Donje Stative

Bloody mill

6 December 2021.

Written by Matija Čaić

The world-famous Moulin Rouge, or in English language Red Mill, is not the mill at all but a hall, and second, it is called red only because its facade is red. In Croatia there is a real red mill that has been used for grain milling for a long time and is colored with human blood.

Scary stories and clean river

All lovers of scary stories and swimming in clean rivers can come to the village of Donje Stative (Lower Goalposts is direct translation) only a few kilometers from Karlovac. There is a very popular river beach with the name of the Bloody Mill on the river Dobra, which offers clean, refreshing waters and a rather dark history of nearby building, now in ruins.

The first blood

The mill and the associated waterfall were built sometime at the end of the 16th or early 17th century. The construction site was chosen to be within the range of rifles from the castle in order to be easy to defend. It had four millstones, which the family of serfs received in concession. Three stones were served by the Mikšić, Martinac and Erdeljac families, but the rightful owner of the mill was considered the nobleman Haraminčić who did not admit the right for villagers to use the mill.

Haraminčić didn’t pay taxes to the government but instead he kept a company of soldiers to serve the government if need arises. In 1843 Haramincic invited them and captain Stanisavljević’s soldiers to help him take the mill. The angry peasants were reluctant to give way to such pressure and leave their source of income, and gathered their own company that would resist the soldiers.

But peasants armed with peasant tools alone were not able to withstand well-armed and trained professional soldiers so the battle ended up disastrous for them. Almost everyone was shot dead or stabbed with sabre, and only one of the Erdeljac family managed to escape. He was wounded with a rifle, but managed to run along the spindle of the mill and cross the other bank of Dobra to his house.

Since then, the mill in the Stative is called bloody, and in order to prevent violence in the future, a court decision has resolved the property issue and the peasants have been using it since.

A little more blood

There is not much to know about the other bloodshed. In 1919 there was a quarrel among Mikšić brothers. In the fight that followed one brother stabbed another with a knife injuring him seriously, but his anger kept him long enough on his feet to return the blow so that both of them died.

And blood again flew down the river Dobra.

Wooden churches of Turopolje


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