We invite you to experience the sights of Korenica, the administrative seat of the Plitvice lakes whose name appears for the first time in historical documents back in 1468.
Korenica Through History
Dear visitors, we present you a settlement situated under the highest peak of the magnificent Mount Licka Pljesivica.
Under more favorable historical circumstances, Korenica could have welcomed you today with one of the most beautiful medieval fortifications and arboretum full of noble types of bushy fruit. Find out what happened to one of the three largest fortifications of the Krbava parish and the castle of one of the leading Croatian aristocratic families - The Frankopan family & the old town of Mrsinj.
We believe that, when you learn more about Korenica's history and about what it already offers you, you will gladly come to explore.
And here are some of the interesting things you you can already enjoy:
- Korenica is a starting point for the ascent to the highest peak of the magnificent massif Lička Plješivica, a so-called Lika's Eagle's Nest, a very important radar position with an amazing bird's eye view atop the highest peak of Gola Plješivica;
- Korenica is the home of folkloric societies Korenica and Prosvjeta and the Association Nit who nurture traditional culture;
- Korenica is the seat of several excellent restaurants and top beekeepers;
- Korenica is a starting point for tour of the old Mrsinj - town, the medicinal spring and church Ružica and different cycling tours;
- Korenica is slowly becoming a regional astronomical center. Already today, you can visit the Astronomical Society Korenica and Mr. Nikola Mazarekić, experience the clear sky and stars through the telescope and check how the future observatory advances (a 10 m in diameter & 17 m high dome with a 360 degree rotation);
- there is also the Mala Scena Plitvice, an association that organizes a summer festival and other cultural events throughout the year.
Find the inspiration for tours & more info under Explore Local & under Events and Activities!
The area of Korenica has been continuously inhabited for over 120,000 years, from the Palaeolithic period.
The archaeological sites in Donje Pazariste and the Cerovacke caves in Lika region witness about human settlers from 120 000 years ago. Places worth visiting!
Since the 8th century B.C, Lika was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe lapodes (or lapydes). A non-violent, spiritual and material culture of Japodes lasted until the year 35 B.C.
Among the jewellery found in the graves were headgears - hats with tassels. It is believed that they are the forerunners of traditional Lika hats.
The quantity of jewellery found in the graves testifies the richness of Lika region in the Illyrian period.
The first Slavs arrived at these regions in the early 7th century. The area of Korenica was inhabited by Croats and a part of the Croatian Kingdom until the Croatia-Hungarian Agreement in 1102. when it became a part of the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom.
In the Middle Ages, and later, Croats were known in Europe as highly skilled warriors!
Unfortunately, that was because they have been constantly defending their homes placed on a turbulent border area between the two warring empires.
Korenica is one of those places that suffered a lot due to such a fate!
The oldest mention of Korenica’s name, and the homonymous seat of the district (districtus de Korenica) in the Krbava County - is found in a Latin document from 28th November 1468, a loan agreement between the son of the prince of Krbava, Grgur, and three Croatian noblemen.
Korenica appeared and developed as a defence settlement beneath the medieval fortress Mrsinj-town that was also the seat of Krbava dioceses at the time of the Tatar invasion in Croatia.
Historical documents reveal that the citadel of the princes of Krbava was located on the site of today’s Korenica.
The citadel was built on a tallish mound close to the village Kalebovac on the Gradina hill.
It is assumed that a suburban settlement developed in Korenica at that time, with artisan-commercial Croatian population.
Many churches and material remains testify that the whole area was going through its golden period before the arrival of the Ottomans.
During a very long time, Croatia served as a Habsburg outpost in the defense of central Europe against the Ottomans!
What a terrible fate that was!
This was one of the most traumatic periods in the history of Korenica and Croatia!
The Ottoman conquest drastically changed the demographics of this area and casualties, both human and material, were horrible!
The Ottoman conquest in the 16th-century, drastically changed the demographic situation in Korenica, indigenous Catholic people fled Turkish raids, threatened by continued suffering and destruction, and the Turks started to colonize the Krajina and Lika region. They sforcibly settled this area with orthodox population from already conquered eastern Balkan territories – from Grahovo and Unca, originally from Tara, Piva and Lima.
Korenica was abandoned between 1523-1526.
In the distant future, this demographic change will be the cause of new and large-scale casualties in Korenica, Croatia and the region.
The strategically important position of this region, caused frequent wars and conflicts that lasted for centuries.
One such battle was legendary and tragic - The Battle of Krbava!
The battle was fought between the Kingdom of Croatia and the Ottoman Empireon the Krbava field in Udbina near Korenica!
On 9 September 1493, Croatian feudal army led by Ban Emerik Derencin (Ban reigned in the name of the ruler, he was the first state dignitary after king with various powers and functions) intercepted the Ottoman forces led by Hadim Yakup Pasha, sanjak-bey.
The decision to face the Ottomans, who had more calvary and experienced soldiers, in an open battle was very wrong. There was a better option of an ambush in the canyons and straits considered by Ivan Frankopan Cetinski, but the Ban rejected the suggestion and caused the defeat of the Croatian army with estimated 13 000 people killed.
The Croatian struggle for survival and defence against the horrible incursions of the Ottoman army and their further penetrations in Europe has not gone unnoticed by other European countries.
Unfortunately, due to the power struggle within Europe and the Croatian Kingdom, the war was often led only by Croats, their noblemen and ban (governor).
The suffering and the destruction was immense.
During this period, the tragic story of the destruction of the old town of Mrsinj took place.
Mrsinj was owned by one of the most prominent families of Croatian history, the princes of Frankopan, from 1486 till the Ottoman invasion of Lika.
Read more about the tragic end of two famous Croatian noble families and the destruction of Mrsinj-town under Explore Local - Remains of the medieval fortress Mrsinj-town.
The dreadful life continues until the great Austro-Turkish war (1683-1699) when nearly the entire Lika region was liberated from the Turks.
Unfortunately, after the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, Korenica was not returned to the Croatian Ban, but became a part of the Military Frontier (Vojna Krajina), first as part of the Lika Frontier Regiment and from 1765 as part of Otocac Frontier Regiment.
And this was a very bad news!
The Military Frontier was under the direct control of the Habsburg military. The administration of Krajina (the Military Frontier) introduced new heavy obligations for frontiersmen. All men aged 16 to 60 were forced to serve, and the smallest offenses were punished by beatings. Soon the liberation from the Turks was seen as passing from one slavery to another causing many mutinies in Lika.
For more than two centuries, the Habsburgs retained complete civilian and military authority, up to the abolition of the Military Frontier in 1881.
Life Between Battles
In short periods without war Korenica tried to recover. And it was difficult to start a normal life, material damage was so great that they could not even find an adequate building for school.
- the Emperor Joseph II himself visited Korenica in May 1775;
- 1780 a catholic diocese of St. Juraj (St. George) was founded, and the church was built in 1800;
- in 1801 Korenica got the first school, so called “trivial school” in a (redecorated) bakery!!;
- in 1872, Korenica was the seat of the municipality, the County area and the district court.
With the abolition of the Military Frontier, Korenica became the administrative seat of the County area and district court of the newly created Licko-Krbavska County with the centre in Gospic.
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Since 1922 Korenica was a district within the Primorsko-Krajiska area, and after the new division into Banovina, Korenica was part of the Sava Banovina.
Altough one of the more peaceful periods in the history of Korenica, the poverty was pervasive in society due to heavy war casualties.
At the end of the 19th century, more people settled in Licko-Krbavska County, but because of the great poverty we also see the beginning of the intercontinental emigration from which the population of Lika has never recovered.
Unfortunately, peace did not last long, as in many other areas of Europe! The brutal First and Second World War inflicted suffering upon so many nations.
Korenica, now occupied by Italian and German army, suffers again, till liberation in 1945.
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was founded after the Second World War. Yugoslavia was a federation made up of six socialist republics and two autonomous provinces.
Although it seemed like a quiet period, below the surface was very restless. Yugoslavia existed until its dissolution in 1992 and imposed wars.
Republic of Croatia
It seemed that the history repeats itself because the suffering of the population and the destruction of material goods were immense.
Instead of the lasting peace, a new dreadful war conflict happened after the breakdown of Yugoslavia.
During the Homeland war, Korenica was occupied by the Serbs from 1991-1995.
Korenica, as well as Bihać and the entire regional area are still recovering from these horrors, and the greatest was the loss of many human lives and great material destruction.
The oldest Croatian national park was also damaged during the war. One of our 2Parks - Plitvice Lakes National Park covers a large part of the Plitvice Lakes Municipality area that has its administrative headquarters in Korenica.
Among other damages in the Park, the Occupation Army had completely destroyed the unique forest vegetation of the protected park architecture – the Taxus baccata group (Yew trees) in Sertic Poljana.
Mythical wood, resistant and almost indestructible, Taxus baccata is often called a sacred tree, it grows slowly and can live up to 3,000 years. Today is highly endangered and specially protected in all natural habitats.
Korenica, as well as Bihać and the whole region, is burdened with numerous historical traumas, almost every generation remembers one. The effects of traumas have not disappeared, they are only suppressed and affect the lives of people in the 21st century.
Today, Korenica is the administrative seat of the Plitvice Lakes Municipality and the “home” of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It has around 4 000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, mostly employed in state and municipal services, and only a small percentage in a socially responsible and product-based private business.
To maintain the current disproportion between public spending and private investment and manufacturing would be a sure guarantee of deeper impoverishment of local communities, as well as the passive acquiescence of the deeply rooted crony capitalism that could unmercifully destroy the future of the region.
With the awakening of a new consciousness, there is absolutely no bigger priority than everlasting peace and unity, only under such conditions can we create a prosperous society that will benefit both humans and nature.
Support them in making these changes, stay a bit longer to reveal the true face of ancient settlements and wonderful people who have prepared their products and services to visitors – you. Empower local communities to offer their best!
Get to know the locals – Ličani, Croatian historical warriors-protectors who are: hospitable, heartfelt, faithful, proud and loyal to their home and country!
Korenica is calling, stay a bit longer with us!
Enjoy guided tours - email to the Mountaineering Society „Mrsinj“ from Korenica and schedule a walking or a biking tour: firstname.lastname@example.org and have a great time with local guides!!
Fan of mountain biking? This is the place for you!
The Municipality &Tourist Bord of Plitvice Lakes prepared numerous trails where you can enjoy recreation and sightseeing.
The Cycling Club Orbis from Korenica actively collaborated on establishing the trails, and some of the members are employees of the Croatian Forests, taking daily care of forests where the trails lead. Are there better guides?! ;)
Given that all members work, write to them 10 days before a tour.
Biciklistički klub Orbis
Have a great & safe time with local guides!!
Together For The Environment
- recycling is still a problem in the area, so we urge you to remove all packaging possible prior to your trip;
- explore Korenica and the countryside on foot, bike, horse or use public transport - give your car a rest andhelp reduce car emissions;
- please take litter with you - don't litter;
- when shopping for your trip, choose items that come in compostable packaging;
- buy in bulk when possible, utilizing reusable bags and containers;
- bring reusable water bottles - avoid plastic;
- use refillable coffee cups, most commercial cups are generally unrecyclable;
- be energy and water wise - save;
- opt for digital versions of maps, rather than paper.
Join Our Green Mission! Thank you for Caring!
Welcome to the home of the Plitvice Lakes National Park!