General information about Karlovac
The City of Karlovac was built by Austrians in 1579 as a military outpost of the Habsburg Monarchy, in order to strengthen their southern defences against Ottoman encroaches. It was built on the junction of four rivers and is a city of many bridges. City of Karlovac is situated close to the capital in the heart of Croatia. The area of the modern-day Karlovac covers 402 km2. Karlovac is administrative and economic center of the Karlovac County, situated in central Croatia and bordering two countries: Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as four counties. It is medium-sized city in Croatia with population of 55.000 inhabitants. Generators of local development are industries in the field of beer industry, armory and weapons industry and food processing industry. Subsidiaries of worldwide known international corporations, like Alstom and Heineken, are situated in Karlovac.
Historic center - six-pointed star
Karlovac was the first ideal "Renaissance town", laid out in the shape of a six-pointed star. Surrounded by six bastions connected with walls, the fortification was named after its founder the Archduke Karl (Charles), while with the expansion of the town it was named after its shape: Zvijezda (the Star). The star-shaped area within the fortification with geometrical and proportional streets and squares was flanked with six five-sided bastions linked with earthen walls.
The walls were surrounded by the moats and a sloping outer earthen dike which provided a good control of the area outside the fortification. Its orthogonal street plan, squares and blocks of houses fully correspond to the strategic notions of the time, therefore the fortifying and urban planning were carried our simultaneously. With the end of the Turkish threat and a reduction in the military role of the town, the walls unfortunately fell into almost complete ruin. However, the core of the old town kept its shape due to the dense rows of chestnut and lime trees that bordered Zvijezda at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
It was also surrounded by trenches that today have been transformed into parks full of walkways, flowerbeds and ornamental trees and shrubs. The oldest non-military building in the Renaissance-Baroque historic center is the Church of the Holy Trinity, which with the Franciscan monastery comprises one architectural entity. There are also other historic buildings in the historic center which served for the military and civil service during long and prosperous history of the city.