The Sutla/Sotla River appears in various historical records as a witness of different historical events.
In the last quarter of the 15th century, the Sutla/Sotla valley had survived 13 Ottoman incursions, including the crucial incursion of 1475 that had an impact on this region – the settlements were reduced to ashes and people to poverty. Growing exploitation of peasants brought about the famous Croatian-Slovene Peasant Revolt led by Matija Gubec. The rebellion broke out on 28 January 1573 with an attack on Cesergrad, only to spread to the other parts of the Hrvatsko zagorje region, all the way to Varaždin, and to the regions around the Sava and Kupa/Kolpa Rivers, as well as to the Slovene regions of Carniola and Styria. The rebellion came to an ignominious end on the Sutla/Sotla River where it had broken out.
During the Habsburg Monarchy, the Sutla/Sotla had for centuries been the border between the Austrian and Hungarian parts, but without affecting the co-existence of the people on the left (Slovene) and right (Croatian) side of the riverbank. Since the river frequently flooded the villages in its surroundings, in the late 19th century the local population started calling for its course to be regulated at least at the most critical sections in order to prevent further heavy damage to agriculture.
Living along the river had many advantages; natural hot water springs with a temperature ranging from 30 to 37 degrees Celsius were discovered in the Sutla/Sotla floodplain near Podčetrtek. Several centuries later, in 1935, Friderik Strnad demonstrated the healing effects of the thermal water. Consequently, the Atomic Spa (named after the natural, slightly radioactive water) was officially opened in 1966, transforming with time to the present Terme Olimia thermal resort.
Vonarje/Sutlansko Lake Dam was built on the Sutla/Sotla in the early 1970s.