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Bjelovar in Mediaeval Source Materials

Goran Jakovljević ; Gradski muzej Bjelovar, Bjelovar, Hrvatska

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page 187-198

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The analysis of the occurrence of the name Bjelovar in the available mediaeval written or cartographic sources has essentially changed the so-far accepted contemporary historians’ theses and dismissed the conventional opinions, according to which, in the first half of the 15th century, Bjelovar was but a “small fair settlement in the Rovišće county”. The first mentions of Bjelovar are to be found in source materials as early as in 1320; however, until 1482, when confirmed by the topographic names of the surrounding mediaeval estates, documents had referred either to Bjelovar in the Zelina county or to “King Bela’s town”. This is moreover supported by the genealogic data of persons mentioned in the source materials, since they belonged to the local gentry, whose estates had been located to the west from Križevci and Mali Kalnik. In cartographic sources, Bjelovar was first mentioned in Johann Winkler’s map in 1639, when the Krajina border was defined; cartographic symbols further help us analyse its transformation from a mere estate through a fortification to a bigger countryside settlement. According to the available information, Bjelovar was not granted any status symbols (such as guild- and fair-related privileges) before the town had actually been founded, i.e. in 1770 (1772).


Bjelovar; Beloblaće; castri nostri de Bela; Jakobove Sredice

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