St. Ladislas in Croatia

St. Ladislas in Medieval Continental Croatia

The Cult of St. Ladislas flourished in Medieval Croatia in the late Middle Ages

The Cult of St. Ladislas in Medieval Continental Croatia – Its Political and Cultural Context
By Maja Cepetić
In: Slovakia and Croatia: Historical Parallels and Connections (until 1780) / Homza, M. ; Lukačka, J. ; Budak, N. (ur.). – Bratislava – Zagreb : Department of Slovak History, Faculty of Philosophy of Comenius University, Bratislava , 2013 pp. 308-315
ISBN: 978-80-89567-20-1

In the Middle Ages the cult of royal and dynastic saints was a popular way to prove and promote dynastic legitimacy across Europe. The Hungarian Angevin dynasty was active in promoting St. Ladislas as their saint. St. Ladislas c. 1040 – 1095 (Svätý Ladislav I) was king of Hungary from 1077. In 1091 he occupied Croatia.

The author analyzes the cult of St. Ladislas that started to flourish in the late thirteenth century under the last Arpadian rulers. It was especially intense at the time of the new Angevin kings in the fourteenth century. The new dynasty adopted it and expanded this tradition in order to emphasize its legitimacy. The figure of Ladislas successfully represented the ideal knight and it was also an important propaganda tool for the legitimacy of the Angevin dynasty. The topic is presented through the cycle of wall-paintings of the legend of St. Ladislas in the church of St. Peter in Novo Mesto Zelinsko. The legend can be also found all across the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen. In this context the presence of the churches dedicated to St. Ladislas in Croatia (also of St. Stephen the King, and St. Emeric), as well as an interesting late medieval appearance of St. Ladislas on the Dalmatian coast are also explored.

Maja Cepetić is Art Historian and works at the University of Rijeka. Her work focuses on the art history of the Church of St. Peter in Novo Mesto Zelinsko


Read more about Romanesque art at, a website dedicated to Romanesque Art in Croatia (and the rest of Europe)

Art History – The Future is Now. Studies in Honor of professor Vladimir P. Goss
Maja Cepetić et al, editors
Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Art 2013


Leave a Reply