Gorski kotar
Gorski kotar is the mountainous region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 in Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 between Karlovac
Karlovac is a city and municipality in central Croatia. The city proper has a population of 49,082, while the municipality has a population of 59,395 inhabitants .Karlovac is the administrative centre of Karlovac County...

 and Rijeka
Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia . It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,735 inhabitants...

. Together with Lika
Lika is a mountainous region in central Croatia, roughly bound by the Velebit mountain from the southwest and the Plješevica mountain from the northeast. On the north-west end Lika is bounded by Ogulin-Plaški basin, and on the south-east by the Malovan pass...

 and the Ogulin
Ogulin is a town in north-western Croatia, in Karlovac County. It has a population of 8,712 , and a total municipal population of 15,054...

Plaški is a village and a municipality in Karlovac County, Croatia. It is part of Lika.- Geography :Plaški is situated in the lower part of the Ogulin-Plaški valley. Together with Gorski kotar and Lika, the Ogulin-Plaški valley forms Mountainous Croatia...

In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

 it forms Mountainous Croatia. Because 63% of its surface is forested it is popularly called the green lungs of Croatia or Croatian Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. Through the region passes the European route E65
European route E65
European route E 65 is a north-south Class-A European route that begins in Malmö, Sweden and ends in Chaniá, Greece. The road is about in length.-Itinerary:* Sweden** E 65: Malmö – Ystad* Baltic sea, ferry Ystad-Świnoujście* Poland...

, which connects Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 and Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

 with the Adriatic Port Rijeka.


The region is divided between Primorje-Gorski Kotar county
Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
Primorje-Gorski kotar County is a county in western Croatia that includes the Bay of Kvarner and the surrounding Northern Croatian seacoast, and the mountainous region of Gorski kotar...

 and Karlovac county
Karlovac County
Karlovac County is a county in central Croatia, with the administrative center in Karlovac.The city of Karlovac is another fort from the times of the Military Frontier...

. The majority of the region lies in Primorje-Gorski kotar county including the cities of Delnice
Delnice is a town in western Croatia, the largest settlement in the mountainous region of Gorski Kotar, in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county. The town has a population of 4,451 , total municipality population is 6,858. Delnice is Gorski Kotar's main town...

, Čabar
Čabar is a town in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county in western Croatia. There are 4,387 inhabitants, with 95% Croats.-Twin towns:Čabar is twinned with: Pula, Croatia ...

, Vrbovsko
Vrbovsko is a town in western Croatia, situated at the far east of the mountainous region of Gorski kotar in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county; on its 280 square kilometers area, Vrbovsko features 60 settlements and a total of 5,019 inhabitants...

; and the municipalities of Mrkopalj
Mrkopalj is a town in the mountainous part of Croatia in the region of Gorski kotar, located south of Delnice and some 50 km east of Rijeka. It has 1,407 inhabitants, absolute majority are Croats....

, Ravna Gora
Ravna Gora, Croatia
Ravna Gora is a village in western Croatia, located between Delnice and Vrbovsko in the mountainous region of Gorski Kotar. It is the seat of a municipality whose total population is 2,439 , with 1,721 in Ravna gora itself and the rest in five smaller villages.-References:...

, Skrad
Skrad is a municipality in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in western Croatia. There are 1,054 inhabitants , with 97% Croats .-References:...

, Brod na Kupi
Brod na Kupi
Brod na Kupi is a village in the Delnice region in the west part of Gorski Kotar in Croatia. Its population is 209 .-References:...

, Fužine
Fužine is a village and a municipality in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in western Croatia.-Demographics:The total population of Fužine is 1,595, in the following settlements:* Belo Selo, population 52* Benkovac Fužinski, population 33...

 and Lokve. The part of the region that is in Karlovac county contains the Municipality of Bosiljevo
Bosiljevo is a village and municipality in Karlovac county, Croatia. It is located in the Gorski kotar region, on the highways A1 and A6 leading to Zagreb, Rijeka and Split.-Settlements:...

 and part of the City of Ogulin. With a population of 4454, Delnice is the largest city of the region and its center. Other centers with populations of more than 1,000 are Vrbovsko (1,900) and Ravna Gora (1,900). Begovo Razdolje
Begovo Razdolje
Begovo Razdolje is a village in Mrkopalj municipality, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia. At , it is the settlement with the highest elevation in Croatia....

, the highest town in Croatia, is located in Gorski kotar at an altitude of 1076 m.

The population density of Gorski kotar is low, but the highest in Mountainous Croatia. As of 2001, about 28,000 people were living in an area of about 1300 square kilometers, which is about 22 people per square kilometer. Linguistically, the region is very diverse; in a relatively small area, all three Croatian dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s can be heard. Also, in some parts of Gorski kotar there is a considerable Serb community, especially in the city of Vrbovsko where they constitute 36% of the population.

Geomorphically Gorski kotar is on the karst
Kilometer-square Area Radio Synthesis Telescope is a Chinese telescope project to which FAST is a forerunner. KARST is a set of large spherical reflectors on karst landforms, which are bowlshaped limestone sinkholes named after the Kras region in Slovenia and Northern Italy. It will consist of...

ic plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 about 35 km and has an average altitude of 800 m. The highest point is Bjelolasica at 1534 m followed by Risnjak at 1528 m. The plateau is a climatic barrier between the littoral
The littoral zone is that part of a sea, lake or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments the littoral zone extends from the high water mark, which is rarely inundated, to shoreline areas that are permanently submerged. It always includes this intertidal zone and is often used to...

 and continental parts of the country. The border with the Kvarner region is defined by the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 – Adriatic divide. Its southern border with Lika is not clearly defined but most scholars consider it to be the Jasenak
Jasenak is a village situated in Obrenovac municipality in Serbia....

 – Novi Vinodolski
Novi Vinodolski
Novi Vinodolski is a town on the Adriatic in Croatia, located south of Crikvenica, Selce and Bribir and north of Senj. The population of Novi is 3,988, with a total of 5,131 people in the municipality ....

 road and people of Jasenak consider themselves to be somewhere between Gorski kotar and Lika. To the north, the Kupa
Kupa may refer to:*Kupa River, a river in Croatia and Slovenia*Kupa River , a river in Lithuania*Kupa River in Siberia, see Kuta River*Kupa Synagogue, a synagogue in Krakow*Kupa, Hungary, a village in Northern Hungary...

 river is the border between Gorski kotar and Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

's Bela Krajina region.


Popular tourist destinations in Gorski Kotar include Lake Lokvarsko in the village of Lokve. This is the seventh largest lake in the whole of Croatia measuring over two square kilometres. Nature walks are possible right around the lake. You can also swim and canoe in the summer and fish all year round. A world record 25 kg trout was once caught in this very lake.

Other attractions in Lokve include Golubinjak Nature Forest Park and Lokvarka Caves.

Gorski Kotar's main town is called Delnice. It's approximately 5 miles from Lokve. Delnice has many shops, bars and restaurants as well as train & bus connections to numerous local and national destinations.

The nearest airport to Gorski Kotar is Rijeka Airport (RJK) located on the island of Krk about half an hour's drive away.
Zagreb Airport is also a convenient gateway to Gorski Kotar just over an hour's drive away. Slightly further afield are Pula Airport and Ljubljana Airport (each are about 2 hours away) and Trieste Airport in Italy which is about two and a half hours drive away.

Skiing is popular in several places in Gorski Kotar including the resort village of Mrkopalj. Platak is also popular for skiing although technically it falls into the neighbouring region of Kvarner not Gorski Kotar. Platak boasts some truly stunning views of the Adriatic Sea from the pistes.


The first known inhabitants of the Gorski kotar was the Illyrian tribe of the Iapodes, who lived in the area from the 9th century BC on. They were later subjugated by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, who built lines of fortification from Grobnik to Prezid. In the 6th century, the Slavs began to settle the area, but hereafter the history of Gorski kotar is obscure until the 12th century when the noble family Frankopan
The Frankopans are a Croatian noble family. Also called Frankapan, Frangepán in Hungarian, and Frangipani in Italian.The Frankopan family is the leading princely Croatian aristocratic family which dates back to the 12th Century and even earlier to Roman times...

s began to rule much of Gorski kotar. The Frankopans initiated the first wave of settlement in the 14th century, first colonizing the eastern part of the Gorski kotar, making their stronghold at Bosiljevo.

In the 15th century, due to the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 intrusions, the geopolitical significance of the Gorski kotar increased. This led to a new wave of settlement and the creation of defensive fortifications, which in turn led to the development of more important towns in the region. After a short period of insecurity, settlement renewed at the end of 16th century, when many Ottoman exiles and refugees (mostly Shtokavian-speaking, and many Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Christians) came to this region. They settled along the border with the Ottoman empire: in Gomirje, Vrbovsko, Dobra, Moravice, Stari Laz, Sušica, Mrkopalj and Lič. From the mid-17th century until the beginning of the 18th century, the most developed part of the region was the area around Čabar, where the Zrinski
The Zrinski family was a Croatian noble family, influential during the period in history marked by the Ottoman wars in Europe in the Kingdom of Croatia and Hungary and in the later Austro-Hungarian Empire...

s had control overiron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 mines and metallurgic manufacturing. Čabar and its surroundings were settled by a Slovene population from Carniola
Carniola was a historical region that comprised parts of what is now Slovenia. As part of Austria-Hungary, the region was a crown land officially known as the Duchy of Carniola until 1918. In 1849, the region was subdivided into Upper Carniola, Lower Carniola, and Inner Carniola...

 and Chakavian from Kvarner. After the failed Zrinski-Frankopan plot their properties were confiscated and shared among many other nobles, whereupon the local population was exploited with increased severity.

The most intense period of settlement began in the 18th century with the 1732 opening of the Karolina road, which linked Karlovac and Bakar
Bakar ) is a town in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in western Croatia. The population of the town is 1,566 , while the population of the municipality is 7,773. 90% declare themselves Croats . The old part of Bakar is situated on a hill overlooking the Bay of Bakar...

. Most immigrants were from Kvarner but Czech
Czech people
Czechs, or Czech people are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic. Small populations of Czechs also live in Slovakia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Russia and other countries...

s, Slovenes and descendants of Ottoman exiles also came. After the road opened, economic activity in the region flourished, especially kirijašenje - the transportation of goods from the interior to the Adriatic. The most developed center in this period was Ravna Gora. In 1777 by decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

 of Maria Theresia, all of the Gorski kotar was incorporated into the county of Severin.

During the Napoleonic wars, the Gorski kotar was part of France's Illyrian Provinces
Illyrian provinces
The Illyrian Provinces was an autonomous province of the Napoleonic French Empire on the north and east coasts of the Adriatic Sea between 1809 and 1816. Its capital was established at Laybach...

. The French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 built a newer, wider road Lujziana, which connected Karlovac and Rijeka and led to more development of Gorski kotar, and Delnice became the most developed center in the region. The road is presently still in use.

After the war, the Gorski kotar was again under the Habsburg monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

, and in 1873, the first railway in the region was built. However, this decreased dependence on kirijašenje and an economic crisis
A crisis is any event that is, or expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community or whole society...

 ensued that forced many to leave the region. In 1886, a new administrative division was made and all of the Gorski kotar was incorporated into Rijeka county.

After the First World war, the Gorski kotar was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

On 21 July 1921 Alija Alijagić, a member of the communist organization Crvena Pravda, shot the Minister of the Interior Milorad Drašković in Delnice. Although Milorad Drašković was a staunch anti-communist, and enacted several pieces of anti-communist legislation, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia condemned the act. Nevertheless, this inspired the King to make a 'law concerning protection of the state' that made the communist party illegal.

During the Second World War, the Gorski kotar was divided between Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

. Citizens of the Gorski kotar participated greatly to the anti-fascist struggle, and several popular post-war TV-series were made about Gorski kotar resistance efforts, Kapelski kresovi being one.

In the 1990s, construction of the Zagreb – Rijeka motorway was resumed, part of it having already been built in 1973 (Zagreb – Karlovac and Rijeka – Oštrovica
Oštrovica is a location on the Rijeka-Zagreb motorway in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county of Croatia, coordinates: .The Oštrovica-Kikovica section of the A6 motorway is known for being impacted by weather in the winter....

), and in 1997 Delnice was connected to Rijeka. In 2004 the motorway was finished by connecting the two directions of motorway in Vrbovsko. The motorway is now known as A6
A6 (Croatia)
The A6 motorway is a motorway in Croatia spanning . It connects the nation's capital, Zagreb, via the A1, to the seaport of Rijeka. The motorway forms a major north–south transportation corridor in Croatia and is a part of European route E65...

and it has also been upgraded to the full two-lane format in 2008.

External links

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