Exploring Krapina: A Historical and Cultural Journey in Northwestern Croatia

I have visited Krapina only one time, but I have walked around the city two times! Krapina was the only place I had to visit that day, so I came early and took my time. But the minute I came, I knew this trip could not end as I planned. The fog turned morning into night, and I couldn’t take the photos I wanted. Still, I didn’t want to return to my base immediately, so I started walking and taking photos.

Told you

Just before I went to the museum, the sun poked through the clouds, and it was sunny! It was a bit of a difficult decision to make because I was already tired, but it was the only decision – I took the same route once again to take almost the same photos I had already taken – this time with the sun shining above the town.

I’m happy I did it because I kinda like this town now.

But, let’s learn something about Krapina. This is what I learned over the internet.

Krapina, a city in northwestern Croatia, is the administrative center of the Krapina-Zagorje County. It is situated at 46.1°N 15.9°E and covers an area of 47.53 km². Krapina enjoys a continental climate with average summer temperatures around 20 °C and winter temperatures around 1 °C. The city is characterized by a population density of 272 people per square kilometer.

Located along the Krapinčica River, the city’s name is derived from the abundance of carp (locally known as “krap”) in the river. Krapina’s human history dates back between 120,000 to 50,000 years, as evidenced by Neanderthal remains found on Hušnjakovo hill. Additionally, Roman artifacts have been discovered in the suburbs of Krapina in Mihaljekov Jarek.

The first written records of Krapina date back to 1193. During the Middle Ages, the city was home to a fortress, initially a royal property and later owned by various noble families. In the first half of the 16th century, the Keglević family acquired the lordship of Krapina during the peak of Turkish invasions in Croatia. The 17th century saw the arrival of Franciscans, who built St. Catherine’s Church and a Franciscan monastery.

An intriguing aspect of Krapina’s history is the legend of Čeh, Leh, and Meh, as recorded by Ljudevit Gaj around 1851/1852. This tale, steeped in drama and historical intrigue, revolves around three Slavic kings and their sister Vilina, who had a secret affair with a Roman commander.

As per the 2001 census, Krapina had 12,950 residents, spread across 8 local committees. The city’s population has been steadily increasing since the mid-19th century, with exceptions during the periods between the World Wars.

Krapina has a long history of craftsmanship and industrial development, dating back to the 15th century. Today, the city is undergoing economic structural changes, with a focus on smaller businesses.

The city boasts several notable monuments and attractions. These include the Church of Our Lady of Jerusalem on Trški Vrh, one of the region’s most beautiful Baroque churches, the Old Town fortress, the birthplace of Ljudevit Gaj, and the Krapina City Gallery. The Krapina Neanderthal Museum is a major highlight, showcasing significant paleoanthropological findings from the area.

Additionally, Krapina is home to a Franciscan monastery and church of St. Catherine, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas, an archaeological site at Vukšićev breg, and the Forma Prima sculpture park.

In the educational sector, Krapina hosts two primary schools, a secondary school with various programs, the Hrvatsko Zagorje University of Applied Sciences, and a public university. The city’s Red Cross Society, established in 1885, actively contributes to community welfare through various programs.

Krapina represents a blend of historical richness, cultural significance, and evolving industrial and educational dynamics, making it a noteworthy destination for those visiting the area.

Check the Showcase page of Krapina by clicking HERE.


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