Kozarevac - church and history of the settlement

It is a common opinion that Kozarevac was named after goats, i.e., goats and their dwellings from the time when the first settlers inhabited this area during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is not known where the first inhabitants of Kozarevac came from and whether they really raised so many goats here by which the whole settlement could have been named. In the first half of the 18th century, Kozarevac already had many inhabitants, and the size of the settlement can be seen from the fact that in 1745 a church was built in Kozarevac which was equipped with as many as three altars, bells and all the necessities for a religious service. It was a wooden church which was repaired many times, and there was also a cemetery around it. The church was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. In administrative terms, Kozarevac was part of a large parish with the center in Kloštar Podravski until 1789 when an independent chaplaincy was established in Kozarevac. A large number of believers encouraged the bishop of Zagreb and the Frontier authorities to establish a parish, which happened in 1819. The parishes with the center in Kozarevac also included the settlements of Grabrovnica, Suha Katalena, Ribnjačka and Mala Črešnjevica.

The population distribution in Kozarevac was influenced by watercourses and vast forests in the immediate vicinity of the settlement. Also, Kozarevec has always been well connected with neighboring settlements by the means of roads. In Kozarevac, during approximately one hundred years (from 1857 to 1953), a mostly constant and very large increase in population was recorded. After that, a period of population decline began, which continues to this day. A large part of the inhabitants of Kozarevac are engaged in growing crops and livestock farming, in which they achieve notable results and thanks to which the quality of life in the place has been raised.

One of the most important events in the history of Kozarevac was the construction of the parish church in 1909, led by the parish priest Rikardo Makovec. The church was built in the neo-Gothic style with elements of Romanesque on the location of the old church. The idea and design came from Croatian architect Janko Holjac (1865-1939) who became the mayor of Zagreb a year after the construction of the church in Kozarevac. The ground plan of the church is in the shape of a cross. The painted windows show Croatian saints and the blessed. In addition to St. Francis Xavier, people especially worshipped St. John the Baptist, St. Roch and Mary, Help of Christians. Also, the Lourdes Cave is placed in front of the parish church.