The Ostrovica Castle is a large medieval structure situated above the small village of Ostrovica near Kulen Vakuf. Having been built on a heavily wooded ridge of a steep hill overlooking left bank of the shallow Una river, the castle was located on a strategic site connecting the northern and southern parts of the long Una valley.

The modern-day castle was most probably built during the 15th century on the foundations of ancient fortification which dates back to ancient Roman times or even earlier. In the Middle Ages, Ostrovica belonged to the Kingdom of Croatia and its Lapac County.

The first mention of the castle was in a charter from 1407, in which King Ladislaus of Naples, confirmed possession over Ostrovica to a Bosnian magnate and Grand Duke, Sandalj Hranić, who most likely rebuilt the fortress at the beginning of 15th century on a foundations of an ancient fortification, which dates back to ancient Roman times or even earlier. In 1523 it was conquered by the Ottomans.

The long period of Ottoman rule lasted until 1878. In that period the castle was enlarged and reinforced, serving as an Ottoman military stronghold. A significant enlargement of the castle occurred during the reign of sultan Ahmed I at the beginning of the 17th century. The present-day look of the castle was finally given at the beginning of the 18th century. It measures 117 meters long and 83 meters wide. The main entrance is situated on the south side, while the auxiliary one is put at the north side of the fortification.

In 1737, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by the army of the Habsburg Empire during the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39). Other sieges are recorded in 1560, 1698, 1737, 1789, and 1834.

It is known that in 1838 castle was still in good shape, as it was kept in that way with regular repairs, notably in 1766, 1777 and 1791. As it was abandoned in 1878, Ostrovica was gradually ruined. Today the castle is protected as National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the government and its Commission to preserve national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with its surroundings is part of Una National Park. The castle is occasionally renovated in the recent years in order to be more attractive to tourists.



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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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User Reviews

Tomas Damjanovic (13 months ago)
The Ostrovica Castle (Bosnian: Stari grad Ostrovica, Croatian: Tvrđava Ostrovica, Ottoman Turkish: Ostroviçe kalesi) is a large medieval structure situated above the small village of Ostrovica near Kulen Vakuf, Bihać municipality, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having been built on a heavily wooded ridge of a steep hill overlooking left bank of the shallow Una river, the castle was located on a strategic site connecting the northern and southern parts of the long Una valley.
Darian Pejic (2 years ago)
The access road is a little heavy with a personal car.
Žan (2 years ago)
Great castle ruins with amazing view over the city of Kulen Vakuf and Una valley. Accessible by car, only last few hundred meters by foot.
Michael I (2 years ago)
It is a great lesson of making expectations from afar. I would recommend 1. Walk, don't drive, as the road is perilous to cars, and 2. Do not visit with the plan of spending hours of exploration. It is a lovely wall, and 1½ superb towers.
Jasmin Adilovic (2 years ago)
Great location!
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