THE OLD TOWN OF OGULIN
The Castle of Ogulin was built above the canyon of the Dobra River, upon an order of the feudal lord Bernardin Frankopan, approximately in the year 1500. The Castle was constructed in the time of great danger following the Ottoman destruction of a formidable Modruš fortress built by the Frankopan family. It was constructed as one of the forts built to serve as military strongholds against the Ottoman conquest. The Chapel of Saint Bernard, dedicated to the Saint bearing the same name as Bernardin Frankopan, was built along with the Castle. Church servings were held there throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th century, until the new Parish Church of St Cross was built. After the construction of the Castle, due to frequent Ottoman bursts, several families moved from nearby settlements and built wooden houses adjacent the fort. Thus, already in the first half of the 16th century, Ogulin market was formed, which was enclosed by towers, half-towers, and curtain walls connected with the fortress. In 1553, the fortress of Ogulin was occupied by the troops of King Ferdinand I, and from 1570, it was the seat of the 13th Frontier Regiment, which was considered the most important regiment in the entire Croatian Military Frontier (Vojna Krajina). In 1639, Giovanni Pieroni, an imperial engineer and builder, abode in Ogulin and wrote the following in his report on the status of the fortress:
“…at the end of the aforementioned plain, on the west, there is a cliff which stands out from all sides, but which is not higher than the level of the ground on which the fortress called Ogulin was built; it is encompassed by great walls and crowded with wooden houses, and there is a castle or a fortress in one of its parts which is well-walled and connected with the outer walls.”
From 1746 until the demobilization of the Military Frontier in 1873, Ogulin was the centre of the Ogulin Frontier Infantry Regiment No. 3. Having lost its fortifying role, the fortress was converted into Court Prison (zatvor Sudbenog stola) in 1865.
For centuries, the fortress of Ogulin has been a symbol of invincibility of Croatian people in the local territory, and since 1967 it has been the home of the Heritage Museum Ogulin – a place to collect, study, preserve and present the cultural, historical and natural wealth of the area of Ogulin, presented through the Archaeological, Ethnographical, Alpine and Art collection, the Collection of Stone Monuments, Collection of the Homeland War, the Memorial Room of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić and the Cell No. 6.