How Lepoglava got its name

The Paulines, who ran a monastery in Lepoglava that was the nursery of our culture and art, „thought about why this place was called Lepoglava“. 

Although this has been an open debate for centuries, we still can't say for sure how Lepoglava got its unusual name (* in English Lepoglava would mean- pretty head).

In his book „Povijest pavlinskog samostana Blažene Djevice Marije u Lepoglavi“ (about the history of the Lepoglava monastery), Kamilo Dočkal says: „Some say that Lepoglava was once called Lupoglav, which consists of the Latin word lupus and the Croatian word 'glava' “(*English- head).

Dočakal mentions an old legend, according to which Lepoglava (long before the arrival of the Paulines) was established next to a wolf's den with fog rising from it. A blind old man then said that this would be a sacred place. Pauline historians Ivan Kristolovec and Nikola Benger believed that the story had no historic basis because the common people surely did not speak Latin then. Also, at the time of the Paulines' arrival (around 1400) this area „was definitely not some jungle with wolves in it“.

Some believed that the place got its name „because of some particularly beautiful people living there“, while others thought that the name is owed to a small hill called Gorica, which belonged to the Bebek family in the 14th century. Some believed that Lepoglava got its name after the Paulines, who were dressed in long white dresses and had nice beards.

Even though the mystery of Lepoglava's name still remains unsolved, it was most probably named after the hill under which it was established.

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