As of today, the visitors of Žumberak – Samoborsko Gorje Nature Park can use the visitor centre Sošice worth almost 30 million kunas, which is the largest investment in the area of Žumberak mountain.
The newly opened visitor centre Sošice has been equipped with multimedia tools for different activities such as forest school for children, electric bikes rental, new information boards were put up and educational trails built.
The centre was opened by the minister of regional development and EU funds, Nataša Tramišak. The opening of the centre was attended by the state secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development Mario Šiljeg, praising the successfully implemented project and underlining that thus far, the total of almost 600 million kunas had been withdrawn from EU funds for the construction of 17 presentation centres across Croatia, eight of which had already been opened and the rest were expected to become operational by the end of 2022.
At the ceremony, the head of the Environmental Protection Sector at the Fund Aleksandra Čilić said that the projects like that one were contributing to the infrastructure on the one hand, and on the other raising the visitors’ awareness about the importance of nature and its protection, and contributing to the responsible and sustainable management of Croatia’s unique natural resources. “The importance of preservation of this park has been recognised by the European Commission, so HRK 23.3 million was approved form the EU funds. The additional 3.9 million, as the national contribution, was co-financed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund,” explained Čilić.
Deputy county mayor Damir Tomljenović and the chairwoman of the County Assembly Martina Glasnović attended the opening ceremony as the representatives of Zagreb County. "In the last 20 years, the number of inhabitants in this area has halved, from 1200 to some 600 people, so we’re hopeful that this worthwhile investment will revitalise this area,” said Tomljenović, adding that the County would continue with investments in infrastructure, especially the roads. “In the past two years, the County invested a lot in covering certain road sections on Žumberak with asphalt, and we’ll continue these activities in the future,” announced Tomljenović. He added that owing to the efforts made by the county, daily public bus service had been restored on Žumberak after a 5-year hiatus.
The visitor centre Sošice is an impressive complex comprising the information centre, souvenir shop, café and restaurant, accommodation capacities with 28 beds, outdoor stage and an amphitheatre, playground and parking lot.
“Thanks to this project, Municipality Žumberak has already recorded an increase accommodation capacities,” said the mayor of Municipality Žumberak Zdenko Šiljak, adding he was hoping this would be the start of this region’s revitalisation.