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Original scientific paper

Krčingrad at Plitvice and the Babonić – Contextualizing the Date of Construction

Hrvoje Kekez orcid id
Tajana Pleše
Petar Sekulić orcid id

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The old town of Krčingrad is located on the wooded peninsula between the Kozjačko and Gradinsko lakes in the National Park of Plitvice Lakes. Despite its extraordinary position, its past is barely known owing to the scarcity of written documents. Based on an interdisciplinary evaluation of the archaeological finds, the author discusses the question of ownership over this old town at Plitvice. A broad contextualization of the preserved historical sources has served to consider the correlation between Krčingrad, Drežnička County, and the Babonić Counts, the existence of a medieval traffic route through the Plitvice Lakes, and the significance of its micro-location. The area of Plitvice Lakes is mentioned in a charter issued by King Andrew III the Venetian (1292), as an integral part of Drežnička County and owned by the Babonić. The very micro-location of Krčingrad on the peninsula between the two lakes suggests that it may have been built at the spot where goods were transported from Kozjačko to Gradinsko lakes. The geostrategic importance of the Plitvice route, and thus of Krčingrad itself, changed in 1323, when King Charles Robert confirmed Drežnička County as property of Count Dujam III. Even though the Plitvice route was the fastest connection between the Frankapan properties in Drežnička and Gatačka counties, Krčingrad lost its strategic importance because it ceased to be a crucial defence spot on the edge of political and economic domains of the Babonić and was included in those of the Frankapan, the Counts of Krk. It is probably at that time that Krčingrad fell into disuse, as it was no longer playing any role in the geostrategic plans of its new masters Frankapan, the Counts of Krk.
In the last decades of the 15th century, with the Ottoman incursions and their final occupation of this area in the second half of the 1520s, the importance of the Plitvice route and Krčingrad further decreased. Even though the Ottomans occasionally used the Plitvice route as late as the mid-16th century in their raids, it was in the late 15th century that it lost its importance as an important trade and traffic route.


Plitvice Lakes; Krčingrad; Babonić Counts; Drežnička County; Middle Ages; traffic routes

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