Lićko-senjska podregija

1. JABLANAC, a village and ferry pier on the coast of the Velebit Channel, in the back of a deeply indented cove, opposite of the island of Rab.

Jablanac was first mentioned in 1179 as a parish centre Ablana. In the 13th century it was a free -royal town. A cape in front of the port features the ruins of a fortified mediaeval town, founded in 1251 by Viceroy Stjepan Šubić. On the cemetery is the church of St. Nicholas, which existed already in 1179. It got its present aspect in the 16th century and in 1701. The parish church of St. Joseph from the 18th century features sculptures in stucco (Somazzi workshop) and the 19th-century wooden sculptures by Bartol Devčić. A dry structure descends from the hill of Panas to Velebit - a border between Illyrian tribes of Ortoplines and Begios with an inscription of Regent Dolabela.

Stinica, a small town and harbouron the coast of the Velebit Channel, 5 km north of Jablanac. The present Stinica is situated on the location of an antique habitation called Ortopla. The mediaeval fortifications (remains of ramparts with towers, foundations of buildings, graves) were most probably destroyed during Tatarian invasions in the 13th century.

Zavratnica, the submerged lower part of a dry cove called Kranjkova Draga, 2.5 km south of Jablanac. It is notable because of the length of the submerged part (1 km), a considerable depth and the steepness of coastal slopes. Remains of a prehistoric habitation are found above Zavratnica, on the hill of Klašnica. As a natural harbour, Zavratnica has no importance; due to its picturesque aspect it is known as a tourist attraction.

2. KARLOBAG, a town and port in the Velebit Channel, in the region of the Velebit slopes, opposite the island of Pag. At the end of the last century the island was called Bag. The development of Karlobag is linked with the passes Oštarija (Oštarijska Vrata) and Baške Oštarije (955 m), through which the road to Gospić runs at a height of 928 m. Together with the Vratnik Saddle above Senj, this is the lowest pass over Velebit and the most suitable connection between the central part of the Lika region and the sea. The favourable traffic connections with the hinterlands gave rise to creation of settlements already in Roman times.

In the Roman Age there was a town Vegium nearby. In 1307 it was taken over by Viceroy Pavao Šubić, and in 1323 by the Kurjaković dukes. Archduke Charles restored Bag, after it had been burned down by the Turks in 1525. Since 1580 the town has been called Karlobag. Above the town there is a mediaeval fortified town (ruins). Within the walls in the polygonal form, supported by three towers, there is a big cylindrical main tower. In 1712 a Capuchin monastery with the church of St. Joseph, with Baroque altars and paintings, was erected. The parish church of St. Charles of Boromejwas built in 1767; it has several sepulchral slabs. The church was heavily damaged during the Second World War; only the bell tower was spared. The chapel of the Virgin Mary of the Sorrows from 1772 has a Baroque altar. - South of Karlobag lies Vidov Grad, with the ruins of the Gothic church of St. Vitus located under this town.

3. LUKOVO, a village in the Velebit Channel, 21 km south of Senj.

On the location of an earlier settlement, the Bunjevci (a Croatian ethnic group) founded Lukovo in the 18th century, named after the church of St. Luke from the 1772; the present church was erected in 1842. Lukovačka Greda comprises many sea cliffs on which ancient rustic paintings of people and ships were found - probably a memory of the past disasters at sea.

4. LUKOVO ŠUGARJE, a village in the Velebit Channel, 15 km south of Karlobag; population 136. First mentioned as a settlement already in the Middle Ages, but devastated in the 17th century and inhabited by a new population. The coast north and south of the village is extremely steep. Numerous ravines and dry coves on the coastal slope end in small flooded coves. Due to its size and form, Lukovo Šugarje represents an ideal shelter for smaller vessels; muddy sea bottom represents an extremely safe anchorage ground.

5. PRIZNA, a hamlet on the coast at the foot of the Velebit mountain range in the Velebit Channel.

The church of St. John the Baptist was built in the 19th century, restored in 1969.

6. SENJ, a town and port in the Ve-lebit Channel. This route from the Pannonian basin and the Adriatic coast has been used since ancient times. Apart from this connection with the region of Posavina, i.e. the Pannonian plains, the position of Senj offers also favourable connections with Bosnia. Senj was often mentioned by Greek and Roman geographers and historians, and at the Roman Tabula Peutingeriana marked as por(tus) Senia. In Roman times it belonged to the province of Illyricum (later Dalmatia) as one of the most important port towns of the northern Adriatic.

In Roman times Senia was an important centre and the municipium of the province of Liburnia, which is substantiated by a number of archaeological finds. From the settlement of Croats until the 12th century, Senj belonged to the Gacka parish, in 1185 the rulers of Senj became the Templars and in 1271 a deed of ownership was passed to the dukes of Krk and Vinodol, the future Frankopans. In 1469 Senj became a free royal town and the seat of the newly established Senj Captaincy, the core of the Croatian Military Border, and in the period 1527-1689 the headquarters of the so-called "Uskoks" of Senj, the rebels against foreign rule. The liberation of Lika from Turkish rule in 1689 marked the beginning of merchant and nautical revival of Senj. In 1943 it was heavily bombarded and many valuable monuments were destroyed.

From the 10th century onwards, in the area of Senj and its entire diocese, Glagolitic script was used and the liturgy was celebrated exclusively in the Croatian language. Among Glagolitic inscriptions the oldest one is the so-called Senj Tablet, dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries (now kept in the Town Museum). The first Croatian Glagolitic printing works was established in Senj in 1493/94.

The mediaeval Senj was fortified in the 10th century. Its fortifications and fortresses were badly damaged in 1242 during the Tatarian invasion. Under the rule of the dukes of Frankopan, the town walls and fortresses were rebuilt and on the southern side the town citadel (Kaštel) was erected - the ducal residence, a fortress which later on housed the headquarters of the Senj Captaincy (at the end of the 19th c. turned into a student dormitory of the grammar school of Senj - the famous Ožegović ianum). At the end of the 15th century, the walls were reinforced again and new towers were added: Leon's Tower, Lipica, Šabac. The Renaissance-Baroque square called Cilnica (Big Marketplace), with a classicst fountain in the middle, stands out for its size and shape. On the northern side of the square, near the citadel is a large gate from 1779, the end of the so-called Emperor Joseph's Road Karlovac - Senj. On the square called Mala Placa (Small Marketplace, so-called Campuzia) is a Gothic town hall with the municipal loggia from the 14th century. Important are also architectural units of houses with the Renaissance-style "lion's courtyard" from the 15th century, the Gothic-Renaissance Vukasović house from the 15th century (Baroque addition from the 18th c.), the Homolić house (better known as the house of "Uskoks" dukes of Daničić) with a Renaissance triforium, the house of the "Uskoks" Duke Martin Posedarski with a Renaissance stone front and the Domazetović house called "Ferajna" from the 18th century. The one-nave Romanesque cathedral of St. Matthias was built in the mid-12th century. In the 18th century two aisles were added to the cathedral and new Baroque altars and furniture were placed. The church houses the Gothic tomb of the Senj bishop Ivan Cardinalibus from 1392 and a Renaissance relief of the Holy Trinity from 1491 with the earliest presentation of the Croatian coat of arms. On Art (Park of Senj Writers) is the original Renaissance sailors' votive church of St. Mary, which got Baroque features in the 18th century. On a hill above the town is the Renaissance fortress Nehaj, built in 1558 by the Senj captain Ivan Lenković. The fortress features Lenković's coat of arms (earlier in the church of St. Francis). Nehaj has a quadrangular ground-plan and two floors, as well as strong walls and small corner towers on its top; it was restored in 1977 and today houses the collection "Senjski uskoci" with exhibits from the 15th to the 17th century. The 18th-century Carina palace (parsonage) houses the diocesan and chapter archives, a large library and a collection of sacral arts from the 13th to the 20th century.

The Town Museum, founded in 1962, is situated in the Gothic-Renaissance Vukasović palace (collections of archaeological finds, stone monuments and fragments, ethnographic exhibits, historical collections - development of Glagolitic script, exhibits relating to Senj printing works, hydro-archaeological collection, natural science collection - Velebit flora and fauna).

Vratnik, a mountain pass over Velebit (698 m); the lowest and most important pass over the Dinara mountain massif. The regional road Karlovac - Brinje - Senj passes through it as well. In the second half of the 17th century the Emperor Joseph's Road was built over Vratnik. - In the vicinity of the village, on the hill called Goljak, are the remains of an Iapodian habitation (Monetia?). Along the road, in the hamlet of Majorija, is a classicst fountain (1837) with an inscription in three languages. Above it is the mausoleum of Marko Ožegović Barlabaševački (1839), of a circular ground-plan, and behind it, in a cave, is the tombstone of the constructor of Velebit roads, Josip Kajetan Knežić (1848), shaped as a sarcophagus. Vratnik is an excellent vista point, offering a wonderful view on the cove of Senj, the sea and islands. Here is also Motel Vratnik, the starting point for ascents to Senjsko Bilo.

7. SVETI JURAJ (Jurjevo) (St. George), a village and harbour on the coast of the Velebit Channel, 10 km south of Senj.

Above the village remains of the prehistoric habitation Lopsica were found; in Roman times a municipium developed here - Lopsica. At that time the islet of Lisac was connected with the mainland by a stone dam which, in the course of time, sank into the sea together with a part of the antique town. In the 12th century the Benedictine monastery of St. George was erected and next to it, in the 14th century, the Gothic church of Sts. Philip and James, deserted in the mid-19th century. These ruins represent the most important monument of Gothic architecture under Velebit Mountain. Due to Turkish invasions, the town in peril was deserted at the beginning of the 16th century. In the mid-18th century its construction started again and Sveti Juraj became a port, merchant and religious centre. The parish church of St. George was built in 1856.

Starigrad, a village and small harbour 17 km south of Sveti Juraj. In the 13th century, a small fortification was built on top of the hill. Under the hill-fort Gradina are the ruins of the churches of St. James and St. Helena. The church of St. James was built above the harbour in 1772.