When was the monastery in Lepoglava founded?

In one of their crusades in the late 15th century, the Turks burnt down the monastery in Lepoglava, with all the records of the founding and its first years burning in the fire. Therefore the exact year when this famous Pauline monastery was built will forever remain unknown.

In his work „Komad kruha prvog pustinjačkog gavrana ili ostatci ljetopisa samostanskih pustinjaka“ from 1663, a Pauline historian Andrija Egerrer wrote: „The Lepoglava monastery has its beginning in a year unknown, but still around the year 1400“.

Another famous Pauline historian came to the same conclusion. In the „Opis pavlinskih samostana u Iliriji“ (about the Pauline monasteries in Illyria) Ivan Kristolovec wrote that „Count Herman II of Celje founded our monastery in Lepoglava around 1400, whether to please God with good deeds or because he was pleased with the sacred life of the Paulines.“

The Counts of Celje received Lepoglava from the Hungarian kings „after the extinction of the famous Bebek family“, and Herman II of Celje built „a small monastery with the Blessed Virgin Mary's Church under the Gorica hill“. In his book „Povijest lepoglavskog samostana“ (about the history of the Lepoglava monastery) Kristolovac wrote that the monastery „was founded in a desert-like area, in a modest shape of a very small monastery“.the rich and powerful Herman of Celje, King Sigismund's combat friend from the battle agains the Turks at Nikopolje in 1396, built a church next to the monastery. It was dedicated to Holy Virgin Mary. He also gave more land to the Paulines.

The Paulines lived in peace in the first few decades of the 15th century, developing their monastery, until the Turks came to Lepoglava and burnt down the monastery and the church. There is no description of this event in the documents so the year of this devastating event will remain unknown.

The Paulines were devastated by sadness after the fire and did not think about describing it. They were afraid that even worse would happen- Kristolovec wrote. He assumed that the monastery was burnt down between 1480 and 1490. The Pauline historians agreed that this event happened „during the happy times of Matthias Corvinus reign“, who died in 1490. The burnt monastery was renewed by John Corvinus, his son who was denied throne by his mother-in-law Beatrice by marriage in 1491.

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