TIC Šentjur

Ulica skladateljev Ipavcev 17

3230 Šentjur


+386 3 749 25 23
+ 386 41 660 091





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A folk hero – the outlaw Guzaj


Taking from those who had plenty and giving it to the poor was the motto of Franc Guzaj or the outlaw Guzaj, a name he earned as a result of his lifestyle. There are many stories about his adventurous life but his love story with Barbika did not have a happy ending.


At birth Franc did not seem to have a different life from that of Slomšek who became a saint, but historians and old people know that Guzaj sometimes had a good heart. Legends about him are similar to those about Robin Hood because both took from the rich and gave to the poor.


Guzaj was an only child and as such he had no choice but to serve in the military where he was trained as a member of the gendarmerie and served some time in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But he was homesick. He gave up his job, returned to his hometown of Šentjur where he began searching for a job. He took on a job as a farm hand in Dobrna on a large farm which also ran an inn. While working there his landlady took a fancy to him. Since he was not very comfortable with this he decided to leave. However he fell into a trap set by Klančarica, got into trouble and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Soon he escaped from prison and decided to take revenge on Klančarica. 


It was after this wrongful conviction that Guzaj started his adventurous life, taking justice into his own hands and plundering everything within his reach. Thefts and robberies stretched across the Lower Styria region and all the way to Croatia. Many lords, priests and even merchants fell for his clever tricks and were swindled. A lot of ducats gained that way went into the pockets of the poor peasants and many injustices were remedied. There are many stories about him outwitting the gendarmes, shoeing women who often gossiped about him - according to the folk stories the shoeing took place in many locations, for example in Pilštanj, Podčetrtek, Šmarje, Pristava or Rogatec …   There are several interesting stories about him collecting cats, meeting the mayor Gustav Ipavec - a famous doctor and musician from Šentjur, taking revenge on Klančarica and of course stories about him and Barbika falling in love.


His life came to the end in 1880 in Košnica, when in his mind he was already in America where he had intended to escape with his love, Barbika. The gendarmes’ shots not only killed Guzaj but also killed Barbika’s hope of finally living in peace with Franc.



  • A book “Legende grofije Žusemske” (“Legends of the Žusem County”) by Daniel Artiček
  • A book “Guzaj” by Milenko Strašek






Visit the places where the legendary outlaw used to ramble and was the bugbear of the rich and those who defamed him. Explore the land of the outlaw Guzaj with our tourist packages.



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