The Old Town Dubovac in Karlovac

23 Jun 2023
Its name originating from the oak forests of the area (Dub or Dab = Oak), the Old Town of Dubovac most probably dates to the 13th century. Dubovac Castle is only a short walk from the centre of Karlovac (northwest of the Renaissance Star); head for the highest hill your eye can see. Once you reach the top of the castle’s prehistoric hill, you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city below and the long-stretching Kupa River. Dubovac was first mentioned in the 1st half of the 14 century, and, at this time, it was probably made primarily from wood. Bernardin Frankopan, one of the owners of Dubovac, mentions in a letter from 1511 how Dubovac was then made predominantly from stone. The former owners included the noble Slavonian Sudars (1387) and the Frankopans (1442). By the 16th century, it had passed into the hands of Stjepan Frankopan's sister Katarina as a wedding gift when she married the famous Croatian nobleman and warrior Nikola Šubić Zrinski. Gašpar Šubić Peranski possessed the property in 1576. Later in the 16th century, Dubovac Castle was used as a granary as developing Karlovac became an important trade centre. The keep, then entered by a small drawbridge, was used as a jail.

From 1671 until the arrival of the French in 1809, the old city was owned by the generals of Karlovac. In 1837 Earl Laval Nugent restored it in the spirit of Romanticism. Ideally located, the preserved castle and tower are remarkably charming…you almost expect to see figures from another era dashing about. 

View on three sides of the world!

From the top of the tower, enjoy the incredible views which embrace not just one but three countries – Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia. Treat yourself to a romantic lunch or dinner with a medieval touch at the Bistro Kastel inside the Castle. The menu is based on a rich, gastronomic heritage and uses fresh local ingredients with a slightly modern twist. Prepare for the exciting signature dishes and enjoy Karlovac bathed in sunset colours when heading back down the hill to the city.

Don't miss out!

Climb the squeaky wooden steps to reach the castle's central tower and visit the exhibition within. The permanent collection of the Castle tells its rich history and outlines its importance and the different ownership through the ages. One of its best features is a fascinating map of the ancient terrain detailing the other castles and fortresses that once existed along the same defensive line in this region.

Who was Laval Nugent?

Not familiar with the name Laval Nugent? It is time that changed. Born in late 18th century Ireland, Laval Nugent (or Laval Graf Nugent von Westmeath, to be exact) lived an incredible life that saw him take to the battlefields in the name of the Habsburg army. Moreover, he acted as a key negotiator during the Napoleonic Wars, was an influential member of the Illyrian movement, collected a whole heap of art and was beloved by Pope Pius VII. Not bad for a boy from Killulagh. In 1837, Nugent came into possession of the Dubovac Castle, renovating it into the stunningly dramatic structure we can see on old postcards.
Photo by Izvan fokusa

Virtual Walk Dubovac

What a wonderful world we live in. Curious about the grand old castle of Dubovac but unable to visit the beauty just yet? The magic of technology means you can explore the prized possession of many Croatian nobles without leaving the comfort of your sofa. Head to the link and explore to your heart's content; the perfect way to whet the appetite before visiting for real. Of course, you can't beat the real thing, but this virtual walk through Dubovac Castle is the next best thing.



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