The Katzler Pavilion

The Katzler Pavilion

The Katzler Pavilion

Katzler

Congratulations! You have just found the Katzler Pavilion, the smallest tourist mega-centre in the world, a souvenir shop, a museum, a gallery, a Karlovac culture and history vault, a favourite meeting point of the natives. All in one place. It can accommodate several thousand visitors… but only if they’re equally and carefully distributed over one year’s time. A group of five or more can come inside only with a smile.

Katzler
Katzler
Katzler

The entrance to the historic Karlovac Star, the old town, is marked by a small green wooden house with an unusual name – the Katzler Pavilion. This can be your orientation point, helping you to find your way into and out of the old town. No, we do not charge anything, for either direction.

The Katzler Pavilion remembers its third century now, the courtships of the Austro-Hungarian officers, the Rosenkavaliers and the ladies out for a Sunday stroll along the Promenade. It has witnessed the town’s golden age, the suffering, the sweet lovers’ secrets, and the political intrigue. It was here, in this very place, while the Seljan brothers wandered the world, when Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity, and the Wright brothers made their first flight. It survived everything.

Today, the rich Karlovac history is framed in the small shop windows of the Katzler Pavilion, while inside there are various objects, photographs and documents that are a part of the town’s historical mosaic.

We can describe it as an ‘informal tourist interpretation centre and the smallest multicultural hub in the world’, which will undoubtedly strain your pronunciation capabilities. That is why we propose a little brainstorming game that should make it easier to remember: the first word – Katzler; the second word – Pavilion. Try to remember. And there you are! Right in front of the Katzler Pavilion. Welcome!

Katzler Pavilion – 360° virtual tour

AQUATIKA – FRESHWATER AQUARIUM KARLOVAC

AQUATIKA – FRESHWATER AQUARIUM KARLOVAC

AQUATIKA – FRESHWATER AQUARIUM KARLOVAC

Have you ever been to a freshwater aquarium? Have you ever seen a catfish sleeping? Do you know what the life span of various fish is? Which one is the fastest, which one the slowest? Do the fish drink water? Do they make sounds? How do they swim, in a school or a shoal? Can they swim backward? What is the connection between the lipsticks and the fish scales? Have you ever seen an introduction to a promotional text with so many question marks?

For all the answers, except for the last one, go to the Aquatika – the Karlovac freshwater aquarium! The aquarium presents the flora and fauna of the Croatian rivers, lakes and ponds, its geological past, traditional culture, as well as the history of the four Karlovac rivers area – the basins of the Korana, Kupa, Mrežnica, and Dobra. The aquarium tanks layout follows the course of a typical karst river, offering a detailed, interesting, instructive, and exciting insight into the wonderful freshwater world. Visitors can thus experience the whole river course, from its source to its mouth.



The Aquatika, this unusual building perfectly blended into the Korana surroundings
, has won several prestigious awards for architecture and sustainable development while preserving nature. If you cannot really see it at first, it just means that it deserved all its awards. But you’ll find it eventually, don’t worry. It will beckon you with its magical attraction. And if you do not believe in magic, here are the coordinates: 45°29’7” N, 15°33’44” E.

There, it was not so difficult after all, was it? You have found it. Enter. Surrender to the surroundings, relax, learn something new. You’ll have a feeling you’re walking along a river, scuba-diving in it and disappearing with a subterranean course, going deep into the dark labyrinth of caves. You’ll be surprised by the richness of biodiversity of the water world, inspiring your new passion, and wish to get back to nature.

Opening hours: 9 – 19h every day

Visit Aquatika webpage: aquariumkarlovac.com

                        
                             
aquatika
aquatika

The Dubovac Castle

The Dubovac Castle

The Dubovac Castle

We do not really know when we built the Dubovac Castle, we do not remember it all that well. Old records show there has always been a fort on top of the hill overlooking the Kupa river. Even before there were written records to speak of. We finished the construction in the 13th century, since we were under constant attacks and had to defend our grain and salt traders, as well as the Kupa boatmen. From the main tower, one can see the Kupa river and beyond, check it out for yourself. 

The Dubovac Castle is one of the best preserved and most beautiful monuments of medieval architecture in Croatia. It was built on a prehistoric hill above the Kupa, and was named after the dubs, the oaks growing on the surrounding slopes. It changed hands many times throughout history, changing its appearance according to the needs and fashion of the period. Its current appearance is the result of a comprehensive restoration program carried out during the mid-twentieth century.

The collective memory of Karlovac citizens says that the castle water well hides a tunnel leading to the Kupa bank and the Old Town. We would love to ascertain the information, but are afraid it might only be a legend, and that would be an unpleasant blow. So let it be the way it is now. We all love legends and fairy-tales.

The enchanted castle courtyard is going to stay enchanted regardless of the historical evidence. Enjoy the medieval atmosphere of the restaurant inside the castle, visit the museum inside the tower, and while climbing the squeaky wooden steps, feel like you’re a part of Karlovac, a part of Dubovac!

The walls are cold, but they still hide a host of warm stories of the Zrinski family love, the Frankopan family successes and the diverse fates of the people closely connected to the castle. And while there, do stay until the sunset. You’ll see Karlovac bathed in the evening colours, changing its face in front of you, practically in the palm of your hand.

Dubovac Castle
Opening hours
June 1st – September 30th
Thuesday – Sunday: 10am-8pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

October 1st – May 31st
Thuesday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

stari grad Dubovac
stari grad Dubovac
stari grad Dubovac

source: Ivo Biočina, HTZ

The Foginovo beach

The Foginovo beach

The Foginovo beach

Karlovac, the town on four rivers, boasts the first registered river beach in Croatia. It is situated on the Korana bank. The Foginovo beach, as the historic heritage of the citizens, has been engraved in the town’s very fabric, and its future matrix, just like a genetic code. Even a century later, it remains a memorable place.

From its source at the Plitvice lakes, all the way to its mouth, where it joins the Kupa river in Karlovac, the green beauty that is the Korana river adorns its surroundings. As it flows practically through the very centre of the town, both the citizens and the visitors have been using it, for centuries and throughout the year, as an oasis of peace and the place to get in touch with the nature. From the time its health benefits were confirmed, generations of citizens gathered at the Korana banks, enjoying the benefits of the clean river, while it beckoned them to swim and relax during the summer heat.

Foginovo kupalište

The same historic picture is still very alive. Today, this river beach is where it was a long time ago and people still go there like they always did. Like some kind of a magic magnet, the Korana attracts visitors, locals, those in love, the sad, the children and grandmothers alike, the adventure lovers and those seeking serenity. The Cener (“Ten”), the top board of the 10 m high diving tower, is reserved for the bravest divers, there’s also a 5 m diving board, for the less courageous, and also the 3 m board, for those who want to get into the water as quickly as possible. The less experienced swimmers can find refreshment in the shallower part of the river, and for those with limited moving capabilities, there’s a water lift, a number of special deck chairs, the changing stalls, as well as toilets.

There are lifeguards watching over the beach, and the activity directors busy both in the water and on the grass, while a free water park will bring smiles to the faces of all those yearning for unusual ways of getting into the water. If you cannot decide whether to choose water polo or beach volleyball, go to the shade of the riverside café and let the breeze in your hair and the ice in your glass solve the dilemma for you.

If you like mornings, this beach offers the privilege to swim alongside the swans, and if you prefer evenings and nights, opt for the summer joys of the open-air river cinema. Or play tennis at the nearby courts. Or visit the freshwater aquarium, the Aquatika, and dive into the world of the fish and the underwater river life. If you feel like running, use the nearby track, if you feel like stretching and training, use the outdoor gym, and if you want to keep your mental fitness, read a book. In case you just want some peace and quiet, just sit on the Korana bank, in the shade of a century old willows, and watch the river in silence. If you’re lucky, for a moment, you might even hear the unusual sounds of the Karlovac mermaids’ song.

Foginovo kupalište
Foginovo kupalište
Foginovo kupalište

The Four Rivers

The Four Rivers

The Four Rivers

Karlovac is situated on the banks of four rivers. It is only logical, then, that it is also a town of many bridges. Further analysis brings us to the conclusion that it is a town of boats. Also of fog, angling, fish, frogs and an odd mosquito. Everything in this town is connected to the four rivers, the freshwater Aquatika aquarium, the romantic walks along the banks and the drinking water. We use them to name everything we can, from kindergartens, to sports clubs, to restaurants, to our own children.

For reasons unbeknownst to us, Mother Nature decided to locate all the spare rivers right here. For reasons that are quite well-known, however, a wise man decided to build a town on the banks of those four rivers. And here we are, in the watery embrace of our own four beauties. How many times have we mentioned the word ‘four’? Four times.

Every Karlovac citizen has his or her own favourite river. And each river has its special hue. Every visitor is going to fall in love with one of the rivers. Or with all of them? All four.

Did you know that in Karlovac you can swim in all of the four rivers in a single day? If you’re in a hurry and cannot stay the whole day, we can show you how and where, in just two dives, you can swim in all four. Two in four.

The Kupa river is the longest of the four, with its spring in the Risnjak national park. All the other Karlovac rivers eventually flow into the Kupa. Sometimes it is very unpredictable, but mostly it is quiet and serene, dangerous only when agitated. At those times it washes over our streets and keeps us busy at the levees. The only mystery: why the river whose spring is only 30 km from the Adriatic Sea flows in the very opposite direction, like no other river in the world?

The Korana river is unique as we cannot take you to its spring. It has no spring. It flows out of the Plitvice Lakes, through a canyon wit many waterfalls and cascades and becomes tranquil in Karlovac. Just like the Kupa, it flows almost through the very town-centre. Thanks to the unusual combination of the dissolved minerals, its waters are conductive to health, and so it used to have a spa. It is the most popular river when it comes to swimming and other summer joys with its Foginovo beach.

The Mrežnica river has two springs, in contrast to the Korana, which has none. Strange rivers, no doubt about it. The Mrežnica is famous for its tufa barriers and cascades. We did our best to count them and got the precise result: there’s an endless number of them. The best way to get to know the river is in a kayak.

The Dobra river has one spring and also two additional springs. And several different names in its upper parts. In Ogulin, it turns into a subterranean river at Đula’s Abyss. After that, it resurfaces, rushing through a canyon, over the dams, filling reservoirs, powering the old mills and in the end slowly flows into the Kupa.

Mrežnica
Korana
karlovačke rijeke

Karlovac Parks

Karlovac Parks

Karlovac Parks

From the ancient times of the  Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the philosophy of landscaping symbols tends towards attaining the spiritual peace of a divine garden. The Latin word parricus (from which the English word park originated) denotes an enclosure or a ‘defended space’. Do parks defend us from the alienated world of urban bustle? Is Karlovac a town with therapeutic parks or is it all one huge park with a town within? It seems that the historian R. Radovinović’s words ‘a town within a park‘ are best suited to describe the dominant impression of Karlovac. 

The green vistas of the town are awaiting, regardless of the direction of your approach. And one of the approaches is the majestic Marmont Allée, where you’ll feel welcome in the embrace of the centuries old giant plane trees, or feel obliged to stop and have a break after seeing the playful red leaves of the maples. Your stress is probably going to be at risk, likely to disappear in all the greenery. We are not going to charge you for that.

The first parks in Karlovac were planned already during the construction of the fort itself. And that is how it all got started. We haven’t stopped doing this even to this very day, taking care of our parks, avenues, flowers and lawns. Our parks grow with the town. The town is a part of the park. We have flowers at our windows. Our river beaches are covered in lush and soft grass.


Take a walk around the town developed within a park
. Your footsteps will be welcome by the Grand Promenade (Šetalište dr. Franje Tuđmana), with a five-fold alée, a flowering magnolia next to the ‘Small Gloriette’, the park vegetation in the moats, the Renaissance park next to the Polytechnic, the linden alée near the town walls remnants, the Black Promenade, the Arboretum around the Forestry School, the Modrušan Park with a playground near the Edison cinema, the Vrbanić Gardens along the Korana river… or a small hidden park within the Franciscan monastery.

Turn on all the five senses, as well as the sixth, the hidden one. Listen to the birds early in spring, or to the pine cones crackling in the summer heat. Feel the prickling of the winter frost and the smell of the flowering linden. Look at all the greenery! In winter, when the coldness takes away the greenery from the park and freezes the time, our parks are the pulsating heart of this town. Let your own heartbeats join this green rhythm.

Parkovi i perivoji
Parkovi i perivoji
Parkovi i perivoji