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Čabar: City of Croatian Warriors and Nobles

Čabar, the city of Croatian warriors and nobles, is a captivating destination brimming with natural beauty and rich history.  That history traces its roots back to the Roman era. Nestled in the picturesque region of Croatia, Čabar has emerged as a hidden gem, enticing adventurers and history enthusiasts alike to uncover its secrets.

At the heart of Čabar’s allure lies the illustrious Frankopan family, renowned warriors and nobles who left an indelible mark on the city’s past. This noble lineage weaves tales of valor and grandeur, enchanting visitors with stories of their resolute spirit and unwavering dedication to their homeland.

City of Croatian Warriors and Nobles
Source: Branko Lautar

But Čabar is much more than just a testament to the Frankopans’ legacy. Its breathtaking natural landscapes captivate the senses, beckoning explorers to lose themselves in the embrace of its verdant forests, cascading waterfalls, and rolling hills. Whether you’re an intrepid hiker seeking an exhilarating challenge or a nature lover yearning for tranquility, Čabar offers a myriad of opportunities to reconnect with the great outdoors.

Stepping foot in Čabar, the city of Croatian warriors and nobles,  is akin to stepping back in time, where echoes of ancient civilizations reverberate through its cobblestone streets. The Roman presence is palpable, as remnants of their architectural prowess stand as a testament to their once-thriving civilization. As you wander through the city, you’ll find yourself transported through the annals of history, immersing yourself in the tales of Roman conquerors and the subsequent influences that shaped Čabar into the cultural mosaic it is today. 

City of Croatian Warriors and Nobles is Settled in Magnificent Gorski Kotar

Čabar, a town that proudly stands as a distinctive micro-region in the far northwest of Gorski kotar, emerges as a captivating entity surrounded by the Republic of Slovenia, with a state border stretching approximately 54 kilometers. Encompassing an expansive area of 282 square kilometers, Čabar city finds itself adorned with nature’s bounty, boasting around 215 square kilometers of lush forests.

The majestic river Čabranka gracefully meanders through the landscape, serving as a natural border that separates Čabar and Slovenia. The term “town of Čabar” encompasses not only the central town itself but also the encompassing settlements of Prezid, Tršće, Plešce, and Gerovo.

Source: Branko Lautar

Tracing its origins back to Roman times, the history of Čabar unfolds like a captivating narrative. The town of Prezid once stood fortified with a Roman wall, built as a formidable defense against the German tribes. However, it is in the Middle Ages that Čabar truly flourished, with the name of Petar Zrinski resonating prominently. Zrinski brought economic prosperity to Čabar, establishing a pioneering factory for nails and screws—a renowned forge that distributed its products worldwide through the port of Bakar. 

Another significant figure in the industrial revolution, Aleksandar Vilhar, made his mark on the Čabar region. He acquired the first steam sawmill in Gorski Kotar, originally built in 1847 by Velasti in Prezid, and further expanded it by constructing the steam sawmill Franjo Žagar-Špetnak atop Milan’s peak near Prezid in 1907. Unfortunately, this grand sawmill met its tragic demise in a fire that erupted in 1938, allegedly set intentionally upon the initiative of Karl-Linet, Franjo’s grandson.

City of Warriors and Nobles
Source: Branko Lautar

When exploring Čabar and its surroundings, an array of captivating sights beckon to be discovered. The Petr Zrinski Castle in Čabar itself stands as a testament to the town’s noble heritage. Embark on a remarkable journey through time by venturing into the tunnel that connects the castle to the Tropetar rock. A visit to the first forge in Croatia, nestled within Čabar, unveils the historical significance of this industrial gem. Admire the architectural beauty of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua and the Church of St. Vid in Prezid. Delve into the past at the Old Roman Wall Limes in Prezid, immersing yourself in the remnants of ancient history. For nature enthusiasts, the trails “In the Footsteps of Tršće Miners” and “Trail of Predators” in Tršće, as well as the energy-recreational trail in Prezid, promise unforgettable experiences.

„Navik on živi ki zgine pošteno.“

In the pursuit of a life lived with unwavering honesty, the spirit of resistance against Vienna manifested through two momentous conspiracies. The initial plot, guided by Ban Nikola Zrinski in Croatia and Palatine Ferenc Wesselényi in Hungary, sought to challenge the prevailing authority. The second conspiracy, known as the Zrinsko-Frankopan Conspiracy, was orchestrated by Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan. Though shrouded in mystique and mythologized within Croatian tradition, the latter endeavor was destined for failure, particularly as the conspirators sought alliance with the Ottomans—an unrealistic and ill-fated choice.

Katarina's separation from Petar Zrinski painted by Oton Iveković
Source: Ana Moslavac

In their first conspiracy, the dissidents found themselves compelled to seek external assistance, turning to France, Poland, and even the Ottoman Empire. However, despite promises, their traditional opponents, the Austrians, offered no support. This plot concluded with the dubious demise of Nikola Zrinski during a boar hunting expedition, spawning conspiracy theories accusing the Viennese court of foul play. The second conspiracy, led by Nikola’s brother, Petar Zrinski, along with his brother-in-law Fran Krsto Frankopan, valiantly carried on the fight and maintained ties with prominent Hungarian leaders. Yet, the Croatian-Hungarian alliance eventually crumbled, and the negotiations for Ottoman aid shifted from France to the Ottoman Empire.

The ill-prepared conspiracy was inadvertently unveiled just as Fran Krsto Frankopan commenced preparations for an armed uprising, unaware that the Ottomans would not lend their support. Both men were sentenced to death for insulting the king and betraying their country, their punishment to be meted out by severing their right hand and decapitation. On April 30, 1671, they faced their execution. As a gesture of mercy, the punishment of hand severing was waived. Prior to the execution, the families of these noble individuals were stripped of their titles, and all their possessions were confiscated by the state. The repercussions of this execution reverberated across Croatia, Hungary, and throughout Europe, sparking widespread outrage.

The position of Ban remained vacant until 1680 when Nikola Erdödy, a Croatian magnate of Hungarian heritage, a staunch supporter of the court, and a longstanding adversary of the Zrinski family, assumed the role. With the eradication of resistance to court absolutism and the subsequent centralization of administration in Croatia, a new era unfolded.

Upon the graves of Fran Krsto Frankopan and Petar Zrinski, within the Zagreb Cathedral, an epitaph bears the poignant verse by Fran Krsto Frankopan: “Navik on živi ki zgine pošteno.” (The one who dies honestly lives forever.) a timeless reminder of a noble spirit that endures even in the face of sacrifice.

Join us on a journey to Čabar, where the allure of Croatian warriors and nobles intertwines with the breathtaking beauty of nature and the echoes of a past that dates back to ancient times. Uncover the hidden treasures that lie within its borders, and let the enchantment of this historical gem leave an indelible mark on your own story. Let us help you find the best accomodation for your newest adventure in the city of Croatian warriors and nobles! 

Your CTC Team

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