Town legends

Almost every town in Bjelovar-Bilogora County has its own legend. They reveal to us the beliefs about how a certain town was built, what secrets it hides in its underground, what fantastic elements it hides in its history. In Bjelovar itself, the legends concerning the founder of the town, Empress Maria Theresa, stand out.

The people of Bjelovar retell and pass down legends about the mysterious underground tunnels under their town from generation to generation. It is believed that the tunnels were built when Empress Maria Theresa initiated the construction of the Cathedral of Saint Teresa of Avila in the 18th century. Underground tunnels extend throughout the city, they have never been fully explored, and it is assumed that they served as a secret exit from the town in case of an attack by the Turks.

The love life of Empress Maria is also a big topic of legends passed down through the generations. According to one legend, the Empress possessed a love potion specially designed for her by a sorcerer. According to oral tradition, the Empress always had it with her so that she could use it to win the man she liked. And Baron Franjo Trenk was allegedly one of them.

The legend about their relationship says that one day, in the 18th century, the baron and the Empress locked themselves in the Kutjevo wine cellar for seven days, after which they both came out without saying a word and parted ways, him being seen picking up his horsemen, and her picking up her court ladies. When the cellarmen re-entered their cellars after those seven days, they found 80 carved lines on the wall, which they assumed represented the number of drunk bottles of wine that were scattered on the floor. And there was also a hole in the middle of the table, for which to this day everyone has their own theory about how it was created. The table still exists, and today it is visited by those whose love is unrequited because it is believed that whoever places their left palm on it, their love wishes will come true.

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