Lika


1.BAKOVAC KOSINJSKI a village in Lika, 10 km west of Gornji Kosinj.

On the location of Bakovac there was a settlement of the mediaeval Buško clan of Ljupčoć; three plates with Glagolitic inscriptions and the coat of arms of the Frankopan counts were found in the ruins of the old chapel. The church of St. Vitus has a quadrangular sanctuary and a front belfry with a "preslica". The front façade displays a rustically carved lunette, with immured plates with Glagolitic inscriptions and the coat of arms of the Frankopan counts (from the old church). It is supposed that Bakovac was the location of the famous Glagolitic printing-house of Kosinj.

2. BRINJE, a small town in the north-eastern part of Lika, located in the karst basin of Brinjsko Polje, 32 km east of Senj, between the slopes of Velebit Mountain and Kapela Mountain.

On the hill above the town is the Sokolac castle, mentioned for the first time in 1343. The entrance to the fortified town leads through a square tower. The three-storey chapel of St. Mary with a Gothic portal is the best-preserved burg chapel in Croatia. On the Gothic vaults (arched ceilings) in the crypt and on the first floor are the sculptured coats of arms of the Frankopan and Gorjanski counts. Next to the burg, the Frankopan counts built a town, encircled by walls in the shape of an irregular hexagon with four semicircular towers and a bastion. After 1537, military government reconstructed and modified the town several times. The present-day parish church of St. Mary was built around 1700, on the location of a church from 1476; in the church is the tombstone of Matijaš Čubranić from 1511. On the nearby Gothic chapel of St. Vitus from the 15th century are the coats of arms of the counts Frankopan and Divinski.

3. DONJI LAPAC, a town in the middle of the Lapačko Field in the south-eastern part of Lika.

A habitation existed here already in Roman times. In the Middle Ages Donji Lapac was the seat of the early Croatian Lapačka Parish. In 1449 it came under the Frankopans. The old town of Lapac was located on an isolated hill called -Obljaj, which rises in the Lapačko Field, south of Donji Lapac. When the Turks conquered Lika, Lapac fell as well; it remained under Turkish rule until the Svištov Peace Treaty (1791), under which Lapac became part of the Military Border.

4.GOSPIĆ

The town was established in the 17th century, at the time of the Military Border, as the centre of the Lika headquarters and the brigade headquarters of the Regiment of Lika and Otočac. Among the structures, the most prominent are the tower of Aga Senković, army barracks from 1767 and the late Baroque parish church of St. Mary from 1780. The church bears a memorial tablet, dedicated to those who fell in the battle of Bilaj in 1809 (R. Frangeš-Mihanović). In the chapel of St. John Nepomuk are three paintings from the 18th-19th century. On the cemetery is The Bust of a Woman with Ducats, a work by Ivan Rendić, from 1907 (tombstone of Lovro Pavelić) and on the square a monument dedicated to Nikola Tesla, made by F. Kršinić (1981). In Gospić there is also the Museum of Lika, opened in 1958, with archaeological, ethnographic, historical (recent history) and art collections. Dominant are archaeological finds (Iapodian culture, Roman coins found in Lički Ribnik). Within the Museum is also the regional collection "Nikola Tesla's Birth-house" in the village of Smiljan.

Bilaj (Belaj), a village 5 km southeast of Gospić. On a rock in the middle of the village are the ruins of a mediaeval town with a high pentagonal defence tower; it is enclosed by a moat carved in stone. Banovac Tomo Tvrtković had to cede it to Viceroy Petar Talovac in 1451; in 1509 it belonged to Ivan Karlović. The town was under the Turks in the period 1528-1689. - In the surroundings are numerous barrows (tumuli) with finds from the Bronze and the older Iron Ages.

Bužim, a village 7 km northwest of Gospić. West of the village are ruins of the fortified town of Bužim. Its ground-plan is an irregular rectangle with towers on its corners and the central residential part. It was probably built earlier than the 13th century as a tribal fortification.

Medak, a village 14 km southeast of Gospić. In ancient times there was a habitation called Senia-Burnum along the road. Various archaeological finds originate from this place (Roman sarcophagi, coins, a mile-stone from the 3rd c.). In the vicinity are the ruins of a mediaeval fortified town.

Mušaluk, a village 10 km north of Gospić. The chapel of the Holy Spirit has a polygonal sanctuary and a front belfry "na preslicu" above the main front. According to the inscription, the priest Marko Mesić had it erected in 1700. The church features Baroque plastics from the 18th century. Above the village are the ruins of the Bešina tower from Turkish times.

Pazarište, an area 13 km northwest of Gospić. Comprises the following villages: Donje Pazarite, Klanac, the former Gornje Pazarište and a hamlet called Srednje Pazarište, all of them situated at the entrance in the canyon between the peaks Kuk (708 m) in the north and Oteš (745 m) in the south. The hills Oteš and Ostrovica accommodate the ruins of the mediaeval towns named after the hills, which in the 15th century belonged to the Frankopans. Ruins of a Pauline monastery and church (Klotar), endowment of the Drašković family from 1489, rise above Donje Pazarište.

Počitelj, a village on the western edge of the Ličko field, 16 km southeast of Gospić. Southwest of the village are the ruins on a hill (hill-fort Vuksanova Gradina), probably the remains of the mediaeval town of Počitelj. It was first mentioned in 1263.

Smiljan, a village 6 km northeast of Gospić. The birth-house of Nikola Tesla is the memorial museum today (with a memorial tablet, made by Grgo Antunac, 1956). - In the surroundings are hill-forts Bogdanić, Smiljan and Krčmar, prehistoric tombs, the churches of St. Anastasia, St. Mark and St. Vitus. The parish church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built in 1860.

Široka Kula, a village 3 km northeast of Lički Osik. Archaeological sites are found in the village and its surroundings, from Hallstatt (tumulus Vranića burial mound from the 14th until 15th c. BC) and Roman cultures (tombs, inscriptions, mile-stones). Northeast of Široka Kula is Gradina near Razvale, a large oval structure with towers, probably of Roman origin.

Vrebac, a village 13 km east of Gospić. At the foot of the hill-fort are two big barrows (tumuli) with stone grave structures from the late Bronze and Iron Ages. Remains of the ancient town were visible in the village as early as 1834. Ruins of two mediaeval towns have been preserved in the vicinity.

5. GRAČAC, a town in the southern part of Lika.

In the vicinity of the Catholic church are traces of a mediaeval town Gradina it was the seat of the old Otučka parish. The town was first mentioned in 1302. In 1509 it was owned by Ivan Karlović; in the period 1527-1687 under Turkish rule. The Baroque parish church of St. George from the 18th century was badly damaged in the Second World War. The church features a late Baroque epitaph of Count Knežević (1781). On the cemetery near the Otuča is a 3-m high monolithic cross, on the tomb of Ivan Balenović (16th c.).

6. KOSINJ, a region in the central part of Lika, in the Kosinj Field. There are Gornji Kosinj and Donji Kosinj.

Donji Kosinj has a one-nave parish church of St. John the Baptist from 1650, with a polygonal sanctuary, sacristy and a bell tower at the main front. Ringed by a fence of massive blocks in the dry construction, inside of which there are two antique stelae. The church features the furniture of the early Baroque type. - Outside the village, on an isolated crest, there is a chapel of St. Peter (semicircular apse), probably a mediaeval building reconstructed after the Turks had left. Gornji Kosinj has the Baroque parish church of St. Anthony of Paduafrom 1692, with a polygonal sanctuary, sacristy and a bell tower at the main front. The church has wooden pews in the classicist style and a stone aspersorium with a human head, carved in the Romanesque manner.

7. KRASNO, a village on a saddle between Velebit Mountain and the Senj Ridge in Lika.

Mentioned in written records in the 13th century. In Lomska Duliba, near Krasno, traces of the Roman culture were found. The Latin inscription carved in the living rock about the border between the Illyrian tribes, the Ortoplines and Parentines, is particularly interesting. In 1527 King Ferdinand presented it to the church of Senj, which owned it up to the Turkish conquest. It was settled again in the 18th century, and from 1790 it regained the status of the parish seat; the church of St. Anthony of Padua dates back to the 18th century. In Krasno (connected by a road only in 1992) is also the former parish church of Our Lady of Krasno, a famous pilgrimage church (the pilgrimage place of the Croatian Army), first mentioned in 1641; subsequently reconstructed. The church has a coffered vault painted in 1759 by the Lukinović brothers.

8. Krčin Grad (Pliš Grad, Gradin), remains of a fortification on an extended slope of a hill between Kozjak and Gradinsko Lake. On the southern side are the remains of a tower in the triangular shape (partly excavated and investigated). According to tradition and some authors, these are the remains of a Pauline monastery.

9. KURJAK, a village at the Krbava river, 8 km southwest of Udbina. There were two settlements in the past, the Lower and Upper Kurjak. The ruins of the mediaeval burg Kurjak are in the vicinity which is considered to be the oldest residence of the dukes of the Krbava. First mentioned in 1334, in connection with Duke Kurijak and his sons Budislav, George and Paul.

10. KUTEREVO, a village in Lika, 25 km southwest of Otočac.

The parish church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built in 1724. The village has preserved its rural architecture and indigenous folk tradition which, because of isolation, dates back to the ancient times.

11. LIČKI OSIK, a town in the central part of Lika, on the rim of Ličko Polje (Lika Field), 7 km north-east of Gospić.

In the small village of Novosalije a prehistoric burial ground was excavated, with eight earth tumuli (16th - 15th c. BC). The parish church of St. Joseph was erected in 1842.

12. LOVINAC, a village in the southern part of Lika on the Suvaja river, the left tributary of the Ričica; 20 km northwest of Gračac.

Lovinac and its surroundings were inhabited in the Roman times. Near the village there are the ruins of the old burg of Lovinac which belonged to Viceroy Ivan Karlović at the beginning of the 16th century and was subdued in 1522 by the Turks. After the Turks had been expelled, Lovinac was inhabited by new population from the northern coastal region. The church of St. Michael was erected in 1704.

13. MODRUŠ, a village on the eastern foot of Mt. Velika Kapela in the north-eastern part of Lika.

In the Middle Ages, a parish granted to Duke Bartol by the Croato-Hungarian king Bela III. The isolated hill reveals the ruins of a burg (Tržan, castrum) of irregular shape, below which the town (civitas) of Modruš developed. Up to the Turkish conquest, it was one of the most important centres of the feudal power of the Frankopan counts; from 1460 to 1493 the seat of the bishop of Krbava. The present church of the Holy Trinity from the 15th century, reconstructed on several occasions, makes a harmonious whole with the parsonage. A classicist tombstone of Franjo Benko is erected near the church. The ruins of the St. Mark's Cathedral and the chapel of St. Anthony of Padua lie under the church.

14. Mrsinjgrad, the ruins of a fortified town around 1.5 km north-west of Korenica; elevation 1,097 m. Once a property of the Krbava dukes, one branch of them having been called the Mrsinjski. Conquered by the Turks in 1527.

15. OŠTARIJE, a village in the northern part of Lika, 6 km southeast of Ogulin.

The parish church of St. Mary was originally a large three-nave Gothic structure erected by the Frankopans in 1451. Today only the restored sanctuary with a three-sided end and the side chapel are used as a church. The walls of the former naves with the Gothic door-posts represent now the churchyard. Apart from the neo-Gothic main altar, the church has Baroque statues.

Otok Oštarijski, a village 4 km southeast of Ogulin. A Frankopans' castle stands on the western entrance to the "island", enclosed by the winding river Mrežnica; today only an insignificant part of the ruins has remained; the Christian Orthodox church of St. Nicholas is found on the island.

16. OTOČAC, a town in the north-western part of Lika; situated at the river Gacka, in the western part of the field bearing the same name, named after the early Croatian parish.

The text of the famous Baška Tablet (around 1100) quotes that the church of St. Nicholas in Otočac was a part of the order community with the church of St. Lucy in Jurandvor on the island of Krk. From 1300 a property of the Frankopans. Sigismund Frankopan founded there a diocese (1461-1535) with the church of St. Nicholas. The settlement with a defence tower, at a winding of the river Gacka, was protected by a fortification with towers (after demolition in 1829, only parts of it remained preserved). For the purpose of a safer defence, a castle of the Renaissance concept ("Fortica") was built in 1619, with a triangular layout of the cylindrical towers (ruins above the town). From 1746 Otočac was the headquarters of a regiment. From the period of Vojna Krajina (Croatian Military Border) a number of harmonious, simple, mostly two-storey houses originate. The Baroque parish church of the Holy Trinity erected in 1684 (restored in 1774) is a large one-nave building with rounded sanctuary; three side chapels are on each side of the nave. The bell -tower rises from the main front. The late Baroque and classicist furnishing of the church includes seven altars, a pulpit, baptismal font and sepulchral slabs from the 18th century.

Brlog, a village in the lower basin of the river Gacka, 12 km northwest of Otočac. There are numerous prehistoric tumuli and hill-forts in the village and its surroundings - settlements and necropolises of the Illyrian-Celtic Iapodes. Brlog must have been a Roman settlement called Avendo (ruins of walls and bricks, tombstones). The mediaeval fortified burg in Brlog (today a ruin) had a square ground-plan. The ruins of Gusić-grad, conquered by the Turks in 1575, lie near the village.

Dabar, a village on the edge of the field bearing the same name, 21 km northeast of Otočac. The ruins of a fortress called by the folk Sokolić rise on Vučjak hill; it has a square ground-plan and one cylindrical angle tower. First mentioned in 1499 as a fortress of the Frankopans, remained a borderline stronghold until the Turks were expelled from Lika. In 1773 already a "completely demolished town".

Drenov Klanac, a village 15 km northwest of Otočac. Graves from the early and late Iron Age were found in an Iapodian necropolis, containing many pieces of jewellery (bronze collars, pectoral). - In the 17th century Petar Zrinski had the Šimšanovka Tower erected, with a ring-formed ground-plan (today a ruin).

Podum, a village 3 km east of Otočac. The graveyard includes the ruins of the mediaeval church of St. Mark, which had a square sanctuary. The antique and early Christian fragments built in the church walls originate from the nearby ancient settlement Arupium. Standing plate-shaped tombstones are found on the graveyard.

Prozor, a village 5 km southeast of Otočac. Traces of an antique settlement, later a Roman municipality Arupium, were excavated on the northern slopes of the hill-fort Veliki Vital. The excavations include parts of residential and administration buildings, ruins of a smaller thermal system with preserved floor mosaics and parts of frescos. The system of ancient stone pits and several monuments carved in live rock, especially two monumental Mithraeums with relief-shaped scenes, represent another attraction. The ruins of a mediaeval Frankopan burg, first mentioned in 1449, can be seen on the hill called Prozorina.

Sinac, a village 11 km southeast of Otočac. The archaeological site Gradina on Rudine reveals a prehistoric fortified settlement. Two Mithraeums (altars), carved in live rock, with a relief depicting Mithras Taurocton can be found in the surroundings. - The parish church of St. Elias (1841) houses three Baroque altars; the main altar depicts the patron saint, a work by Fortunato Bergant; the side altar of St. Francis Borgia was erected by Captain Duinović (1768).

17. PERUŠIĆ, a town on the south-western edge of the Perušić field in the central part of Lika, 14 km north of Gospić.

The fortified town of the Perušić family has a plan in form of an irregular quadrilateral; a high cylindrical tower rises in the middle. From 1527 to 1636 and between 1641 and 1685 the town was under the Turkish rule; fortified by Malkoč-Bey in 1555. - The large late Baroque parish church of the Holy Cross, with a polygonal sanctuary (to which the sacristy is attached), is a one-nave building with four side chapels at each side of the nave. A bell tower, with a Gothic door-post and an inscription from 1698 rises near the main front (during Turkish occupation, the older part of the church served as a mosque). The interior contains seven Baroque altars (the main altar being a work by Michael Chieregini, 1827) and a pulpit.

Podovi, a hamlet 6 km east of Perušić. The Gothic one-nave chapel of the Holy Trinity, with a Gothic door-post carved in stone. The quadrangular sanctuary has a cross vault. The Baroque church furnishing was destroyed in the Second World War.

18. PLAŠKI, a town in the north-western part of the Plaško field, 27 km south of Ogulin.

In 1185 the parish of the Krbava Diocese was mentioned here, and in 1486 included in the feudal law records of the nobility of Modruš, including among other, a monastery and two churches. The Orthodox church of Presentation of the Mother of God, restored in 1906 in the spirit of historicism; the Baroque part of the sanctuary and the lower part of the bell tower (1733) have been preserved. The iconostasis was painted by Ivan Tišov in 1907. A two-storey late Baroque eparchial residence is located near the church. Ruins of a mediaeval burg Frankopan, abandoned in 1592 can be seen on a hill south of Plaški.

19. UDBINA, a town on the southern edge of the Krbava field in Lika, 30 km south of Korenica. In the Middle Ages Udbina was a fortified centre (castrum) of the Krbava County. In ancient times it was called civitas Corbaviae, the Town of Krbava, the official seat of the Krbava bishop (from 1185-1460, when the bishop relocated to Modruš, due to Turkish invasions). The name Udbina appeared for the first time in 1493.

Antique tombstones have been found near the ruins of the church of St. Mark (sanctuary with a three-side ending). Remains of a cathedral have been discovered (1829) on the Kalvarija Hill. The Bishop's Palace was built by Bishop Boniface (14th c.). - The mediaeval fortified town, which has been preserved only in bits and pieces, was in 1509 under the duke of Krbava, Ivan Karlović, and in the period 1527-1689 under the Turks. - In the vicinity, near Mutilić, are the ruins of an ancient church of St. Augustine (quadrangular sanctuary, front belfry "na preslicu").



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