Remains of the medieval fortress Mrsinj

The remains of the medieval fortress are located on the Mrsinj hill above Korenica, beneath the hill's summit on 1097 m.

The Mrsinj-fort has s historical significance as the first administrative center of the Krbava diocese. With Udbina and Komic, Mrsinj-fort was one of the three biggest forts of old Krbava diocese.  

Fort was built on the wide foundation and was nicely shaped. Around Mrsinj, a large garden was well kept with a variety of cultivated species of bushy fruit trees. There was also a fort called Prozor located on the present serpentines above the village Vrelo that protected the crossing from the Korenica field to Homoljačko field.

Mrsinj Hill, close to Korenica

Mrsinj-fort was owned by the dukes of Krbava, the Frankopans until 1486 and the invasion of the Turks into Lika. Although in 1500 the governor (ban) of Croatia with his army defeated the Ottoman army at the Korenica stream, the Turks have finally conquered this old Croatian diocese and the region of Krbava in 1527. During this battle, the fort was destroyed.  

The Frankopans -  the end of the one of the most prominent families of Croatian history

After the defeat of the Turks at St. Gotthard in 1664, Emperor Leopold I. made a scandalous Warsaw peace with the Turks, allowing them to keep what they have won before the war. This agreement enormous damage was inflicted on Croatia and Hungary and prevented the legal means to win their rights.

In the moments of increased centralistic aspirations of the Habsburgs to the detriment of the feudal position of the Croatian and Hungarian nobility, the only remaining action for the Croatian and Hungarian leaders was to exercise their rights  through rebellion.

A rebellion in Croatia was led by Nikola of Zren and  in Hungary by Palatine Wesselényi Ferenc. After the tragic death of the Duke, Nikola was succeeded by his younger brother Peter. Along with his brother-in- law Fran Krsto Frankopan and the Hungarian leaders, they continued the fight for the rights of Croatia and Hungary.

Different ideas and ways of keeping the conspiracy led to the dissolution of the Croatian-Hungarian federation and the betrayal of the rebel leaders by a member of the orders.

In 1670, the Emperor Leopold I. deceived the Croatian nobles Zrinski and Frankopan into Vienna under the pretext of reconciliation, but he ordered the immediate arrest and imprisonment in one of the towers of the notorious prison of the Vienna Neustadt.

On April 18th, 1671, Petar of Zren and Fran Krsto Frankopan were sentenced to death by decapitation for treason and insult to the king and the country. The same terrible fate befell the Count Erasmus Tattenbach from Styria, and the judge Francis Nadasdy to the consternation of Croatia, Hungary and the rest of the Europe.

On April 30th, 1671, all the city gates of the Vienna Neustadt were closed, and the execution site was surrounded by armed troops.

Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan awaiting execution!Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan awaiting execution

Before his death, Petar Zren wrote to his wife Catherine the famous farewell letter "My dear heart". In 1671 due to its tenderness, the letter was translated into several world languages.

Read more here: Story of Petar and Katarina Zrinski

The two nobles and their families were deprived of the nobility and their property confiscated by the State. Immediately after, the Viennese central government completely looted and destroyed the two greatest families in Croatian history.

The certain Venetian envoy wrote: "This is the end of the two most prominent families of the living world. Especially the Zrens was appreciated because the family gave 60 Viceroys or governors to Croatia."

The Ozalj Cultural Circle of the Zrens and the Frankopans disappeared before it could encourage and expand the Croatian written word among the population.

The last written traces of the Mrsinj remains

The ruins were mentioned for the last time in the official report of a man called Vela, a major of Otocac regiment when the data about the dilapidated forts of the Korenica region was gathered. Korenica was then the seat of the Korenica Kumpanija that belonged to the Otocac Regiment of the Karlovac Army region.

Walk the paths of the Frankopans

With the visit of the abandoned Mrsinj-fort by the Gospic-Senj Bishop Mile Bogović in 2006 as part of the initiative for the revival of the episcopal seats of the Krbava diocese things start to change for the better. Today there are marked hiking trails leading you to the  remains of the Mrsinj-fort, arranged by the Mountaineering Association "Mrsinj" from Korenica, and the visit of the site is promoted also by the Tourist Board of the Plitvice Lakes.

Together For Nature

Help save the environment and nature conservation:
  • explore the countryside and the mountain on foot, bike, horse -  give your car a rest and help reduce car emissions
  • take care to place all recyclable items in proper receptacles - recycle
  • please take litter with you - leave no trace
  • bring reusable water bottles - avoid plastic
  • opt for digital versions of maps, rather than paper.

Thank you!! :)

Enjoy Guided Tours 

Send an e-mail to the "Mrsinj" Mountaineering Club from Korenica on: and arrange a walking or a cycling tour. 

Experience recreational activity with local guides!!

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