The 5 elements with a local twist
Karlovac is a town of waters. And that’s it. It is its main topic its omnipresent theme. The water well in the centre of the old town offers a free sample for you to drink, to feel what it is like to have a high quality potable water. We have four rivers, with all the fish, frogs and mermaids. The rivers have waterfalls and cascades, where you can enjoy the hydro massage. There’s also a small spring near the Korana river, testifying that the drinking water comes from the earth, not bottled. Due to all these water forms, we have the fog, but also the beer. It is also made from water. In the end, if we know that our body is also mostly made of water, you too, as visitors, will feel at home here. Provided that you are human.
Fire is the favourite element in winter, in the form of a warm stove. In summer, we like fire in our barbecues. In the past, Karlovac was not always on friendly terms with fire, especially when it decided to overcome the element of wood and create huge fires. That is how we learned to leave narrow passages, alleys between the buildings in the old town, the fire lanes called gasice. That is also why we formed the fire brigades. One of the reminders of the era is also the Firefighters’ Museum. Today, we have only the merry encounters with fire: the traditional Midsummer Bonfires.
This element lives in the trees in numerous Karlovac parks. You’ll notice it on every building, in the form of doors, decorative gates or windows. Should you notice the unusual bay windows, these are called the poklonci or šaufensteri, and are used to monitor the visitors at the front door. The wooden bridge over the Korana is simply called the Wooden Bridge. It is accompanied by a pontoon bridge, also a wooden bridge, but on pontoons. You can cross both of them free of charge. There are not too many tree-huggers in Karlovac, we are more inclined to wood-sitting, we like to sit on wooden park benches and float in the wooden river boats.
As a small area between the other four elements, the earth serves the fire, the water, the wood and the air to be able to enjoy its existence. Oh, well, OK, this might be a bit of an overstatement. The earth element is the basis of all life, and the teacher of history. The Karlovac moats are the broad ditches along the embankments and town walls. The Dubovac castle is a stone fortress on an earth mound above the town. The stone façades of the historic buildings are a part of the traditional architecture. The earth element will be best felt while walking barefoot along the Korana banks.
The air is clean in Karlovac. Take a deep breath. Hold your breath and hold your thought. That is how life turns simple. The wind is moving air, it likes to go through your hair and through the treetops in Karlovac parks. When the air moves inside an apartment or a house, it is called the draft. Traditionally, it has been the most notorious cause of all illnesses (we do not subscribe to the official medical facts that show this is not possible). The air is home to the birds. And the mosquitoes. When you get tired of the mosquitoes, start waving your arms and you’ll be just like a bird! And we love birds in Karlovac. We’ll love you, too.