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If you’re traveling by bus to Croatia’s coast, chances are that you’ve made a stop in Karlovac, a town right in the heart of central Croatia that sits at the junction of the Korana, Kupa, Mrezina and Dobra rivers. Many often don’t make it a priority to stay in Karlovac for a while to explore, but this is an activity we highly recommend. A trip to Karlovac’s old town of Dubovac will make anyone feel like royalty for an afternoon.

Dubovac was passed among high ranking families and officials throughout its history. It was originally built for the Goric-Babonic counts and then came into the hands of the Frankopan and Zrinski dukes in the 15th and 16th centuries. During the 16th century, the castle was passed on to Stejpan Franokpan’s sister Katarina as a wedding gift when she wed the Croatian nobleman and warrior, Nikola Subic Zrinksi. Later still, the castle fell into the hands of Karolvac generals and today sits well-preserved on a prehistoric mound right above the Kupa river.

You can easily get to the castle from Karlovac’s town center–it’s just a short walk away. Purchase an entrance ticket for only 5 to 10 HRK or 0.66 EUR to 1.32 EUR. The ticket is good for the Vjekoslav Karas Gallery and the Karlovac City Museum too. If you’d like an expert guide to accompany you during your visit, just call at least two days in advance.

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