gastronomy lovers, what is a must?
One cannot come to Samobor and not try Samobor custard cake and miner’s cake Greblica. Family Filipec also produces the very popular and sophisticated aperitif Bermet. During the winter, our guests can also try sausages with mustard Muštarda. There are many interesting restaurants, wine cellars and pastry shops in town.
Samobor is a town of manufacturers famous for unique handmade souvenirs. What would you point out as a symbol of the city, something that everyone needs to carry back home after their visit?
The symbol of our city is Samobor cream cakes or Bermet, an aperitif. Therefore, there is the possibility to buy them and enjoy the flavours of Samobor at home.
There are also many local craft shops: Hamari Unique – house of Croatian design, where you can buy bags and clothes made in Samobor. We also have a small souvenir shop where you can buy scarves with the motif of traditional Kraluš necklaces, and handmade souvenirs made in shops like Trešnja Okićka and Srčeko. In addition, there are two producers of gingerbreads in our town. Samobor once had a big crystal factory, which is closed now, but the Tuk family creates products from crystal in their smaller factory.
Other than the historic core of Samobor, there are many things to do and visit in the surrounding area. What would you recommend for visitors to see, especially with a guide?
As well as the town centre, there is also the possibility of going by car to the little village of Rude to visit the Mine and hear a story about the little creatures called Bergman. Also, a few minutes from Samobor, our guests can visit Grgos Cave, or the little village Stojdraga in the Žumberak Nature Park, where they can see the Ambushers Museum and the Greek Catholic church Saint George. In the Visitor Centre of Budinjak, there is the opportunity to rent electric bikes.