Slunj is an ancient town in the northwestern part of mainland Croatia. It is the political and cultural center of the historical region of Kordun. It is located at the junction of the rivers Slunjčica and Korana, about 50 km from Karlovac and the main road from Zagreb to Zadar via Plitvice.
The first historical references mentioning Slunj date back to the 12th century. The fortified town dates back to 1323. The fortifications built by the Frankopans were meant to protect them from Ottoman invasions. Ultimately, the city suffered the assaults of the invaders and capitulated in the 16th century. It was rebuilt in the 17th century and became a military fort under the rule of the Habsburgs.
The city was under French rule between 1809 and 1813. The house of the governor of the time, Auguste de Marmont, still stands. During these years, important works were carried out to develop the economy (construction of roads, sheds, planting of vineyards). It was also during this period that the Croatian language was introduced in the town.
What can you visit in Slunj?
Besides its rich cultural heritage, Slunj is also home to many preserved waterfalls and enchanting places. The small watermill hamlet of Rastoke is like a fairytale scenery in which 300 year old wooden houses have been completely renovated. The houses are now decorated with flowers and bushes. The Austrian writer Heimito von Doderer made it one of the main places in his novel “Slunj Falls” published in 1963.
If you are heading south or going to Dalmatia, spend some time in Slunj and its surroundings. You can go biking, hiking, caving in the Baraćeve špilje caves or rafting. Rent kayaks or canoes and take on the rapids of the Korana. Sports aside, don’t forget to try the local specialties made with fish.