House of Habsburg
The House of Habsburg called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740; the house produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they maintained close relations and intermarried; the House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title.
The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, 13th centuries. By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918. A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy and its colonial empire, Bohemia and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty; the House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon; the remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria.
It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, because it was confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918; the Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name. The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, its industrial base was thin, its naval resources were so minimal. It typified by Metternich. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.
Their principal roles were as follows: Holy Roman Emperors, kings of Germany, kings of the Romans) Rulers of Austria Kings of Bohemia Kings of Hungary and Croatia Kings of Spain Kings of Portugal Kings of Galicia and Lodomeria Grand princes of Transylvania Numerous other titles were attached to the crowns listed above. The progenitor of the House of Habsburg may have been Guntram the Rich, a count in the Breisgau who lived in the 10th century, forewith farther back as the early medieval Adalrich, Duke of Alsace, father of the Etichonids from which Habsburg derives, his grandson Radbot, Count of Habsburg founded the Habsburg Castle, after which the Habsburgs are named. The origins of the castle's name, located in what is now the Swiss canton of Aargau, are uncertain. There is disagreement on whether the name is derived from the High German Habichtsburg, or from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as there is a river with a ford nearby; the first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.
The Habsburg Castle was the family seat in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Habsburgs expanded their influence through arranged marriages and by gaining political privileges countship rights in Zürichgau and Thurgau. In the 13th century, the house aimed its marriage policy at families in Upper Swabia, they were able to gain high positions in the church hierarchy for their members. Territorially, they profited from the extinction of other noble families such as the House of Kyburg. By the second half of the 13th century, count Rudolph IV had become one of the most influential territorial lords in the area between the Vosg
Prekmurje is a geographically, linguistically and ethnically defined region settled by Slovenes and a Hungarian minority, lying between the Mur River in Slovenia and the Rába Valley in the most western part of Hungary. It maintains certain specific linguistic and religious features that differentiate it from other Slovenian traditional regions, it has a population of 78,000 people. It is named after the Mur River. In Hungarian, the region is known as Muravidék, in German as Übermurgebiet; the name Prekmurje was introduced in the twentieth century, although it is derived from an older term. Before 1919, the Slovenian-inhabited lands of Vas County in the Kingdom of Hungary and Austria-Hungary were known as the Slovene March or "Vendic March"; the part of modern Prekmurje that belonged to Zala County was not considered to be a part of the Slovenian March. Until the early 19th century, this region of the Zala County belonged ecclesiastically to the Archdiocese of Zagreb and in the legal documents of the Archdiocese it was called as "Transmurania" or "Prekmurje", the "territory on the other side of the Mur River".
After 1919, this name was reintroduced, now for administrative purposes, by the new Yugoslav administration. It, did not gain much popularity among the locals; the name "Slovenian March" was still used by the local inhabitants until the mid 1920s, but was replaced by the term "March of the Mur". The current Hungarian name for Prekmurje, Muravidék, dates from the interwar period and is a translation of the Slovenian Murska krajina. From the mid 1930s onward, the name Prekmurje became used in the press and became the most common name for the region. After World War II, this name replaced all previous designations. Nowadays, the older term Vendvidék still exists in Hungarian, but it is used only for the small settlement area of Hungarian Slovenes between Szentgotthárd and the Slovenian border that remained part of Hungary after 1919; the region is divided into three geographical subregions: the hilly area to the north of Murska Sobota, known as Goričko. Northeast of Lendava, there is a small hilly sub-region, known as the Lendava Hills.
The administrative and commercial centre of the region is the town of Murska Sobota. The only other major town is Lendava. Other significant rural centres are Dobrovnik, Turnišče, Črenšovci; the majority of the inhabitants of the region are ethnic Slovenes. There are sizable Hungarian and Romani minorities in the region. In 1921, the total population of the area numbered 92,295 people, including 74,199 Slovene speakers, 14,065 speakers of Hungarian, 2,540 German speakers. Since the number of Hungarian speakers has been falling but steadily; the German-speaking community, which used to be concentrated in three villages near the Austrian border and in Murska Sobota, was either expelled from the area or assimilated after World War II. Since the early 1950s, Hungarian has had co-official status in the traditional settlement area of the Hungarian minority. Three municipalities are bilingual—Lendava, Hodoš, Dobrovnik —and the two municipalities of Šalovci and Moravske Toplice are only bilingual. Two municipalities, Hodoš and Dobrovnik, have a Hungarian majority.
Prekmurje has traditionally been the most heterogeneous Slovene region regarding religious affiliation. Besides a Roman Catholic majority, there is a significant Protestant minority, concentrated in the Goričko hills, which represents between one fourth and one fifth of the population of Prekmurje. Three municipalities have a Lutheran majority, while in Moravske Toplice, Lutherans form just under half of the population. Before World War II, there used to be a significant Jewish community as well concentrated in the towns of Murska Sobota and Lendava. In the 1930s, two-thirds of all Slovenian Jews lived in Prekmurje. Most of them perished in the Holocaust. There is a significant Romani presence in the region, with Prekmurje being one of the two major settlement areas of Slovenian Romani; the region has had a turbulent history: it has been inhabited since the Stone Age, it was included into the Roman Empire and subsequently into the Odoacer's Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths, the Kingdom of the Lombards, the Kingdom of the Avars, the Slavic state of Samo, the Frankish Empire, the Principality of Lower Pannonia, Arnulf's Kingdom of Carantania.
In the late 10th century it was invaded by the Hungarians and was under administration of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary until the 16th century, when former territories of this kingdom were divided between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. Since Prekmurje was under administration of the Habsburg Monarchy, with brief periods of Ottoman administration. Following the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1918, the region was firstly included into the Hungarian Democratic Republic and subsequently into the Hungarian Soviet Republic. In 1919
Rudolf Maister was a Slovene military officer and political activist. The soldiers who fought under Maister's command in northern Slovenia became known as "Maister's fighters". Maister was an accomplished poet and self-taught painter. Maister was born in the Upper Carniolan commercial town of Kamnik part of Austria-Hungary. A career soldier, during World War I, he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1917, he was sent to Graz promoted to the rank of a major. In 1918, near the end of the war when it was obvious that Austria-Hungary was losing, the city council of Maribor proclaimed the annexation of Maribor to Austria. Maister organized Slovene volunteer forces of 4000 soldiers and 200 officers and in the night of 23 November 1918 seized control of the city of Maribor and the surrounding region of Lower Styria; this date has been recognized as a state holiday in Slovenia since 2005. The Slovene National Council for Lower Styria awarded him the rank of general on November 1; the German-speaking city was thus secured for the newly formed State of Slovenes and Serbs, which united with the Kingdom of Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes on December 1.
Maister's rank as a general was confirmed by the National Government of the Slovene part of the Kingdom as a "lieutenant with the title and character of a general" on 11 December 1918, also confirmed by the Belgrade Government. On 27 January 1919, Germans awaiting the American peace delegation at the marketplace in Maribor were fired on by Slovenian troops under the command of Maister. Nine Germans were killed and more than eighteen were wounded; the responsibility for the shooting has not been conclusively established. German sources accused Maister's troops of shooting without cause, while Slovenian witnesses, such as Maks Pohar, testified that the Germans attacked the Slovene soldiers guarding the city hall; the Austrian Germans attacked the police inspector, Ivan Senekovič, pressed towards the Slovenian soldiers in front of the city hall. A Slovenian version of this event involves a German firing a revolver in the direction of the Slovenian soldiers, who responded spontaneously by firing into the civilian crowd.
The event became known as Marburg's Bloody Sunday. In November 1919, Maister's forces joined the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes Army's offensive in Carinthia. Maister joined them and took part of the capture of Klagenfurt. After the Carinthian Plebiscite, in which majority of the local Slovenian population decided to remain part of Austria, Maister withdrew to private life, he spent most of his life in an estate near Planina in Inner Carniola. Maister wrote poetry, which he published in two collected volumes in 1904 and in 1929. Most of his poetry follows Post-Romantic aesthetics, it is influenced by the 19th-century Slovene lyrical and patriotic poetry of Simon Jenko, Simon Gregorčič, Anton Aškerc. Bruno Hartman, Rudolf Maister: general in pesnik Media related to Rudolf Maister at Wikimedia Commons
Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c
Celje is the third-largest town in Slovenia. It is a regional center of the traditional Slovenian region of Styria and the administrative seat of the City Municipality of Celje; the town of Celje is located below Upper Celje Castle at the confluence of the Savinja, Hudinja, Ložnica, Voglajna rivers in the lower Savinja Valley, at the crossing of the roads connecting Ljubljana, Maribor and the Central Sava Valley. It lies 238 m above mean sea level. Celje was known as Celeia during the Roman period. Early attestations of the name during or following Slavic settlement include Cylia in 452, ecclesiae Celejanae in 579, Zellia in 824, in Cilia in 1310, Cilli in 1311, Celee in 1575; the proto-Slovene name *Ceľe or *Celьje, from which modern Slovene Celje developed, was borrowed from Vulgar Latin Celeae. The name is of pre-Roman origin and its further etymology is unclear. In the local Slovene dialect, Celje is called Cele. In German it is called Cilli, it is known in Italian as Cilli or Celie; the first settlement in the area of Celje appeared during the Hallstatt era.
The settlement was known to Ancient Greek historians as Kelea. Once the area was incorporated in the Roman Empire in 15 BC, it was known as Civitas Celeia, it received municipal rights in AD 45 under the name municipium Claudia Celeia during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius. Records suggest that the town was rich and densely populated, secured with the walls and towers, containing multi-storied marble palaces, wide squares, streets, it was called the second. A Roman road through Celeia led from Aquileia to Pannonia. Celeia soon became a flourishing Roman colony, many great buildings were constructed, such as the temple of Mars, known across the Empire. Celeia was incorporated into Aquileia ca. 320 under the Roman Emperor Constantine I. The city was razed by Slavic tribes during the Migration period of the 5th and 6th centuries, but was rebuilt in the Early Middle Ages; the first mention of Celje in the Middle Ages was under the name of Cylie in Wolfhold von Admont's Chronicle, written between 1122 and 1137.
The town was the seat of the Counts of Celje from 1341 to 1456 It acquired market-town status in the first half of the 14th century and town privileges from Count Frederick II on 11 April 1451. After the Counts of Celje died out in 1456, the region was inherited by the Habsburgs of Austria and administered by the Duchy of Styria; the city walls and defensive moat were built in 1473. The town defended itself against Turks and in 1515 during great Slovene peasant revolt against peasants, who had taken Old Castle. Many local nobles converted to Protestantism during the Protestant Reformation, but the region was converted back to Roman Catholicism during the Counter-Reformation. Celje became part of the Habsburgs' Austrian Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1867, after the defeat of Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, the town became part of Austria-Hungary; the first service on the Vienna-Trieste railway line came through Celje on 27 April 1846. In 1895, Celje secondary school, established in 1808, began to teach in Slovene.
At the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, Celje was a center of German nationalism which had repercussions for Slovenes. The 1910 census showed. A symbol of this was the German Cultural Center, built in 1906 and opened on 15 May 1907, today it is Celje Hall; the centuries-old German name of the town, sounded no longer German enough to some German residents, the form Celle being preferred by many. Population growth was steady during this period. In 1900, Celje had 6,743 inhabitants and by 1924 this had grown to 7,750; the National Hall, which hosts the Mayors Office and Town Council today, was built in 1896. The first telephone line was installed in 1902 and the city received electric power in 1913. Slovene and German ethnic nationalism increased during the early 20th centuries. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918 as a result of World War I, Celje became part of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. During this period, the town experienced a rapid industrialization and a substantial growth in population.
Celje was occupied by Nazi Germany in April 1941. The Gestapo arrived in Celje on 16 April 1941 and were followed three days by SS leader Heinrich Himmler, who inspected Stari pisker. During the war the city suffered from allied bombing, aimed at important communication lines and military installations; the National Hall was damaged. The toll of the war on the city was heavy; the city had a pre-war population of 20,000 and lost 575 people during the war between the ages of 20 and 30. More than 1,500 people were deported into the German interior of the Third Reich. Around 300 people were around 1,000 people imprisoned in Celje's prisons. An unknown number of citizens were forcibly conscripted into the German army. Around 600 "stolen children" were taken to Nazi Germany for Germanization. A monument in Celje called Vojna in mir by the sculptor Jakob Savinšek, commemorates the World War II era. After the end of the war, the remaining German-speaking portion of the populace was expelled. Anti-tank trenches and other sites were used to create 25 mass graves in Celje and its immediate surroundings and were filled with Croatian and Slovenian militia members that had collaborated with the Germans, as well as civilians.
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state in Southeast Europe and Central Europe that existed from 1929 until 1941, during the interwar period and beginning of World War II. The preliminary kingdom was formed in 1918 by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes and Serbs with the independent Kingdom of Serbia; the Kingdom of Montenegro had united with Serbia five days whereas the regions of Kosovo and Vardar Macedonia were parts of Serbia prior to the unification. It was called the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes, but the term "Yugoslavia" was its colloquial name from its origins; the official name of the state was changed to "Kingdom of Yugoslavia" by King Alexander I on 3 October 1929. The state was ruled by the Serbian dynasty of Karađorđević, which ruled the Kingdom of Serbia under Peter I from 1903 onward. Peter I became the first king of Yugoslavia until his death in 1921, he was succeeded by his son Alexander I, regent for his father. He was known as "Alexander the Unifier" and he renamed the kingdom "Yugoslavia" in 1929.
He was assassinated in Marseille by Vlado Chernozemski, a member of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, during his visit to France in 1934. The crown passed to his then-still under-aged son Peter. Alexander's cousin Paul ruled as Prince regent until 1941; the royal family flew to London the same year, prior to the country being invaded by the Axis powers. In April 1941, the country was occupied and partitioned by the Axis powers. A royal government-in-exile, recognized by the United Kingdom and by all the Allies, was established in London. In 1944, after pressure from the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the King recognized the government of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia as the legitimate government; this was established on 2 November following the signing of the Treaty of Vis by Ivan Šubašić and Josip Broz Tito. Following the assassination of Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand by the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip, which led to the outbreak of World War I, the subsequent invasion and military occupation of Serbia.
South Slavic nationalism escalated and Slavic nationalists called for the independence and unification of the South Slavic nationalities of Austria-Hungary along with Serbia and Montenegro into a single State of Slovenes and Serbs. The Dalmatian Croat politician Ante Trumbić became a prominent South Slavic leader during the war and led the Yugoslav Committee that lobbied the Allies to support the creation of an independent Yugoslavia. Trumbić faced initial hostility from Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pašić, who preferred an enlarged Serbia over a unified Yugoslav state. However, both Pašić and Trumbić agreed to a compromise, delivered at the Corfu Declaration on 20 July 1917 that advocated the creation of a united state of Serbs and Slovenes to be led by the Serbian House of Karađorđević. In 1916, the Yugoslav Committee started negotiations with the Serbian Government in exile, on which they decided on the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, declaring the joint Corfu Declaration in 1917, the meetings were held at the Municipal Theatre of Corfu.
In November 1918 the National Council of the State of Slovenes and Serbs appointed 28 members to start negotiation with the representatives of the government of the Kingdom of Serbia and Montenegro on creation of a new Yugoslav state, the delegation negotiated directly with regent Alexander Karađorđević. The negotiations would end, with the delegation of the National Council of the State of Slovenes and Serbs lead by dr Ante Pavelić reading the address in front of regent Alexander, who represented his father, King Peter I of Serbia, by which acceptance the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovens was established; the name of the new Yugoslav state was: "Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes" or its abbreviated form "Kingdom of SHS". The new kingdom was made up of the independent kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro, of a substantial amount of territory, part of Austria–Hungary, the State of Slovenes and Serbs; the main states which formed the new Kingdom were: State of Slovenes and Serbs and Vojvodina Kingdom of Serbia with Kingdom of MontenegroThe creation of the state was supported by pan-Slavists and Yugoslav nationalists.
For the pan-Slavic movement, all of the South Slav people had united into a single state. The newly established Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes participated in the Paris Peace Conference with Trumbić as the country's representative. Since the Allies had lured the Italians into the war with a promise of substantial territorial gains in exchange, which cut off a quarter of Slovene ethnic territory from the remaining three-quarters of Slovenes living in the Kingdom of SHS, Trumbić vouched for the inclusion of most Slavs living in the former Austria-Hungary to be included within the borders of the new Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. With the Treaty of Rapallo a population of half a million Slavs Slovenes, were subjected to force
Međimurje County is a triangle-shaped county in the northernmost part of Croatia corresponding to the historical and geographical region of Međimurje. Despite being the smallest Croatian county by size, it is the most densely populated one; the county seat is Čakovec, the largest city of the county. The county borders Slovenia in the north-west and Hungary in the east, with about 30 kilometers of Slovenian territory separating it from Austria; the south-eastern corner of the county is near the town of Legrad and the confluence of the Mura into the Drava. The closest cities include Varaždin and Bjelovar in Croatia, Murska Sobota and Maribor in Slovenia, as well as Nagykanizsa in Hungary and Graz in Austria; the Croatian capital of Zagreb is about 90 kilometers south-west of Čakovec. There are slopes of the Alpine foothills in the north-western part of the county, the Upper Međimurje, making it suitable for vineyards; the south-eastern part of the county, the Lower Međimurje, touches the flat Pannonian Plain.
The flat parts of the region are largely used for agriculture, which includes fields of cereals and potato, as well as orchards, which are planted with apple trees. There are two major hydroelectric power plants along the southern border of the county, on the Drava River. Besides its Croatian name, the county is known as Muraköz megye in Hungarian, Medžimurska županija in Slovene, Murinsel in German. Throughout the past, the historical region of Međimurje was referred to by several names. In Latin, it was called Insula intra Dravum et Muram, Insula Muro-Dravana and Hortus Slavoniae Superior; the names Insula intra Dravum et Muram and Insula Muro-Dravana mean "island between the Mura and the Drava", referring to the two rivers bordering the region. The name Hortus Croatiae means "the garden of Croatia". In Hungarian, the region is known as Muraköz, in German as Murinsel. In Croatian, it was referred to by several names as well, including Mejmorje, Medžmorje and Medžimorje, as well as Međumurje and Međimurje.
The Kajkavian toponym Medžimorje is believed to have been the original name of the region. It originated in the 6th or 7th century, which makes it older than the Latin toponyms that were first mentioned in feudalism; the name Medžimorje is derived from the noun morje. It means "land surrounded by water", i.e. "island". Međimorje is an archaic common noun, used in Kajkavian Croatian meaning "island". However, the names Međimurje, Muraköz, Murinsel all contain the hydronym Mura; the name Murinsel means "island on the Mura". This led to some dilemmas in the usage of the Croatian names Međimurje. In Kajkavian Croatian the name is Medžimurje, or Medžimorje, in the Prekmurje dialect it is Medmürje or Nedžimurje; the region's unofficial symbols include the turtle dove, one of the most common birds in the region, the violet. The region is called Međimurje malo, Croatian for "Little Međimurje". Međimurje County covers the plains between two rivers -- the Drava; the Mura flows along the county's northern border with the Slovenian region of Prekmurje and its eastern border with Hungary's Zala County, while the Drava flows along the county's southern border with two other Croatian counties – Varaždin County and Koprivnica-Križevci County.
The Trnava River flows through the middle of the county. There are two reservoir lakes on the Drava – Lake Varaždin and Lake Dubrava – both built to serve the two hydroelectric power plants based in the county. Lake Dubrava, located near the city of Prelog, is the biggest artificial lake in Croatia and the second largest lake overall in the country; the power plant using Lake Varaždin is named after the county seat, Čakovec, while the one using Lake Dubrava is named Dubrava, taking its name from the nearby village of Donja Dubrava. The county's elevation ranges between 120 and 344 metres above sea level, the latter being the elevation of its highest hill, Mohokos. Čakovec has an elevation of between 165 metres above sea level. Throughout the past, there were occasional earthquakes in the region. One of significant strength hit the region in 1880, while another in 1738 devastated Čakovec and the nearby Šenkovec. Of the county's total area of 729.5 km², around 360 km² are used in agriculture. Due to the high population density, agricultural land is divided into 21,000 units averaging 17,500 m2 each.
27.5 km² are covered with orchards. 11 km² is the hilly area, located in the north-western part of the county, with villages like Štrigova and numerous vineyards. Grasslands and forests cover an area of around 105 km²; the biggest forest is Murščak, located between Donji Hrašćan. The climate is continental. Summers are quite hot. Daily temperatures during the summer months range between 20 °C and 30 °C, but can reach as high as 40 °C in July and August, when they can stay above 30 °C for several days. Thunderstorms and rapid weather changes are common throughout the summer months, as well as in late spring, with a stormy period being between mid-June and mid-July, when they occur on a daily basis. Springs and autumns are calm, although rapid weather changes can be common during the two seasons. Winters can be severe, with early-morning temperatures sometimes reaching as low as -20 °C. During the winter months, daily temperatures usually