Rotary Club Karlovac - Dubovac

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rc 02.JPGWhover passes through Karlovac will soon realise that the part of the town called Dubovac does not have only charms but also that specific quality that distinguishes it. On the top of a hill north-west of Karlovac stands the old fort of Dubovac built above the right banks of the river Kupa.

The name Dubovac derives from the Old Slavonic word dub meaning an oak tree. Oak forests still cover the rim of Mount Dubovac.


The Sudar family, an old Slavonian aristocratic family, were the first documented owners of Dubovac. Like many other estates at that time it did not remain in the hands of the Sudars for long. It changed hands very often. Among the most distinguished owners were the most powerful feudal families of the time – the Zrinskis and Frankopans.

Turkish raiders did not by-pass this strategically important stronghold. The first Turkish siege of Dubovac took place in 1524, followed by numerous battles. Resisting numerous Ottoman’s invasions Dubovac became a legendary place.


rc 03.JPGThe building of the Karlovac fort would not have been possible without Dubovac, and in the decades to follow it served for a long period of time as the seat of the military commanders of the new born town. The strategic position of the fortress was later recognized by French and Austrian generals. After French ocupation of the city and Dubovac in 1809, the fortress was reconstructed and became a residence of the governor of the Province of Illyria, Baron de Vienney. In 1837 Count Laval Nugent purchased the fortress and renovated it in the Romantic style. The Municipality of Karlovac took the derelict fortress over in 1896. Dubovac has been reconstructed several times since then and is also under reconstruction at the moment.

The fortress Dubovac is not only a historic jewel but also provides the best views of the city and its surroundings. It has been an inspiration to many painters, writers and a symbol of Karlovac. The noble families of Zrinsks, Frankopans and all those who helped shape the fortres as we know it today are long gone. It is now our turn to add new pages to its history. We should always remember that maybe there would not have been Karlovac without the Dubovac fortress which offered protection to its builders.