Exploring the Renaissance Beauty of Old Town Dubovac: A Historical Gem in Karlovac

The Old Town Dubovac was one of four old towns and castles I visited that day. Let me just tell you that I had one more old town to see that day, but it was closed due to renovations. I’ll be back for sure because I heard it is an amazing place!

So, the Old Town Dubovac. It is one of those places that local organizations and communities preserve, and it is used in a good way. Unfortunately, some places are historically significant and have huge potential for tourist attractions but are abandoned and in ruins.

Ok, ok, I won’t talk negatively today. This is a positive example, so let’s keep it that way. Let me tell you what I have learned about this cool place.

The Old Town Dubovac is a significant historical fortress located in the Dubovac area of Karlovac, Croatia. This castle, stylistically Renaissance with Gothic elements, is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved examples of feudal architecture in Croatia. Its name, derived from the oak forest that once surrounded the castle, has been passed on to the local city quarter.

Perched on a prehistoric mound above the Kupa River at 185 meters above sea level, archaeological excavations in the late 20th century revealed rich prehistoric and ancient layers of a former settlement dating back to the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age.

Dating back to before the 13th century, the first written documents mentioning Dubovac Castle only appear in 1339. These church records mention its first parish priest and contain numerous Glagolitic writings. Since the 14th century, various noble families have managed and owned the castle, with the Frankopan family contributing significantly to its current form. Under their ownership, the castle was transformed from a wooden structure to a stone building. Other notable rulers of Dubovac include the Zrinski family, the (S)Zudari, and the command of the Karlovac army or the War Council, which purchased Dubovac after it was destroyed by the Ottomans during their 1578 campaign on Good Friday.

Throughout history, the role of Dubovac Castle has evolved. It was more significant than the city of Karlovac, which emerged much later. The castle has been extensively renovated and expanded multiple times. In 1777, military engineer Krey documented Dubovac as a castellated building mainly constructed of broken stone. The castle’s floor plan is irregular and quadrangular, reinforced with corner towers. The main tower is square and two stories taller than the other three round, two-story towers. Between these towers are wings containing defensive, storage, and living spaces.

Today, Old Town Dubovac is a popular tourist destination, featuring a viewpoint and a permanent museum exhibition in the highest tower. At the foot of Dubovac lies the National Shrine of St. Joseph, declared the National Shrine of Saint Joseph of the Church in Croatia by Croatian bishops on April 15, 1987. This historical and architectural treasure, with its rich past and scenic location, continues to attract visitors interested in exploring Croatia’s heritage.

Check the Showcase page of the Old Town Dubovac by clicking HERE.

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