Under its name, Kumrovec first appeared in written references in 1463, as one of the estates of Cesergrad which was earlier already, in the 14th century, under the government counts of Celje.
The meaning of the name Kumrovec probably comes from the word “kumerni” which refers to poor, miserable and unwilling people, as feudal lords of Cesergrads called their serfs. There is also an opinion that the name Kumrovec derived from the word “kumr”, Celtic word meaning “mud”, a word that well described the state of the country and the roads, in the valley of the river Sutla. From the same source and the same meaning, so was created the name of the stream and the village Skrnik.
In the last quarter of the 15th century, valley of the river Sutla experienced 13 Turkish invasions, along with the fateful battle in 1475. As a result of that the villages were decayed, remained burnt, land became empty, and the consequences of the general impoverishment, fell on the shoulders of peasants. The increasing exploitation of farmers lead to the Croatian-Slovene Peasant rebellion, led by Matija Gubec.
In January 28, 1573., the rebellion began by an attack on Cesergrad, and then expanded to the rest of the Hrvatsko zagorje, all the way to the Varazdin, to a place around rivers Sava and Kupa, and Slovenain provinces Stajerska and Kranjska. The rebel peasants of the Kumrovec, led by Ilija Greguric, attacked Cesergrad, conquered it, plundered and burned. The rebellion infamously ends by defeat of Ilija Greguric, near Bistrica ob Sotli on the river Sutla, where it started.
After the collapse of the southern Croatian lands on Krbava, in 1493 begins the migration of the Croatian families to a northern regions. In 1544, the lineage Broz settles here, in the village Brezje, under the conservancy of the counts of Cesergrad.
By formal abolition of serfdom in 1848, nothing important changed in the life of local farmers. New charges and duties became increasingly difficult: forced military service, the earthquake of 1880, phylloxera that devastated vineyards, underdeveloped agriculture and polynomial households that were impossible to fed. Borrowing and tough economic conditions have affected many families in Kumrovec, surrounding villages and Hrvatsko Zagorje, and therefore a large part of the working age population, went to other regions of Croatia, Hungary and Austria.
Serfs holdings in Zagorje remained a summation of the manufacturing units, without the expressed population content. In the economic stagnation, Zagorje was lagged behind in population structure, typical for medieval agrarian settlement, in which individual households in the neighborhood are located independently from one another.
As a summation of scattered “hiza mazanka” Kumrovec stagnated until after the World War II, when, as a birthplace of Josip Broz Tito, began to rapidly renovate, restore and develop. “Political tourism” developed and it lead to the construction and preservation of a village rural landscape, ie. opening and functioning of the only open-air museum – the Museum ”Staro Selo”.
Ethno Village Kumrovec
The idea that the old core of the village Kumrovec include measures of monument protection, was present even in 1947, when Marijana Gusic, then the director of the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, made an ethnographic treatment of Hrvatsko Zagorje and wrote a study on the village of Kumrovec with the central object, the birth place of Josip Broz tito. Experts of the Museum of Arts and Trades in Zagreb, renovated the house to its original state, the garden was arranged, and in 1948 in the backyard, a monument to “Tito” was situated, a work of the sculptor Antun Augustincic. Cultural-historical and art part of the museum exhibition was arranged, in 1950, by the academic painter Edo Kovacevic and prof. Zdenko Vojnovic, director of the Museum of Arts and Trades, while the home environment of the Broz family was arranged by prof. Gusic.
During the following years further construction, horticultural work and item collecting for the home interior was continued. In 1953, the Memorial Museum of Marshal Tito, who worked at the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, was founded.
Memorial Museum director, prof. Gusic, from 1952 to 1954., developed a plan for solving the old core of the village Kumrovec, and on the principles of conservation and museological methods, she produced a comprehensive catalog for 61 object, with maps and a list of households. According to the catalog of objects, dr. Ana Deanovic (Croatian Conservation Institute) in collaboration with the team of museum experts, architects and urban planners, made a study for protection the old village of Kumrovec.
Since 1969, “Staro selo” is, as a protected rural unit, included in the Register of Cultural Monuments, I. category.
Today Kumrovec, with no major industry or other developmental facilities, is a place with a history that is slowly returning to its natural, cultural and tourist capacities, which can draw it from historical lethargy, that he had fallen in at the end of the 20th century.