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Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts

Where does the name Ludbreg come from?

One can certainly wonder: where does the name LUDBREG come from? There is a legend and a historical record on that. On the Gradinščak tumulus created on a hill on a slope of Kalnik, a fort was built. A commander’s wife went out for walks each day on the walls of the fort.

During one of those walks, he saw a group of Turkish soldiers getting close to the fort. One of the Turkish soldiers came so close to the walls that the lady got so scared her hands started trembling, she screamed and fainted, and her baby fell from her arms and rolled down the slope. The Turkish soldier standing under the walls took the baby and ran into the woods.

When the unfortunate woman came to, she cursed the crazy hill (in Croatian, “Prokleti taj ludi brijeg!“), which led to the settlement getting the name still used today.

That is the story used by an average person to solve the puzzle of the name.

However, historians also wanted to determine their own answers. A Hungarian historian called Thalloczy spent some time in the late 19th century in the castle owned by Edmund Batthany in Körmend, working on organizing the family archives. He found 264 documents and charters regarding the Ludbreg estate. In his opinion, it was named after the knight from the Crusades who founded it, LODBRING, who left his native Burgundy to fight in the Crusades and never returned home. Instead, he stayed here and named the town after himself.

As the local people mispronounced Ludbring, it got turned into Ludbreg. The people who lived there rarely used that name too, calling the town ‘Lubreg’, which is still sometimes heard in the villages around Ludbreg, most often used by older people.

The Legend of the Centre of the World

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It was the ancient Romans who determined that the spot where Ludbreg is located today is very well-positioned, so that’s where they built Castrum Iovia, a town with complete infrastructure, sewage system, forum, spa, which became the merchant and traffic hot-spot and on whose foundations today’s Ludbreg was built.

It was also back then that the legend originates which says that this is the exact spot where the circles of the Earth were created, and the big major cities were located on those circles…

This legend was confirmed by dr. Erasmus Weddigen from Switzerland, who often visited the Restoration centre and was in love with Ludbreg, as he was playing with a caliper and a map. He took Ludbreg as the centre of his circles, and as he drew circles, he realized that many of the bigger towns in Croatia but also internationally are positioned on those circles. The closest evidence for the legend are the towns of Varaždin, Koprivnica, Čakovec, and Varaždinske Toplice, all 20 km away from Ludbreg.

Dr. Weddigen studied the latitude and the longitude of Ludbreg and found that the antipode of Lubreg on the globe is a small Southern Pacific island called Antipodes.  It’s located near New Zealand, and it’s also related to another one of many legends of Ludbreg – the legend of Ludberga.

Ludbreg is a well known, 500-year-old pilgrimage site, founded to honor the Most Holy Blood of Jesus, which miraculously appeared in the St. Cross chapel of the Batthyany castle. According to what Christianity tells us, all of the locations in the world related to Jesus Christ are called the Centre of the World, and since there’s a vial of Jesus’ blood in Ludbreg, that solidly proves the theory that Ludbreg is the Centre of the World.

And, finally, the centre of the world combines all four basic elements: fire, water, earth, and air. The people of Ludbreg, as expert winemakers and Ludberga’s descendants, want their remarkable Ludbreg wine to become the fifth element, as it gets poured from the fountain in the centre of the Centre of the World on each April 1st!

The Legend of Ludberga

Ludberga was born on April 1st 1141, not far from Varaždinske Toplice, a daughter to the manager of the estate of the Count Bela II. She grew up to be a beautiful and an educated girl, when she was seduced by a knight, called Ulrik. She repented, and spent the rest of her life in poverty, taking care of her son Theobald and helping the poor and the sick.

Her life of repentance was interupted by the devil in the shape of a hermit, seducing her for the second time. As she ran away from him, she found shelter in one of the small vineyard houses covered with straw, which can be seen on the hills around Iovia where the vines have been grown since the Roman times.

Ludbrega

Ludberga started to work on the vines, and she became an expert winemaker. She donated her wine to the churches, chapels, and convents. The legend says that her wine once sped up the election of a new pope in Viterbo, as a cardinal from Buda miraculously poured wine from a never-ending barrel, and thus shortened the conclave.

Theobald also became a winemaker, who went to Burgundy to perfect his craft, so he continued the tradition of making the best wines.

In her golden years, Ludberga was still extremely beautiful, so the devil decided to tempt her again. He appeared in the form of an affluent count, who wanted to seduce her and steal her vineyard. But, this time, she would not be fooled.

All of her suffering because of poverty and misfortune of her youth culminated in a furious display of anger. She took a wooden cross and impaled the devil into the ground with such force that on the opposite side of the globe, Antipodravina exploded. A volcanic island of Antipodes was the only thing that remained. A spring of salty water reminds us of that event, and that water can still be lit on fire today, as it comes straight from the Earth’s core.

 


'The Centre of the World' Mosaic

'The Centre of the World' Mosaic

'The Centre of the World' Mosaic is located just to the north of the atrium of the Most Holy Trinity church.
It was presented to the public in 1996, when the Day of the Centre of the World was first celebrated.

The Concentric Circles

The Concentric Circles

On the Holy Trinity Square the concentric circles of the Centre of the World are located. Each year during the celebration of the Day of the Centre of the World the plaques with the names of the partner towns, and their national flags are erected behind the fountain.

The Holy Trinity Pillar

The Holy Trinity Pillar

The Pillar of the Holy Trinity is located on the town's main square.
After the WWII the pillar was removed from the square, only to be restored in 2000, and returned to the centre of the square.
It's made of stone and the gold-plated statues present the Holy Trinity, and below them is a monstrance.
A statue of Saint Roch, protector from diseases is on the right, while Saint Florian, protector from the fire is on the left.

'The World's Lighthouse' Fountain

'The World's Lighthouse' Fountain

The unusual appearance of the fountain which serves as a lighthouse for the world comes from the combination of the fire and water. The fountain was created by Paul Wiedmer, and has been located on the Holy Trinity Square since 1997. It served a special purpose during the celebrations of the Day of the Centre of the World, as it served the Ludberga's wine. In 2016 it was moved to a new location, to the spring of hot salty water, known as 'Ludberga's Spring', just below the Črn-bel slopes.

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Musical Fence in Ludbreg

Musical Fence in Ludbreg

In the centre of Ludbreg, in front of the town administration building, an exhibit titled 'Musical Fence' is situated.
That's how the Centre of the World became the first town in the world to allow its citizens, as well as visitors, to play the Ode to Joy on this instrument.
The exhibit is part of the Science Park project, started in Croatia.
Since the exhibit in Ludbreg was to be located right next to the musical school, the 'Musical Fence' was a logical choice.

Youth Island

Youth Island

Youth Island is a popular promenade, located near the town centre, connected to the centre by a small pedestrian bridge.
The island is arranged for open-air events, and it's a part of the complex along with ponds, levies and groves, girded by the Bednja river to the south and east, and the so-called mill channel to the north. The water level in the channel is maintained on a dam, 32 m wide and 10m high, located in Kučan Ludbreški, originally built to power the hydroelectric plant in the mill.
Today it's used to maintain the water flow of the Bednja river, as well as in the ponds to the north and the sports pond by the Fisherman's House to the south of the river.

Grandma's House and Grandpa's Yard

Grandma's House and Grandpa's Yard

Very close to the centre of the town, in Ivan Gundulić Street, in what appears to be a series of ordinary houses, 'Grandma's House' with 'Grandpa's Yard' is located. The valuable and rich heritage of the Ludbreg area from the late 19th and early 20th century is kept there. The association ``Women from the Centre of the World`` is headquartered there, taking care of the house. The house has a feeling of the past and showcases the old furniture, paintings, mirrors, tools and dishware, as well as a loom.
'Grandpa's Yard' is a wonderful, spacious yard with numerous tools and instruments needed for working the land and in the yard, and the workshop keeps the riches of the old crafts.

Love locks

Love locks

The love locks have become the attraction and the tradition in many cities around the world, and you can find them on fences, bridges or in the parks. If you want to lock your love with a padlock in the centre of the world, you can do it on the bridge over the Bednja river. All couples in love, as well as friends or family, can have their names or something else symbolic written on a lock, attach it to the fence of the bridge (it is custom-made to make that easy). Then you throw the key into the river, to stop anyone else from unlocking your love.

First Mural in Ludbreg

First Mural in Ludbreg

The mural of the Moon is painted on the wall of the Drahnik house, an empty space which has become a visually interesting point in the town and a tourist attraction through this street art project. The mural's author Martin Hrastić explained his creation: 'The Moon is the 'first space stop' when travelling from Earth to Space, and the symbol of the infinity of the Space, in which all of our ideas and desires can be placed'. The author's desire is to activate the imagination of everyone who finds themselves under the 'Moon' and to cause a spark of bravery in each of them, so they'd go confidently in the direction of their dreams.

Solar Tree

Solar Tree

A smart tree, practical and ecological, 'grows' in the Ludbreg's main square. It's created by two companies from Ludbreg, Inoxmont-VS and Ducati komponente. Below the canopy which converts the solar energy into the electric energy, the trunk has the adapters which allow you to charge different types of gadgets, from a phone to a laptop computer, even electric bikes. During the night, the tree lights the square.

Photo Point

Photo Point

After you've completed the tour of the town, you need to take your photo at the Ludbreg's 'photo point'! That way you can take your own personal postcard with you, taken in the centre of the world, which will bring you back to Ludbreg one day!

NOTABLE LUDBREGIANS

Find out more about the interesting and worthy people from the history of Ludbreg, whose work remains notable in the town, either in the economy, education, culture or sports...

Mladen Kerstner was a renowned Croatian journalist, author, and director. He wrote short stories, poems, and dramas that describe the events from his home region. His works are humorous and written in the Kajkavian dialect used in Podravina around Ludbreg. Television shows, such as Gruntovčani and Mejaši, were based on his work. The characters of Dudek and Regica stand out in those shows. The town's library is named after him.

MLADEN KERSTNER

(1928-1991)

Rudolf Fizir was a Croatian airplane constructor. He constructed his first sports plane as a student in 1913. He got his education in Croatia, Austria, France, and Germany, where he got the diploma as an aero technical engineer. He constructed 18 airplanes during his life, characterized by simple and precise design and engineering.

RUDOLF FIZIR

(1891-1960)

Marija Winter was a teacher, a historian and the first chronicler of Ludbreg. Her work on the chronicles made a great impact on the final decades of the twentieth century. She collected and worked on the historical materials about Ludbreg and the area for years and wrote hundreds of pages about the history of her home. She published over 40 articles on the history of Ludbreg and villages around it, schools, folk traditions, and ethnology. Her two-part book “From the History of Ludbreg and the Surroundings” was published posthumously.

MARIJA WINTER

(1912-1989)

Dragutin Novak was a teacher, distinguished for his work in the development of schools and the educational system in Ludbreg, especially andragogy. He was the principal of the Elementary school in Ludbreg, the founder and the director of the Ludbreg Community College, the founder of the Ludbreg newspapers, and the founder of Radio Ludbreg. Dragutin Novak an active community member and politician, heading the municipality of Ludbreg from 1969 until he retired in 1982.

DRAGUTIN NOVAK

(1926-1992)

Kazimir Bedeković was a Croatian philosopher, mathematician, physicist, writer and theologian from the order of the Jesuits. He's a member of an old Croatian noble family Bedeković Komorski. He wrote plays in Latin, performed in the Jesuit colleges, the most notable being the ones about Joseph of Egypt, St. Justine and St. Bernardino. He served as a chancellor of the Croatian College in Vienna, where he passed away.

KAZIMIR BEDEKOVIĆ

(1727-1782)

Božo Hlastec was born in Ludbreg. Construction was his profession, and he wrote poems in the Kajkavian dialect, related to his home town of Ludbreg and Samobor, where he lived. His Kajkavian poetry was published in numerous publications, and he won numerous awards at the reviews of the Kajkavian poetry in Zelina, Zlatar, Samobor and Krapina. Around a dozen of his poems became lyrics for songs, and his poems are represented in numerous antologies of the Kajkavian poetry.

BOŽO HLASTEC

(1923-1994)