Black Queen, the cruel and mystical ruler of Medvedgrad burg, is often associated with the historical figure Barbara of Celje. She was described to be an alluring beauty dressed in black. Smart and sharp in her political activities but, at the same time, extremely brutal. Allegedly she practiced magic, alchemy and witchcraft. There are stories about how she would throw her lovers from the walls and how her favorite pet, a large black raven, attacked and killed everyone who annoyed her.
Today there are many popular folklore tales about the Black Queen and numerous legends. According to one of them, she passed away from the plague and in another she died protecting her well from the thirsty dogs. But the most famous one is that she fell in the Devil’s trap. She first asked him for help in defending Medvedgrad from the Turkish invasion and then wanted to cheat him. The Devil was not pleased with her actions so he turned the Black Queen into a serpent queen and trapped her in underground corridors of Medvedgrad. Numerous adventurists tried to find these hidden corridors (and the treasures within) which resulted in devastation of the south tower of the Medvedgrad burg (reconstructed in 1994).
Over the years the legend spread to nearby towns. For example, at night in the city of Samobor the Black Queen appears as a vampire. There are some sources that claim Black Queen was the first European vampiress.
Even today you can hear children playing a very old game called ‘Black Queen – one, two, three’. One child plays the character of the Queen and the others play the queen’s servants. The goal is to approach the Queen form behind and take over her place, but when the Queen turns around the other players must be still as statues. Interesting game, don’t you think? 🙂