The legend of Varaždin
From 1767 to 1776 Varaždin was the capital of Croatia. There is a legend saying that he lost this status because of a sow.
A peasant from Sračinec, Jakob Verček, was set to work on a wealthy property in Dugi konec street. He had a terrible toothache so he tried to ease the pain by smoking. It was a huge property with barns, arbours, hay stags and pigsties.
The peasant Verček was looking for a bowl he needed to do some work. He eventually found a bucket, which was used for feeding the pigs. When one of the sows saw the peasant carrying her bowl, she immediately started running towards him. He got scared and started running. The sow caught up with him and pushed him into a hay stag. As he had a cigarette in his mouth, it did not take long for the hay to catch fire.
The fire soon spread onto all the hay stags as well as wooden barns of the property. To make the matter worse, the strong wind was blowing and spreading the fire. From the suburbs, the fire spread into the town centre and so the tragedy was complete. The town soon became a huge bonfire.
Completely destroyed, Varaždin could no longer be the Croatian capital. A small village with about one hundred houses could no longer exist as the centre of Croatian council, i.e. government. Everything was moved to Zagreb, which soon became the capital.
Verček was accused in court and his penalty was to be beaten up with a stick. Twelve times in the main city square and twelve more in his own village.