Who was Ludbreg named after?

Who was Ludbreg named after?


This will probably never be known for sure. However, there are at least 3 legends about the name of this town, which used to be a Roman settlement Castrum Iovia.

It was long believed that Ludbreg got its name after a nobleman from Burgundy, Lodbring, who established a new settlement on the antic ruins in 1100. When he got to this region on his way back from the crusade, he loved the scenery around the river Bednja so much that he decided to settle here and build a castle. The village built around the castle got its name after the crooked name of this crusader.

The other legend goes back to the time of the Turkish conquests. There used to be a fortified town with walls so high that the owner's wife used to walk on them. One day, when she was walking with her son in her arms, she saw the Turkish army. She got so scared and excited that she dropped the baby. One of the Turks grabbed the baby and escaped into the thick forest.

Desperate over the loss of her son, the woman cursed the hill: „O prokleti, ludi breg.“ („Oh damned, crazy hill“). Over time „Ludi breg“ became- Ludbreg.

These two legends, however, were overshadowed by the legend of Ludberga, a repentant to whom Ludbreg owes its name and wine tradition. According to the legend, Ludberga was born on 1 April 1141 in the town of Varaždinske Toplice. She settled on this wine-rich hill above the river Bednja to atone for her sin from the youth- she was seduced by the Devil in the shape of „Knight Ulrich“. When she gave birth to her son Theobald, the disgraced Ludberga found peace in prayer and the cultivation of grapevine.

Her wine soon became famous as miraculous. However, still beautiful Ludberga was tempted again. One day the Devil appeared in her vineyard again, this time in the shape of a rich count who wanted to buy her estate and seduce her once again.

This time Ludberga saw through his ill intention and, enraged, grabbed a cross and hit the Devil with it so hard that she drove him through the centre of the Earth, all the way to the other side of it; and that is how the Antipodes, a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific, was created.

Ludberga protected her honor and lived long, and the grateful people decided to call their village Ludbreg.

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