Individuals that have left their mark.

All the towns and cities in the world, regardless of their size, are proud and like to brag about their famous ancestors. Karlovac is no exception. A town that does not appreciate its predecessors’ achievements does not even deserve to benefit from their heritage. The citizens of Karlovac are proud of their fellow citizens who have left both an important and an invisible mark on the timeline, who did something to make this world a better place and let Karlovac have a future. Whether they are scientists or innovators, actresses or actors, painters, athletes or writers, architects, historians, generals or nameless individuals lost in the town’s collective memory, they are all very much here and alive thanks to their achievements. The town’s history was built step by step, stone by stone, verse by verse. The same goes for the future.
It really isn’t easy to list all those who have left a mark. Some of those lost in the mists of memory may come back through your own research. Make your own list of interesting locals while walking along the Karlovac streets. Ask yourself who built a beautiful mansion at the Old Town entrance, or who had his or her workshop in a dilapidated house in the Radićeva street. Who painted the mystical river watercolours? Who planted the magnolias in the park? And while we’re at it, who got the idea to build a town on the four rivers?

Walking around the town, you might meet someone whose bright future is still in the years to come. A little puzzled boy with a spark in his eye, sitting on a river bank, might be the next scientific genius on a par with Nikola Tesla. A girl with a guitar larger than herself, already late for her morning classes, may be an undiscovered virtuoso reminding one of Ana Vidović. You might be glad one day to remember those encounters you never thought would become so magical.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla is the most famous pupil of the Karlovac Grammar School (the Real Gymnasium), and his Great Royal Realschule diploma is the only diploma he ever received, since the health and family reasons prevented him from finishing his university studies and...

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Vjekoslav Karas

Vjekoslav Karas was the first major formally trained painter in the second half of the 19th century. He was born in Karlovac, in a humble artisan family. As a ten-year-old, he was already fascinated by art. His first teachers were Karlovac painting craftsmen and the...

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Ana Katarina Zrinski

Ana Katarina Zrinski made an indelible mark in Karlovac's timeline thanks to the most famous wedding that took place in town. She married Petar Zrinski in 1641, and this marriage connected the two most powerful Croatian aristocratic families by way of close family...

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Dragojla Jarnević

Dragojla Jarnević was an impulsive woman ahead of her time, who took everything life offered completely open-mindedly. We could say she was the first Karlovac feminist even though the term did not even exist at the time. She made her name as an adventurous hiker and...

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Ivan Mažuranić

Apart from being Croatian ban (governor), Ivan Mažuranić was one of the greatest 19th century Croatian poets. His most important work is the epic poem The Death of Smail-aga Čengić. Its first public reading was held in Karlovac, in 1847. He was born in Novi...

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Mirko i Stjepan Seljan

The Seljan brothers are Karlovac's most famous globetrotters. Mirko Seljan was born in Karlovac on April 5, 1871, his brother Stjepan on August 19, 1875. Having graduated from primary school, they started travelling around Europe, which would prove a valuable...

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Martin (Matija) Gambon

Martin Gambon was the chief constructor of the Karlovac fortress. He was from northern Italy and one of the most prominent builders of his time. A quiet Karlovac street has been named after him, inside the former fortress, close to his moats and walls. In some texts,...

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The Vranyczany-Dobrinović Family

  The members of the Vranyczany-Dobrinović family have been the protagonists of some of the most exciting events in Croatian history since 15th century. Their importance and influence are reflected in the mansion on Zrinski trg, Karlovac's central square, as well...

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Josip Stiller

  Josip Stiller was an architect, urban planner and a visionary whose legacy are unique Karlovac panoramas. He was of Czech origin, but not much is known about his life before his arrival to Karlovac. He came here as a young man, started his career as a...

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