Krapina is a town in northwestern Croatia. It is the capital of Krapina-Zagorje County.



The town of Krapina is the central place of Hrvatsko Zagorje. It is located along the river Krapinčica. The very name of the city is closely related to the name of the river that once abounded in freshwater carp. In the Kajkavian dialect, the carp fish is called carp.

The history of the human race in Krapina dates back to the distant past from 120,000 to 50,000 years, as evidenced by the remains of Neanderthal man on the hill Hušnjakovo in the western part of Krapina.

Roman finds were found in the suburb of Krapina in Mihaljekov jarak.

The first written documents mention Krapina in 1193. In the Middle Ages, there was a fortress Krapina at the foot of which a settlement began to develop. The fort itself and the then manor were royal estates. From the 14th century, some noble families began to receive it. At that time, by royal charter, Krapina became a free market. In the first half of the 16th century, the noble family Keglević bought the manor of Krapina and moved to Croatia at the height of the then largest Turkish invasions. Noble families were the protectors of church orders, so in Krapina in the 17th century Franciscans appeared who built the church of St. Catherine and the Franciscan monastery. During the 18th century, votive pilgrimage churches dedicated to the miraculous Madonnas were built in Zagorje, so a famous church on Trški vrh was built in Krapina. In the 19th century, at the time of the awakening of national consciousness and the founding of the Croatian literary language, Ljudevit Gaj, the ideological leader of the Croatian National Revival, was born in Krapina.

The legend of the Czech, Lech and Meh
This famous legend, according to the Krapina folklore, was written down by Ljudevit Gaj around 1851/1852. years. The story reads as follows: On these three hills that rise above this place (Krapina) were three cities. This one, since when have all these old walls been refrained from, has been called since time immemorial, and so has the present day, as well as the place of Krapina itself. On that hill, there above the Franciscan church, there was a town called Psar, and there above the lord's (spahin's) mill, on the hill Šabac, there was a town of the same name Šabac. In these three cities, three brothers, named Cech, Lech and Meh, once ruled. These three brothers were of the royal blood of our (Slavic) people and had a sister, who was called Vilina. At that time, the Romans ruled this country. From them, our people suffered a lot for the trouble and endured great forces. The knightly brethren agreed among themselves, that they might be kidnapped under the heavy yoke of Rome. As the oldest people narrated, between the town of Krapina and Psar, a leather hang hung on chains. On this bridge, brother came to his brother for secret agreements. Then their sister was in secret (secret) love with the Roman chief, who commanded this land. When the brothers agreed with the other famous chiefs of the people and united with a curse (conspiracy) against the Romans and candled that they would strike at them in unison, the Fairy, intoxicated with too much love, gave the curse to her lover. However, the besiegers hit him and killed him, and she first fled to Dupljača in Strahinje, and from there to Jama nad Žutnicom, which are still called Ljubine or Vulina Jama, because the fairies who defended them lived there. they received their namesake. There she gave birth to a gentleman's child. A short time later, when she was sunbathing in front of the cave, the brothers, hunting, noticed her, took her to the town of Krapina and built her in the tower, which is above the door of the second yard near the cave pub, in one corner, and from the child her peculiar miracle is created. The wild ox, one day when the fairies in the woods had dispersed, ran into the cave, where the child was playing with a golden apple. The wild man ran into him, picked him up on the horns and jumped wildly through the underground road, which led under the mountains of Veliki Žlieb and Hajdinski Zrn, and on the other side he took him out into the woods, where a hermit buried him. the place from that time until today, after the beautiful head of this child, is called Lijepa Glava - Lepoglava. The Romans, in order to avenge the murder of their officer and to subdue the rebellious people, began to buy an army from all sides. The three brothers, seeing that they could not with as much force as they were going up to Zagorje, where they had encamped, nor with too much courage to resist, gathered all the elders, prefects and captains of the people, lit candles - decided to leave their homeland with all their excellent supporters. and to emigrate entirely from the Roman state. They knew that the people of our (Slavic) language stretched far across the Danube, and so they crossed the Danube with their faithful, so they split up on three sides and founded three Slavic states. The Czech raised his chair in the land of Bohemia, Lech in Poland, and the Muscovites (Russians) got their start from Meh. And so the true root of all our Slavic people came out of this environment of ours.


Monuments and landmarks

Church of the Mother of God of Jerusalem on Trški vrh
The church on Trški Vrh is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in this part of Croatia. It was built from 1750 to 1761, and was built by pious citizens and peasants as their votive church. The church was built to house the miraculous statue of Mary brought from Jerusalem, which helped many people in their illness even before the church was built. and difficulties - so people considered him miraculous. The church was consecrated on August 13, 1761 and to this day it is a gathering place for pilgrims - a place of vows. The church inspires with the beauty of its interior, richly crafted altars, art paintings and the rare organ by master Anton Romero of Graz. Around the church there is a cinktura built in the shape of an octagon, and in each corner there is a small tower for the chapel. Cinktura is a place of procession, a place of individual prayers and preparation for the spiritual fulfillment of vows. Pardons are held every year from May to October.

Old Town
Of the Krapina medieval fortress on the hill above Krapina, only one building has been preserved, which once housed the permanent exhibition "Croatian Medieval Ban and Parliament Town of Krapina", where movable archeological finds included in the excavations are on display. Later, the exhibition was moved to the Krapina City Gallery.

Birth house of Ljudevit Gaj
The nineteenth century is a time of creation and awakening of national consciousness and the process of integration of the Croatian nation. The Croatian literary language and a new spelling are established. The ideological leader of the Croatian national revival was Dr. Ljudevit Gaj, who was born in Krapina in 1809. Gaj publishes the spelling and begins publishing the newspaper and literary supplement "Danica".

Krapina City Gallery
One of the most famous houses built before the end of the 19th century in Krapina is the house of the Majcen family of lawyers. Many eminent personalities visited it: Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Ante Starčević, and Dr. Vlatko Maček was a trainee lawyer with Dr. Josip Majcen. Descendants of the Majcen family, daughters Zdenka and Nada donated the house to the city to have a gallery in it. The gallery was opened on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the city and various exhibitions are held in it.


Prehistoric site and Museum of Krapina Neanderthals
In paleoanthropology, fossil finds from Croatia occupy a significant place. Among them are the most significant remains of a prehistoric Neanderthal type from Krapina who lived in the Old Stone Age. Over 800 pieces of bones and teeth were collected from the deposits of the semi-cave in Krapina, Hušnjakovo brdo, making it one of the richest paleoanthropological sites in the world in terms of the number of osteological remains. Scientific explanations for the existence of the Krapina prehistoric man were given by Professor Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger after six years of excavation. The cave man from Krapina was small to medium height, low forehead, thick supraspinatus bones, strong teeth and a protruding lower part of the face. He knew fire, he lived by hunting. Many fossil remains of animals were also found: cave bears, wild cattle, giant deer, salmon, beavers, rhinos and others. He was a completely natural being fused with his environment and his culture and did not transcend nature. Today, Hušnjakovo hill is an oasis of greenery. In the open space is the reconstruction of the Krapina prehistoric man and his family, as well as the reconstruction of some animals from his time. Within the complex, on the hill Josipovac, there is a sculpture park Forma Prima, about forty sculptures in oak wood by famous sculptors from our country and neighboring countries. The sculptures merge with the natural environment in which they are located.

Franciscan monastery and church of St. Catherine
Church of St. Catherine and the Franciscan monastery are over 350 years old. Stylistically, the construction of the Krapina monastery belongs to the early Baroque period. The monastery has a rare collection of sacred art and a library founded in 1650, rich in rare books, the most important of which are three incunabula. Concerts of sacred music have been held in the church for several years.

Parish Church of St. Nicholas
Parish Church of St. Nikola was first mentioned in 1311, later destroyed by an earthquake in the 19th century, and rebuilt according to the design of Josip Vancaš on the old foundations at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Nikola is also the protector of the city and the parish.