Župa Sv. Ćirila i Metoda
History of the parish and seminary
In the fall of 1530, the first wave of professional Uskok soldiers moved to the Žumberak area near Zagreb from Dalmatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the year 1545, Žumberak Uskoks aided in the defence against the Ottomans in Zagreb and later in Sisak in 1593. In order to fulfill their religious needs, these Christian warriors from the Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church set up the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Marča in 1611 at the Saint Michael the Archangel Monastery near Ivanić Grad. Due to a growing number of believers in the Byzantine Rite in northwestern Croatia during the 17th century, Bishop Pavao Zorčić of Marča established a diocesan educational institution for candidates of the priesthood. Thanks to Cardinal Leopold Kolonić and financial donations from Uskoks, Bishop Zorčić succeeded in purchasing a house on Grič hill in Zagreb in 1680. The bishop used the property to house boys from Žumberak and young monks from Marča who attended a nearby school run by the Jesuits. In 1681, a Greek Catholic seminary was officially founded in Zagreb’s Upper Town and dedicated to Saint Basil the Great. Later, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Gregory the Theologian were also added. Therefore, the seminary is today dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs. In 1682, the Habsburg imperial court gifted the seminary with an estate in Pribić near Žumberak. Thanks to the imperial grant, the income earned from the Pribić estate was enough to provide six boys from Žumberak with the opportunity to study at the Greek Catholic seminary in Zagreb. After a fire at the seat of the Eparchy of Marča on July 28, 1739, the Greek Catholic bishops moved to the seminary estate in Pribić and occasionally stayed at the seminary in Zagreb. In 1766, a large fire completely destroyed the Zagreb seminary building. Two years after the fire, Bishop Vasilije Božičković began construction on a new magnificent two-story seminary that lasted for six years and was completed in 1774. While the new seminary building was being built, young theologians continued their studies in Rome and Vienna. For the needs of theologians, but also an increasing number of believers who came to Zagreb from Žumberak and other parts of the country, the first Greek Catholic chapel in Zagreb was built in the courtyard of the seminary in 1799 and was dedicated to St. Basil the Great. In 1828, the Bishop of Križevci, Konstantin Stanić, built a larger church on the site of the small chapel. But neither was the second church large enough to satisfy the needs of the growing faithful. So, in 1885, the Bishop of Križevci, Ilija Hranilović, began construction on a new church that would be dedicated to Saints Cyril and Methodius. The plans for the church were designed by the architect Herman Bollé, and the newly built parish church, dedicated to the pair, was consecrated on December 12, 1886. The Co-Cathedral of Cyril and Methodius is decorated with a unique iconostasis featuring an artistic mosaic made of wood and a large collection of paintings by the famous Croatian painter Ivan Tišov.