The History of Bosiljevo  


The History of Bosiljevo


-Written by Mr. Igor Benic-

-Translated by Mr. Inoslav Ercegovic-

Dear visitors to these pages!
     First accept our warmest greetings.  Our wish is that you will, after viewing these pages, be richer for a new experience and some new knowledge.  These pages were the fruit of our desire that, with the help of most modern information technology, we try to reach Bosiljevans scattered across the globe.
     As these pages are prepared also by us Bosiljevans who live in Bosiljevo, we will attempt to inform you of current happenings and activities, and provide any additional information that you may request.  So that we can start somewhere, let us begin with a short description of Bosiljevo and, especially for those less informed, present situation, but also of times long past.

     Bosiljevo is a central place of township of the same name in Karlovac County, situated between rivers Kupa and Dobra. Bosiljevo township existed independently from 1860 to 1948, and was reconstituted again in 1993. In the independent Republic of Croatia the township has somewhat changed boundaries (it used to have 54 villages and today it has 43). The west boundary (river Kupa) is also the state boundary with Republic of Slovenia. To the south, the township forms boundary with the town of Vrbovsko in Primorsko-Goranska County, to the south-east is the town of Ogulin, to the east is township of Generalski stol and to the north is Netretic township.
     Bosiljevo township consists of four local councils: Bosiljevo, Grabrk, Prikuplje and Vodena Draga, with a total of 43 villages: Bosiljevo, Skoblic Brdo, Fuckovac, Bitorajci,Varos Bosiljevski, Novo Selo Bosiljevsko, Orisje, Resnik Bosiljevski, Dugace, Krc Bosiljevski, Rendulici, Hrsina, Strgari, Liposcaki, Podrebar, Potok Bosiljevski, Vrhova Gorica, Laslavici, Korenic Brdo, Kraljevo Selo, Bec, Lisicina Gorica, Grabrk, Podumol, Umol, Soline, Spehari, Dani, Matese, Otok na Dobri, Malik, Bosanci, Kasuni, Fratrovci, Pribanjci, Sela Bosiljevska, Jancani, Spahici, Zubrinci, Milani, Johi, Glavica I Vodena Draga.
     According to population census taken in 1991, the township had a total of 2,598 people, although today's more realistic figure may be as much as 30% lower.  The Day of the Township of Bosiljevo is 15 May - the day of St. Vid the martyr.

     In Bosiljevo is the seat the Roman Catholic parish of Sv. Mavro, the abbot.  This parish covers most of the township - Local Councils areas of Bosiljevo and Prikuplje. The remainder of the township is covered by RC parish of Lesce - part LC Grabrk, RC parish Trosmarija - smaller part of LC Grabrk i RC parish Lipa LC Vodena Draga.

     In the not too distant past in the teritory, there were several active elementary and area schools. Today, education of children is a fairly serious problem since they have to attend schools in two countries, two counties, two towns and two townships. This problem will soon be resolved with completion of the new school building and formation of the central elementary school.
     In the township there are two active volunteer firefighting brigades/groups:  Bosiljevo and Grabrk.
     The most significant economic enterprises are Maier-Textil in Bosiljevo, sawmill Korenic in Orisje, machineshop of Josip Spehar in Pribanjci and a substantial male labour force is employed in the stone-quarry Hidroelektra-Plaskarica.

     In the period after 1993, that is after re-establisment of the Bosiljevo township, there were significant advances in construction of communal infrastructure and improvement of residents standard of living.

     The following roads were paved: Orisje-Tomasic, Laslavic to end of Bec, Bosiljevo-Dugaca, and roads within villages in Podrebar, Rendulici, Podumol and others. On the 13 of April 2000, the work began on paving of the last section of the road Bosiljevo-Grabrk, which was significantly shortened and made much safer by the constructin of a new section. Asphalt on this section was completed on Good Friday, 21 April, 2000. Earth work on this section was carried out by the engineering units of the Croatian Army.
     Watermains were constructed for the villages of Vares Bosiljevski and Novo Selo Bosiljevsko. Shortly , the work will start on the water supply pipeline Bosiljevo-Hrsina-Grabrk.
     Street lighting was installed in the following villages: Podrebar, Rendulici, Krc Bosiljevski, Bec, Bosanci, Kasuni, Dugace, Otok na Dobri, Vodena Draga.
     On Bosiljevo cemetary the new funeral centre is almost complete (except for the sanitary service and kitchenette), and funeral halls in Pribanjci and Grabrk need yet completion of the interior.
     A new modern international border crossing with customs, movers depot and a bank was constructed in Pribanjci.

     With construction of new, modern roads, Bosiljevo and surrounding areas will gain in importance because of its geographic location. A new road junction will be constructed on the new expressway Zagreb-Rijeka, with branches towards Republic of Slovenia and towards Ogulin, tunnel Sv. Rok and Split. As this is exceptionally depopulated area, whose emigrants in diaspora and to other Croatian cities outnumber people still at home, we belive that advantages in construction of new traffic corridors will contribute to stabilizing current population, and its increase in future.
     All mentioned earlier, is a just an overview of the current situation in this area.  If you express some specific wishes and interests, we will try to address them.


     In conclusion, (perhaps it should have been in the beginning), we will give you a brief history of this region.  Certain archeological finds in the area indicate that the area was populated in the prehistoric times, but first written documents in which the name Bosiljevo is mentioned is dated in 1344 AD. At that time, Ivan, archdeacon in the statutes of the Zagreb diocese, mentions parish of "sv. Mavro in Bozilo".  There is also a mention of a church of Mother of God in Gradec, but it is uncertain if that church is in Gradisce by Orisje, or beside Lipa, where at one time existed a church that Turks desecrated during wars in these parts.
     Later written documents are tied to the noble family of knez (prince) of Krk - Frankopan, which were owners of the Bosiljevo castle and surrounding areas. Even though the first preserved written document mentioning Frankopans and Bosiljevo dates from 1461 AD, they also ruled the area two or three centuries earlier, when they already extended their possessions from the island of Krk and Primorje, to the continental parts of Croatia.
     During the period of ruling the area, many generations of Frankopan family succeded each other. It is worth mentioning Krk's knez Nikola, who first took the surname Frankopan. He was a Croatian Viceroy from 1426 AD, until his death in 1432 AD. After this Nikola, we find the surname Frankopan four more times as Croatian Viceroys. We should mention also Vuk Frankopan, who on 4 June 1853, beside the church of Assenssion of Mary, founded a Dominican monastery, and in battles with Turks bravely repulsed their attacks, while inflicting heavy losses. That same Vuk Frankopan owned a large and beautiful vineyard in the nearby Vukova Gorica, after whom today's Vukova Gorica is named.
     The town (castle) of Bosiljevo was never conquered by the Turks. Its last owner of the Frankopan lineage was young and gentle poet Fran Krsto, who was born in Bosiljevo, and died tragically when he was, together with his brother-in-law Petar Zrinski, executed in Becko Novo Mjesto in 1671 A.D.
     After the death of Fran Krsto Frankopan, Austria confiscated the town and king Leopold gave it, with document dated 25 May, 1684, to Viceroy count Nikola Erdedy. With the marriage of his daughter Ana Barbara to count Andrija Auersperg, he become the new owner of the town Bosiljevo. That was confirmed by king Karlo VI, with a decree of 11 November, 1717 AD.
     On 21 March, 1826, N. Auersperg sold the town of Bosiljevo to marshal Laval Nugent, of Irish origin (born in Ballynacor, 3 November, 1777). He was a great Croatian patriot and regarded Croatia as his second homeland. After the death of marshal Nugent, the town was inherited by his son Arthur, and following his death in 1897, it was bought on a public auction by Arthur's niece, Ana Nugent on 9 August, 1902.
     By the sale agreement, the property was bought from countess Nugent by Karlo Kausheg, and Makso Kmentt, and from these it was bought by the lawyer and public notary Dr. Juraj Horvat. By the sale of 9 June, 1911, the owner of Bosiljevo property became Ante Cosulich de Pecine from Susak. He substantially restored the castle, not sparing the cost. In 1948, family Cosulich sold the castle to Marko Ukic and Ante Vlahov, but their ownership was short lived, because the communist government confiscated it shortly afterwards.
     After that, the castle served some time as a retirement home, and from the beginning of the 1960's until 1980 when it was closed, it was a restaurant and a motel. During the Homeland War, the castle was partially altered (remodeled) as a reserve hospital, but luckily was not used for that purpose. In 1996 the castle was rented to Sinisa Krizanec from Pregrada, with hope that it will be restored to the importance and glory that it deserves, but until today that still didn't materialize.
     We already mentioned that this is a region from which a great part of the population has emigrated to many other parts of the world. First emigrations, due to economic reasons, mostly poverty and famine, began in the second half of 19th century. Many of these people adjusted very well to the conditions in, to them, strange new countries. Some of them became significant persons in organizing various organizations with the purpose of remembering their native regions, as well as mutual support in overcoming difficulties in their new life. Best known of them was Ivan (John) Ljubic. He was born in the village of Orisje on 14 June 1854. As he was intelligent, capable and well appreciated by our people in USA, in 1884 he was elected as the first president of National Croatian Society (Hrvatsko Narodno Drustvo), the forerunner of the Croatian Fraternal Union (Hrvatska Bratska Zajednica). He was the president during the period from 1894 to 1900. He died in 1923 in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Another famous Croat from this region is Stjepan Korenic, canon (church dean) and writer, born 4 October 1856 in Bosiljevo. He was known as prolific writer and a donator for culture. His name is found in the book "Znameniti i zasluzni Hrvati i pomena vrijedna lica u hrvatskoj povijesti 925-1925".


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