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Karlovac attractions

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Karlovac (Horv. Karlovac, German Karlstadt, hungary. Károlyváros) is a city in the central part of Croatia, the administrative center of the Karlovac County. It is located 56 km south-west of the country's capital - Zagreb at the confluence of the Korana River in Kupu. Within the city, two more rivers flow - Dobra and Mreznitsa.

General information

The highway and the Zagreb-Rijeka railway pass through the city. Karlovac has regular bus and rail connections to the largest cities in Croatia.

The main industrial enterprise in Karlovac is the largest brewery in Croatia, producing the famous Karlovačko beer.

Karlovac was founded at the end of the XVI century, as a fortress in the interfluve of the Koran and Kupa. The moats of this fortress have survived to the present day. The construction of the fortress began in 1579 by order of the Austrian Archduke Charles II, in whose honor the fortress got its name.

Its main task was to cover the Kupa valley from Turkish invasions, and the Karlovac fortress successfully coped with this task - the Turks besieged it seven times (the last time in 1672), but could not take it.

After the elimination of the Turkish threat, the city went beyond the fortress and, thanks to its favorable location at the crossroads of trade routes, began to develop rapidly.

After World War I, together with the whole of Croatia, Karlovac became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and later in the SFRY.

After the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, the city became part of independent Croatia. During the war that began after this, Karlovac was seriously injured, many buildings of the city were damaged or destroyed. On the bridge over the Koran River on September 21, 1991, 13 Yugoslav reservists were executed by Croatian soldiers.

Story

The highway and the Zagreb-Rijeka railway pass through the city. Karlovac has regular bus and rail connections to the largest cities in Croatia.

The main industrial enterprise in Karlovac is the largest brewery in Croatia, producing the famous Karlovačko beer.

History edit |Arrival, accommodation and board in Karlovac

The Karlovac Bus Station is located approximately 500 meters southwest of the center on Prilaz Vece Holjevka, the main city highway running from north to south. Tomislavova Street, located behind the bus station, is the most direct route to the city center. She crosses the line of the former rampart and comes directly to the central square. At the bus station there is a left-luggage office in which you can leave luggage (it works daily from 6:00 to 20:00). Nearby is a good tourist office (Petra Zrinskog 3, Monday-Friday 8: 00-15: 00, Saturday 9: 00-12: 00).

There are only two hotels. The Carlstadt Hotel (Vraniczanyeva 2) has simple but comfortable rooms with all amenities and a TV. The price includes breakfast with a decent buffet. Hotel Korana Srakovcic (Perivoh Josipa Vrbanica 8) is more fashionable. It is located on the banks of the river, next to the tennis club. From it there is a path for walks along the shore. 12 kilometers southwest of the city, in the village of Belavichi, there is a good campsite (beyond Duga Resa on the road to Yosipdol).

There is a wooden bridge located next to the mill. In the river Mrezhnitsa you can swim. The Belavichi train station, where trains stop at Zagreb-Karlovac-Rijeka, is three hundred meters away. As for food, there are many buffets and shops in the city near the bus station. To the west of the central square, on the street of Stepan Radic (Stjepana Radica) there is a decent pizzeria, which in addition to pizza serves delicious sweets and cakes.

You can have lunch or dinner at the Kerempuh restaurant (Vladimira Nazora 4), which is located east of the bus station. The menu offers hearty dishes of veal, pork and turkey. The dining room is stylishly bricked. Several cafes are located directly to the west of the city center, in the area of ​​Petra Zrinskog Street. Cafe Drmes (Sebeticeva 3) on the side street is decorated extravagantly and even defiantly. In the spacious karaoke bar River Pub (Preradoviceva 10), young people gather on weekends.

Sights of Karlovac

It is best to start exploring the city with a walk along the former fortifications. Now at the place of the rampart and the moat are three almost continuous lines of boulevards. Inside this ring are the city houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, many of them were badly damaged in 1991, when the front line ran just five kilometers. It’s still painful to watch the destruction. The main square of Ban Jelacica (Trg bana Jelacica) looks empty.

It is interesting to go to the church of the Holy Trinity (Crkva presvetog Trojstva) on the corner. Its unusually low arches are decorated with baroque frescoes. One block from Strossmayer Square (Strossmayerov trg), in the baroque Francopan winter palace is the small City Museum (Gradski muzej, Tuesday-Friday 7: 00-15: 00, Saturday, Sunday 10: 00-12: 00, 10 kunas). There you can look at the layout of the old Karlovac, as well as a collection of local national costumes.

If you go southeast, first along Klaiceva street, and then along Ruski put street, then after 10 minutes you will find yourself in a park on the banks of the Koran river, next to the cafe. From time to time a flock of curious swans comes to the pebble beach. To explore the medieval citadel of Dubovac, you need to take a thirty-minute walk out of town in the opposite direction. First you will go from the center to the west along Ulica Vladka Maceka, and then turn left onto the hill.

The castle once belonged to the Francopans, the feudal rulers of the island of Krk, who extended their power to mainland Croatia. Dubovac Citadel is a small but well-preserved building. The triangular courtyard is surrounded by three tiers of galleries. The grass-covered outdoor terrace offers magnificent views of Karlovac, which lies in a valley at the foot of a hill.

Four kilometers from the city in the direction of Plitvice is the village of Turan with the Museum of the War for National Independence (Muzejska zbirka naoruzanja domovinskog rata, open from sunrise to sunset, admission is free). There near the destroyed Habsburg barracks in the open air exhibited tanks, armored vehicles and artillery. At this point in 1991, the defenders of Croatia stopped the advance of the Serbs.

How to get there

Russian cities do not have direct communication with Karlovtsy. Karlovac also has no airport, so you can get there by plane only through other Croatian cities, for example, Zagreb or Rijeka.

You will have to travel by bus or train with numerous transfers. As a non-stop method, only the way by car is suitable. However, due to a distance of more than 2,000 kilometers, this route may take one to two days. Below I will talk more about each method.

Flight to Zagreb

The most convenient way to get to Karlovac using an airplane is to fly to Zagreb. Flight options to the Croatian capital are described in the corresponding section of the article about Zagreb, the cost of tickets can be found on well-known aggregator sites or here. Unfortunately, from Zagreb airport there is no direct bus to Karlovac, so first you have to get to the bus or train stations and continue on the bus or train.

Flight to Rijeka

It takes a little longer to get to Karlovac if you fly to Rijeka (you can find out about flights in the article on Rijeka). There is no direct connection with the airport, as in the case of Zagreb, and you will have to get through the stations of Rijeka.

Next, you will have to change the transport to get to the final destination of our route. How to get from Zagreb or Rijeka to Karlovac by bus or train, you can read in the relevant sections below.

From Zagreb

A train from Zagreb has about ten departures per day and takes less than an hour. A ticket for it will cost you approximately 5.4 EUR. The train leaves from the main railway station of Zagreb, which can be reached on foot from the bus station (there is a bus Pleso prijevoz from airport).

In Rijeka, trains run from the train station, located near the terminal bus stop from the airport. Unlike Zagreb, the train leaves Rijeka less often and takes longer: three departures per day and about three hours on the way. Tickets cost around 12 EUR.

From other cities of Croatia

Karlovac is also connected by rail with other Croatian cities, including the major coastal Zadar and Split. Schedules and ticket prices can be found on the Croatian Railways website.

How to get from the station to the city center

Karlovac Railway Station (Željeznički kolodvor Karlovac) is located on the opposite bank of the river, but can be reached on foot in 15-20 minutes.

From Moscow and St. Petersburg

As with the train, you can get from Karlovac to Moscow or St. Petersburg by bus with a change in Zagreb (and to Zagreb also with transfers).

From Zagreb

In terms of price-time during the trip, the bus and rail options for the route from Zagreb are almost the same. Buses also depart frequently (more than 10 times a day), and take you to Karlovac in just 45-50 minutes. One way ticket costs about 5.4 EUR. The bus is convenient because buses come to the bus station Pleso prijevoz from airport.

In general, the bus connection between Karlovac and other cities is more diverse and developed. In addition to the Croatian cities, Karlovac is connected by bus with other countries: Austria, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, etc. A complete list can be found on the information website.

How to get from the station to the city center

Unlike the train station, the bus is located very close to the city center. The main square is a 10-minute walk away.

Another advantage of the bus station, in my opinion, is a more developed tourist infrastructure of both the station itself and its environs.

By car

The length of the road from Moscow to Karlovets is about 2,300 kilometers, so you will have to spend more days on the road even without taking into account overnight stays. Most of the route follows the path to Zagreb, so you can read about the nuances and toll roads on the way in the article on Zagreb.

The path from Zagreb to Karlovets is about 50 kilometers. The expressway can be reached in 40 minutes. You will have to pay about 3 EUR for travel on a paid site. Detailed information is available on the Croatian Motorways website. There is also a second way, through a regular highway. It will take longer, but is perfect for those who do not like fast driving, and want to enjoy the views of idyllic landscapes along the way.

When is the season? When is the best time to go?

Karlovac is beautiful at any time of the year, although most of its charms, including water activities, can be fully enjoyed in the summer.

Personally, I like to come here most of all in April-May, when trees bloom beautifully in the city.

Karlovac in summer

Summer is the best time to travel to Karlovac. There is no such influx of tourists, as in most Croatian cities, so prices do not rise, and the peaceful pace of the city does not change. On average, the temperature in summer is around + 20-25 ° C, although sometimes in July it can be up to +30 ° C. But thanks to the rivers, this heat is practically not felt.

In addition to the wonderful weather, Karlovac can please you with interesting events in the summer (more about them in the Holidays section). Also in summer, you can fully enjoy the water activities that Karlovac offers and attend concerts and movie shows in the open air.

Karlovac in the fall

Since there are so many parks and natural areas in Karlovac, autumn is a great time for those who love nature walks. Karlovac is called the "green heart of Croatia", and in the fall the foliage is beautifully golden, giving the city new colors.

In my opinion, it is worth coming to Karlovac in September, when the grape season is in full swing. This is the best time to visit the vineyards in the vicinity of Karlovac.

Karlovac in the spring

In the spring it is worth coming to Karlovac because of the abundance of flowers, which makes the Karlovac parks particularly attractive. In April, it is already warm enough (about + 15-20 ° C) for long walks, and May here is already almost summer.

It doesn’t rain often in spring, so walking around Karlovac in spring will not be able to overshadow.

Karlovac in winter

The Christmas season turns Karlovac into a fabulous city. Beautiful illuminations, decorated squares with fairs and a peaceful atmosphere are worth visiting Karlovac in December.

Winter in Karlovac is mild, during the day it is around +5 ° C, frosts up to -5 ° C happen only at night.

Snowy winters sometimes happen, which gives Karlovac a special charm.

Center area

Although Karlovac is a small city, to completely immerse yourself in its atmosphere, it is worthwhile to settle in the Center itself, that is, the former territory of the fortress. In addition, prices here do not differ from prices in other areas of the city. The only exception is a guest house in a park by the river, here the prices are an order of magnitude higher than in the rest of the Center.

Most of the accommodation options in Karlovac are apartments and guest houses. There are also several hotels of different stars and one hostel. About prices for accommodation in all of them I will say below.

Accommodation

Prices in Karlovac are slightly lower than in Zagreb and significantly lower than in coastal Croatian cities. An apartment or room in a guest house can be found on Booking for 30 EUR, but hotels will cost more due to poor competition. A double room will cost about 50 EUR. Compare the cost of hotel rooms at this link.

There are not many local housing offers in Karlovac, however, an apartment can be rented for 30-40 EUR, and a room will cost 20-30 EUR. With options and prices can be found, for example, here. With hostels the same problem as with hotels, poor competition. Because of this, a place in a dormitory room will cost 13-15 EUR.

But lunch in the cafe will cost only 6-7 EUR. A cup of coffee will cost about 1.2 EUR, and a glass of beer 1.6 EUR.

Moving around the city

Taxi prices are approximately the same as in other Croatian cities (an average of approximately EUR 2.7 per landing and EUR 0.8 per kilometer). But in Karlovac, there is practically no need for it: all the main attractions are within walking distance from each other.

Prices in restaurants and cafes
Eating (lunch / dinner) in a reasonably priced restaurant334 rub
Lunch / dinner for two, 3 course, middle class restaurant1429 rub
McMill at McDonald's or similar combo lunch334 rub

The main attractions. What to see

Due to its layout, the entire historical center is a tourist attraction in itself. Locals call this area "Star" for the shape of the former fortress. Walking along the central square and straight perpendicular streets with low-rise buildings allow you to travel back in time directly to the 16th century and fantasize about an ideal city.

Karlovac outside the historical center is, by and large, an agglomeration of several areas, therefore it is more convenient to get to the sights located in Turani or Dubovets by bus.

"Star" and the area of ​​Ban Jelacic (Zvijezda i trg Josipa bana Jelačića)

The center of the entire urban layout of an ideal city, the main square of Ban Yelachich, can rightfully be considered the heart of the city. The square is surrounded by old buildings and a number of trees, in the center is a plague pillar, erected in 1691.

The main decoration of the square is the Church of the Holy Trinity, which will be discussed later in the corresponding section below.

City Theater "Zorin Dom" (Gradsko kazalište Zorin dom, Domobranska, 1)

The theater building in the neo-Renaissance style was built in 1892. Since then, the construction has become the center of the cultural life of the city and the pride of local residents.

In addition to theatrical performances, exhibitions and concerts are regularly held here, which may be of interest even to those who do not speak Croatian. The program of events can be found on the theater website.

Katzler Pavilion (Paviljon Katzler, ul. Stjepana Radića, 2)

This pavilion, located near the "Star", is at first glance small and unpretentious.It may not be clear to a person visiting why local residents are so proud of him and consider him one of the main attractions. In fact, for the inhabitants of Karlovac, this pavilion is a reminder of the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

It was built in 1897 and survived all the turmoil of the 20th century that the city faced. After restoration, it works as a souvenir shop specializing in antiques. For example, here you can buy old photos of Karlovac, why not a reason to visit?

Dubovac Castle Fortress (gradina Dubovac, Stari grad Dubovac)

In the area of ​​Dubovac, a strange castle-fortress rises on a hill. She is several centuries older than the city itself. The first mention of the fortress dates back to the XIV century, however, according to studies, it was built a century earlier. It is one of the best preserved feudal castles in Croatia.

As a result of the rebuilding, Dubovac Castle acquired a Renaissance appearance with Gothic elements. The tower has an observation deck from where you can see the historic center of Karlovac in the shape of a star and the outline of the former fortress. Also in the tower there is a small exposition dedicated to the history of the castle. I recommend visiting her.

Opening hours and visit: The castle is open to visitors from April 1 to September 30. From Tuesday to Sunday, it works from 10:00 to 19:00, and on Mondays only in the afternoon (from 14:00 to 19:00). At other times of the year, visits are possible by prior arrangement (for example, you can send an e-mail here [email protected]).

Catholic cemetery Dubovac (Katoličko groblje Dubovac)

At the foot of Dubovac Castle is a Catholic cemetery. It was founded at the beginning of the XIX century on the site of a hospital, in the territory of which in the XVI-XVII centuries the victims of the plague were buried.

The famous Zagreb cemetery Mirogoj became a model for Karlovac. At this place you will find many interesting sculptures and mausoleums. From April to September, the cemetery can be visited until 21:00, the rest of the time - until 19:00. Croatian political and cultural figures from Karlovac are buried in this cemetery.

Foginovo kupalište

Not far from the center there is a river beach where you can sunbathe on the grass, swim or play water polo. In my opinion, the Karlovac river riviera is an excellent alternative to the Croatian sea resorts.

The swimming season begins here in mid-June. In addition, in the summer, film screenings are held on the banks of rivers in the open air. Accordingly, the beach also has all the infrastructure conducive to a comfortable rest (cafes, water activities).

Churches and temples. Which are worth a visit

Most of the churches in Karlovac are Catholic, there is also a Baptist church and an Orthodox cathedral with a complicated history. Among the Catholic churches, the following are worth visiting (admission to all of them is free, the churches are open to visitors during daylight hours):

  • Holy Trinity Church and Franciscan Monastery (Crkva Presvetog Trojstva i Franjevački samostan, Trg bana Josipa Jelačića, 7). This church is considered the oldest building in the city, it was built together with the fortress at the end of the XVI century. The monastery appeared in the XVII century. Both the church and the monastery are examples of the Baroque style with neo-Gothic elements.
  • church of the holy heart of jesus (Crkva Presvetog Srca Isusova, ul. Marina Držića, 2). This church is an interesting example of modern architecture, tuned to classical standards. Thanks to light tones and stained-glass windows, the interior makes a lasting impression during the services. Mass schedule can be found on the church website.
  • National Sanctuary of St. Joseph (Nacionalno svetište sv. Josipa, Dubovac, 1). Another interesting example of modern church architecture is located further from the center in Dubovac. This temple was built in the late 1960s. During the year, he becomes an object of pilgrimage several times. St. Joseph is considered the defenders of Croatia, in general, as well as the patron saint of the city of Karlovac.
  • Mentioned above orthodox cathedral Nikolay (Saborna crkva Svetog Nikole u Karlovcu, ul. Vjekoslava Karasa) has a difficult fate. Initially, the construction of the Orthodox Church in this place was carried out from 1785 to 1787. for the local Serbian community. The church was built in the Baroque style and divine services began in 1803. The temple fell into disrepair during World War II and was used as a warehouse for some time. The tragedy befell the temple in 1991, when as a result of military operations it was blown up. In 1993, the church collapsed and existed in ruins until 2005. Then work began on its restoration. The renovated temple has been operating since 2007. Of course, visiting the temple will not give anything to lovers of antiquity, but I think that it is still worthy of inspection as an important historical monument.

Museums Which are worth a visit

There are few museums in Karlovac, but all of them are interesting and worth visiting in their own way:

    City Museum of Karlovac (Gradski muzej Karlovac, Strossmayerov trg, 7). The museum is housed in an old building of the early 17th century on one of the central squares. The history of the city museum begins in 1904. During his work, he accumulated a huge number of items characterizing various aspects of the life of the city and its difficult history. Personally, I try to visit him every visit, because I always find something new and interesting in his collection. The museum has a strange operating mode (Wednesday - from 08:00 to 19:00, other working days except Monday - from 08:00 to 16:00, Saturday - from 10:00 to 16:00, Sunday - from 10:00 to 12:00). Entrance ticket price is 1.4 EUR. Detailed information on the activities of the museum and its collections can be found on its website.

Military complex Turan (Vojni Kompleks Turanj). This collection of weapons from the Revolutionary War is a huge open-air museum of military history. It is located in the southern part of the city, in the Turan region, which during the War of Independence was the site of fierce fighting.

It is best to get there by bus. The museum is available for free admission during daylight hours.

Gallery named after Vekoslav Karas (Galerija Vjekoslav Karas, Ljudevita Šestića, 3). This strange modernist building is the largest art gallery in the city. It is named after the pioneer of Croatian painting, the artist of the beginning of the 19th century Vekoslav Karas. There is no permanent exhibition here, but art exhibitions of paintings of different periods are regularly held.

The gallery’s working hours are the same as those of the City Museum. The ticket price will also be 1.4 EUR.

Karlovac is called the city of parks and, as I said, the “green heart of Croatia”. There are many parks here and they are open around the clock, and the most central, large and beloved by locals is located right next to the "Star", on the banks of the Korona River, about it further.

Vrbanichev perivoj (Vrbanićev perivoj)

The park was opened for visiting in 1896 and since then has become a favorite place for walks of citizens. The weekends are a bit crowded, especially in the summer. This park is a very nice place for walking or cycling, you can also ride a horse or rent a carriage.

On the map or in the navigator, the park is worth looking for by its name.

Tourist streets

All streets within the "Star" can be considered tourist. Each of these streets can please with old buildings and historical atmosphere. For tourist trips outside the "Star" of interest is Stepan Radich street (Ul. Stjepana Radića (number 1 on the map)), which leads from the Center to the South to the Quran River embankment.

On the other side of the "Star" is worth a walk along street of Ivan Gundulich (Ul. Ivana Gundulića (2)), which is notable for its two-story houses of different eras. I also advise you to walk around Peter Preradovich Street (Ul. Petra Preradovića (3)), which runs parallel to the embankment of the Kupa River. It offers a wonderful view of the other side.

And here they are all on the map:

What to see in 1 day

In one day you can have time to visit all the main attractions of Karlovac, if you start the day early:

  • 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. After breakfast in one of the coffee shops in the Center (for example, in Cohiba (Trg bana Petra Zrinskog), you should start exploring the city from the main square and continue exploring its streets. You can get around all the streets in about an hour and a half.
  • 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Visit to the City Museum. It will take about an hour and a half to inspect his exposition.
  • 13: 00-15: 00. After lunch, we will continue to walk through the park and the Quran River embankment.
  • 16: 00-18: 00. Visit the attractions of Dubovec. You can get there by bus or walk in half an hour of an unhurried walk. First of all, we inspect the castle and climb the tower. Then we go for a walk around the Catholic cemetery to inspect sculptures, monuments and mausoleums.
  • 18: 00-20: 00. Evening walk along the Kupa embankment back to the historic center. I advise you to dine in one of the restaurants on the promenade, which overlook the river. For example, pay attention to the legendary restaurant Kvaka.

Donje Pokupje (6 km)

I definitely recommend that you go on a trekking route along the 4 rijeke karlovačke hiking trail, which stretches 32 kilometers around the city. The route starts from the settlement Donje Pokupje 6 kilometers from the city center (it is more convenient to get there by taxi). Walking along the trail you can see all four rivers, forests and idyllic rural lands.

The path takes 12 hours. Personally, I advise you to ride it on a bicycle, but you can walk on foot in one day or break into two days, having spent the night at all in the Ivanova hiža hut.

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