Castle Ostrožac | Tvrđava Ostrozac | Cazin near Bihać

Ostrožac Castle, an national monument comprises a medieval fort, a fortress from the Ottoman period, a castle of Lothar von Berks and a collection of sculptures located in the natural surroundings of the castle.

With its distinctive blend of medieval, Ottoman and European architectural styles, Ostrožac Castle boasts a rectangular shape adorned with four corner towers. Its sturdy stone walls enclose a collection of rooms and halls, once used as military barracks, prison cells, and residences for the castle’s inhabitants.

Today, Ostrožac Castle welcomes visitors as a popular tourist attraction in the region. Explore the castle’s interior and immerse yourself in its rich history and cultural significance. The castle also serves as a vibrant cultural hub, hosting concerts, exhibitions, and theater performances, offering visitors a taste of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s artistic heritage.

Perched on a hill overlooking the mesmerizing Una River, Ostrožac Castle treats visitors to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The castle’s location provides easy access to several natural attractions, including the renowned Una National Park. Discover the park’s crystal-clear rivers, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, adding to the allure of your visit.

Ostrožac Castle is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, architecture lovers, and cultural enthusiasts alike. Its captivating fusion of Ottoman and European styles, combined with its picturesque location and natural surroundings, make it one of the most captivating and charming castles in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Renaissance of Ostrožac Castle: A Journey Through History

Travel back in time as you explore the remarkable Ostrožac Castle, a true jewel among the medieval fortresses and towns scattered across the picturesque Krajina region. Its history is deeply intertwined with the turbulent events that unfolded in this area, and it has stood the test of time, undergoing numerous renovations and adaptations according to the preferences and needs of its owners.

Medievel Period

Historical records trace Ostrožac Castle’s existence as far back as 1286 when its name was first etched into the annals of history. According to the chronicler Ivan Tomašević, it is believed that the castle existed under the name Horosium or Hostosach even as early as 405 BC, although this claim remains unverified.

By the 15th century, Ostrožac Castle had its own judge, council, scribe, and seal. In 1577, it fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman period

The credit for the castle’s major repairs and upgrades goes to Osman Aga Beširević (1690-1727), the first captain of the Ostrožac captaincy. The Beširević family, from which many other commanders emerged, played a significant role in the castle’s history. By the late 16th century, the captaincy boasted a population of 150, which grew to 204 in the mid-17th century. By the 18th century, the captaincy had 266 inhabitants and was equipped with two larger and four smaller cannons. In the early 19th century, Ostrožac Castle had 28 cannons, and the captaincy numbered 4150 soldiers.

Austro-Hungarian Period

With the arrival of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its occupation, the Beširević family, specifically their heir Mehmed Bey Beširević, sold the castle to Lothar von Berks, who served as the chief administrator of the Bihać District from 1896 to 1905. Von Berks continued the restoration and expansion of the castle, making it his residence in 1902.

Ostrožac Sculpture Colony

A new chapter for Ostrožac Castle began in 1969 with the establishment of the Ostrožac Sculpture Colony, initiated by the Republic Fund for the Advancement of Cultural Activities. Since then, this hilltop location, where one can, as poet Vladimir Nazor said, “forget about many things, find serenity, and enter a new world,” has become an open-air sculpture studio. Every year in July and August, sculptors carve various-sized sculptures out of bihacite stone.

Thanks to the Sculpture Colony, Ostrožac Castle has gained a Sculpture Park, a unique open-air gallery that further enhances its historical and cultural significance.

The Bihac region boasts ancient cities, including Orašac Fortress, Stari Grad Ostrovica, Stari Grad Sokolac, Zamak Bjelaj, and Zamak Vrnograč, offering opportunities for exploration and discovery.

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