Do you want to know the secrets hidden behind the Medvedgrad walls?
Medvedgrad has a very rich history, interspersed with various tales and rulers. At 170 meters long, it was one of the largest Croatian medieval noble courts. If you want to uncover the secrets of this fascinating medieval town, it’s time to visit Medvednica and have fun while exploring its history.
Why visit Medvedgrad?
Discover this beautiful medieval town
Medvedgrad was built in 1254, on the initiative of Bishop Philip. Its basic function was the defense of Kaptol and the Bishop’s lands.
Although it changed countless rulers during its history, Medvedgrad was never under siege.
Thanks to the renovation, Medvedgrad is today in an extraordinary state and perfectly reflects the structure of medieval towns. It should be noted that Medvedgrad is one of the largest medieval noble courts – and is an inevitable destination for history buffs.
A classic high-ranking castle
Medvedgrad is 170 meters long and its features make it a great example of a medieval castle. A classical castle consisted of defensive walls, the keep, and the palas. In addition to these 3 elements, Medvedgrad also has a chapel and a cistern – which ensured normal functioning of the town.
The defensive walls and the keep served as a defense against enemy attacks, while the palas was the master’s living quarters.
Palas is actually a multi-storied residential building. The lower level of the palas was a basement, while the ground floor and the first floor were intended as the living space for the master.
Over 150 rules during the rich history
The fact that Medvedgrad had over 150 rules might sound a little bit unreal.
The town was controlled by: the Croatian-Hungarian kings, Bishops, nobles, and canons of Zagreb, and more, including: Ban Michaz, King Sigismund, King Matthias Corvinus, the Counts of Celje, Ban Ivan Karlović, the Zrinskis, the Erdödy family, the Gregorians, Count Tom Mikulić, Baron Franjo Ciculina, Count Kulmer, etc.
The Gregorians, the last rulers of Medvedgrad, left in 1590, after a powerful earthquake. By the end of the 17th century, other castles on Medvednica were also abandoned.
The tale of the Black Queen
Many rulers who passed through Medvedgrad left many interesting stories behind. Throughout history, Medvedgrad has been marked by the stigma of an “ominous and dark town”, and it was described as a “cursed town” in a number of letters from that the time.
The most famous story from Medvedgrad is certainly the tale of the Black Queen. The story is about the wife of the Hungarian-Croatian king Sigismund of Luxembourg, named Barbara of Celje, who sold her soul to the devil.
As the legend would have it, her shrieks still echo in the night, and her treasure lies buried under the Medvedgrad walls.
Croatia’s priceless heritage
The western part of Medvednica was designated as a nature park in 1981 and became a very valuable element of Croatia’s natural wealth. The park is divided into zones, allowing no, minimum, or somewhat bigger human interventions – with the aim of preserving the nature and raising awareness about the importance of natural wealth.
When Croatia joined the European Union, Medvednica became part of the NATURA 2000 protected areas network. Its goal is to protect natural resources of the nature park as well as the plant and animal diversity in the area.
Medvedgrad plays an important role in the project, as it seeks to improve people’s knowledge and awareness about the importance of natural wealth.