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The town of Karlovac
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The city of Karlovac is situated in the very heart of Croatia, where valleys and hills meet, on the delta of four rivers - Korana, Kupa, Mrežnica and Dobra. It is placed 55 km south-west of Zagreb and on the altitude of 112 m. Today, the town area of Karlovac spreads over 402 km2, and with about 60.000 inhabitants is among medium large Croatian towns. Karlovac climate is a mild and continental one with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. Karlovac is a crossroad of the most important roads which connect the maritime and the inner Croatia. Besides the historical roads Karolina (Karlovac - Bakar, constructed from 1726 to 1733), Josephina (Karlovac - Senj, 1775 - 1779) and Louisiana (Karlovac - Rijeka, 1805 - 1813) a modern highway which connects Middle Europe and Danube countries with the Adriatic Sea also passes trough Karlovac. The oldest material proofs of human presence in the area today known as Karlovac have been dated at about 3500 BC. Some settlements which form today's Karlovac were formed before the foundation of Karlovac fortress: Švarča and Gaza (13th century), Dubovac and Banija (14th century).
Karlovac was built in the 16th century as an unique city core formed as a six-pointed star with a purpose of defense from the Turkish conquerors. Besides Karlovac, only two other towns in Europe have similar plans (Palmanova in Italy and Novy Zamk in Slovakia). The beginning of the construction of Karlovac fortress is known as the birthday of Karlovac - 13th July 1579. The fortress was built on a Zrinski family estate, beneath the Old Town of Dubovac, and in honor of its founder, Austrian archduke Karlo, it was given the name Karlovac or Karlstadt. The renaissance core of the town, with regular geometrical plan of the streets and city-blocks and its central square, is the top of contemporary architecture and fortification art. Walls and bulwarks, palaces and squares, and also military and sacral objects were built. On the central city square, today's Jelačić square, there is the church of the Holy Trinity, equipped with a rich baroque inventory. Beside the church there is a Franciscan monastery with a monastery and church treasure's art collection. Plague epidemics used to devastate Karlovac. In 1691, when the town was liberated from that terrible disease, Kužni pil (plague column) was erected as a gratitude sign.
Restricted management and a dependence on military restrictions stood in a way of development of manufacture and trade, so the citizens demanded for Karlovac to be proclaimed the free royal town. Emperor Joseph II delivered a charter in 1781 giving Karlovac the privileges of a free royal town with the emblem. 18th and 19th centuries are the golden age of trade in Karlovac. Trade and manufacturing parts of the town were given the chance and, considering their position on the Kupa River where merchandise used to arrive on ships, boatmen and merchants knew very well how to seize this opportunity.
The town's government is located on Strossmayer Square inside the Star, and the first city magistrate was chosen as early as 1763. On the same square the Town Museum is situated. Housed in the 17th century palace, it is one of the oldest preserved monuments of housing architecture erected in Karlovac. Today it has science, archeological, ethnographic, cultural and historical collection of the town and its surroundings. In front of the Museum there are remains of St. Joseph chapel from 17th century.
In 18th and 19th century Karlovac became the most important merchant town between the Adriatic and inner parts, Carolina, Lujzijana and Josefina roads were built, and a mile-stone with marks of the distance between important centers is the witness of the importance of Karlovac as a trade and traffic center. The building of Zorin Dom, the Karlovac theatre, was built by the first Croatian quire society Zora in 1892. Zorin Dom organizes many music and theatre groups visits from all over the country and abroad, and fills in the program with its ballet and amateur acting studios.
Today's Radić Street is the main connection with the old city gates of the fortress, so called Turkish gates, where a sentry box is also preserved. The School of Music is founded in1804, and since then keeps forming the musicians who participate in the intensive music life of the town. Even today it is one of the most important promoters of music and cultural life in the region.
There is a great number of primary schools, high schools and two-year colleges in Karlovac. Nikola Tesla, Mirko Seljan, Stjepan and Antun Radić, Ivan Goran Kovačić and other famous persons were also students of the Karlovac High school.
The town library Ivan Goran Kovačić is the main informational center of the region. The gallery Vjekoslav Karas was named after a famous painter born in Karlovac in 1821. Historical archive collects, handles and preserves archive materials from Karlovac and wider area. The town was greatly damaged in the Croatian War, especially in its southern parts, but was also recognized as a Croatian shield. As a tribute to the war, the Croatian War Museum has been established in Turanj, and has a large collection of war exhibits, army vehicles, tanks, cannons and other war equipment which have the purpose of educating the new generations of our citizens and tourists which pass trough our town.
In the surroundings of Karlovac, in Rečica, there is the Žunac Etno Gallery. Placed in a wooden house, more than 200 years old, it is full of ethnological exhibits connected with folk tradition, old crafts and costumes.
In 1997, on August 19th, the day when Stjepan Seljan was born, the Center for Expeditions, Research and Culture Braća Seljan (Brothers Seljan) was founded. It is the first Croatian explorer club inspired by Mirko and Stjepan Seljan, world travelers and explorers from Karlovac. Expedition Center in Vila Anzić gathers enthusiasts who continue the progressive ideas of the Seljan brothers.
With its ideal position on the crossroad of the main roads the City of Karlovac is ideal for a short rest on ones travel through but it is also an attractive destination for relaxation and entertainment. Visit us and enjoy in green valleys of four Karlovac rivers, or in rich gastronomic offer of our restaurants. Take a walk trough centennial alley of our green town or experience a ride in an old cab with the sounds of promenade concerts.
Be sure to visit the Old Town of Dubovac from 13th century where a permanent exhibition is set, and a beautiful view of the town and its surroundings spreads from the belvedere. New feature of the Old Town is the Nobility Fair Dubovac where the old crafts will be presented, old games and customs revived and dishes prepared after old recipes served.
While you're visiting the old part of the town, our famous Star, visit the Town Museum, the church of the Holy Trinity and the Franciscan monastery with a gallery, the Town Theatre Zorin Dom, or one of the art galleries.
If you love nature and water, you'll definitely stay in Karlovac. Come here hunting, fishing or to enjoy rafting and canoeing. Take a walk in fresh air trough the woods along the educational path Kozjača or play paintball in the woods around Karlovac. In summer be sure to visit traditional beer festival and to refresh in Korana, on Foginovo beach in the town center, or explore nature and cultural beauties of Karlovac and it's surroundings.
Doesn't matter if you're just passing trough or you've recognized Karlovac as an ideal place for vacation and entertainment; we invite you to spend the 13th of July, the birthday of Karlovac, with us.
KARLOVAC FOUR RIVERS - ONE TOWN
For reasons unknown to man, nature has foreseen four rivers meeting in Karlovac to combine beauty, unpredictability and strength. The longest one, the Kupa River, springs in the National Reservation Risnjak, between forested hills and luxuriant valleys, and in Karlovac it combines with Korana, Mrežnica and Dobra and it leads us to Sisak where it emerges in the Sava River. Kupa has enough water for rafting only during the spring time when snow melts and after abundant rains. Kupa is a very moody river with several faces, sometimes still, sometimes fast, sometimes deep and sometimes very shallow. Every contact with the Kupa River will be different, and it reveals its secrets slowly. The biggest mystery is why the river that springs only 30 km from the Adriatic See flows in completely opposite direction (to inner land), as no other river in the world does?
Than there is the Mrežnica River - beautiful, young, fresh an the greenest river you have ever seen! It hides its secrets in the canyon, and it has many waterfalls and cascades where you can refresh yourself during the warmest August. Mrežnca is a sight for sour eyes and feeds the soul - let it cure all your troubles. It is suitable for swimming because it is warm in the summer. You can row in canoes and kayaks, and rafting is advisable in spring or fall when the river is faster. In Karlovac, the green colored Mrežnica combines with its bigger sister Korana.
The Dobra River also has its underground current, and it flows between hills covered in green woods. After diving in Ogulin, it emerges again near the HE Gojak where, helped by the power plant, water becomes wild and exciting. If you want to know what is rafting really about, come on Dobra in April, when it is filled with abundant rains, and you will experience the wildest drive of your life! Don't take for granted its name Dobra (means "good")! It is nice to experience a grate adventure, and later to enjoy a beautiful landscape with easier sailing, resting and swimming.
The Korana River springs from the Plitvice Lakes. Canyon of the river hides many cascades, and the most beautiful ones are in the upper flow of the river. After reaching Karlovac, it flows trough the city center, very mild and gentle, and many children learned to swim there, and also spent time together enjoying in various water sports. In the past the river also attracted people to come to live near it and build a new town. When Europe faced the big Turkish Empire in the 15th century, Vienna built its defensive walls on Korana shores. They believed that a deep green river that was filling the ditches around the walls would save the town, but also the whole Europe from the Turkish conquerors.
Contac person; Iva
e- mail firstname.lastname@example.org number 00385/91 5165236 - Iva
00385 91 500 33 55 - Kresimir
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Cities in Croatia - Monday, May 4, 2009|