Above the river and bridge across the river Dobra, stands elevated Novigrad, a historic fortress built west of Karlovac in the 14th century. Until recently the old castle of Frankopan, Novigrad, was a neglected ruin. The restoration so far has at least brought back some of its basic dimensions and made it again a recognizable point in the landscape.
When this city appeared, is not known precisely. Its name Novigrad could mean that there was an elder one in the same place or near this location. The old Dobra was according to a historical source, dating back to 1193, established center of this region. It is certain that the Frankopans (Count Gaspar Frankopan Trzacki) came to a posession of this property in the 14th century when they bought Ozalj, and the town was built some fifty years later. Novigrad has been transformed through the centuries from the defensive tower to the magnificent castle in which the Austrian emperor Josip II stayed in 1783, what was testified once on the memorial plate above the entrance door of the town which are still located along the historic road Karolina (built from 1726 to 1732). Novigrad, a beautiful walled fortress, was during the preparation of the Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy one of the places where Frank Krsto Frankopan plans an armed rebellion against the Habsburg court. After 1671 Novigrad experienced the fate of the other properties of Zrinski and Frankopan. It was robbed and devastated (the city is occupied by Krajina general Josip Herberstein, commander of Karlovac). Once equipped luxuriously, palace begins to decay.
From 1746 it is in the possession of baron Patacic who is renovating the fortress in a baroque mansion of romantic ambience, 1809 was bought by French Major Haraminčić, in 1939 it becams property of Banovina of Croatia and since the destruction of 1944 it was left to decay until the beginning of the reconstruction in 1999.. In 1969, the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments from Zagreb issued a settlement for enrollment of Novigrad into the Registry of Immovable Cultural Monuments. The reconstruction and conservation project of the old castle started in 1999, at the initiative of the Society of Friends of Novigrad na Dobri “Frankopan”.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.