Endeavours of the Chakavian Parliament of Gacka and the Croatian Chamber of Economy - County Chamber Otočac to revive the cultural heritage in Gacka and Otočac area, have received happy affirmation with multiannual International Sculpting Colony Gacka. Members of this colony of different generations and artistic expressions gathered for the first time in 2005. They were guided by Šime Vidulin and they created their art inspired by the local heritage and landscape.
Otočac sculpting Calvary begins in the foothill of Fortica with composition Holy Trinity. It is further continued with fifteen stone steles, placed in the foothill of Fortica, up to the Chapel of Sad Mary which is situated almost at the top of the hill. The Chapel enriches the existing landscape, returning the almost forgotten Calvary memory, as the religious folk named this hill.
Fifteen reliefs made of white Istrian limestone, very simply, in a language understandable to every visitor, tell a story which begins with humiliation and misery, and ends with glory and resurrection. The authors simplified the portraits as much as they could, reducing them to only the most important bits.
The Chapel of Sad Mary
It is difficult to determine the real time of construction of this chapel. It’s a noted fact that the bishop of Senj, Pohmajević, sanctified it in 1725, even though the Chapel is obviously somewhat older. It’s an example of octagonal arched construction, with unique shape from Northern Littoral all the way to Split.
Namely, the area under Fortica has always been called “Biškupljak” (obviously an old estate of Senj, and later bishops of Otočac). Right under the Chapel there is still a very old house which people call “biskupija” (probably a summer residence of the bishops of Senj).
The Calvary ends with large stone cross with Croatian ornament markings. Thus, the role and significance of Fortica/Calvary is returned not only to locals but also to every benevolent guest.