Family farms in Otočac



Luka 2, Otočac


Prerađevine od voća ( pekmezi, sokovi, džemovi)



Ivana Mažuranića 10, Otočac

med -053-773-191



Kuterevo 21a




KUD Lipa

Cheese dairy in Otočac



Špilnički odvojak 5, 53220 Otočac

Phone +385 53 771 177,


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M. Krleže 21. 53220 Otočac

Phone./Fax. 053 / 772 581 Mob. 098 / 768 220


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The springs of the Gacka river

foto by goran orekovi 55 mala

During the 20th century about sixty water mills were operating on the Gacka river and its tributaries. Today only a few water mills at the river springs in Sinac are still used for grinding grain in the traditional way using the river’s water power. Continuing in harmony and collusion between man and nature, as objects signifying their accord and cooperation, the water mills safeguard the memory of old, extinct trades.

The millstones on the Sinac scaffolds were grinding away incessantly, day and night, throughout the year, accompanied by the roar and murmur of water. In times of big floods or low water levels of the river Lika, people would travel for hours from the remote parts of the Krbava and Lika regions to grind their grains during the peak period from threshing season to late autumn. Grain was transported on oxcarts or packsaddles, or on sledges in winter, horse-drawn carts still being a rarity. The place was bustling with movement, with life and people;  on some days as many as twenty cart-loads were brought, with villagers waiting in a queue for their turn to mill the grain. It is hard to imagine that this dying village was ones a prosperous milling community. The centuries-old tradition of milling has been preserved not only as an important commercial activity, but also as a way to exchange knowledge and experience, to make important bonds and friendships and converse with others with plenty of jokes and laughter.
As they had to wait for their turn, the peasants brought food and hay for the cattle.  Sometimes they had to wait two or three days until it was their turn in the milling queue, in which case the miller provided them with food and accommodation as well as hay for the cattle. The mill owner had to make sure that enough bread was baked each day. Besides, he had to take care of his reputation, secure the grain and make sure the grain is always finely ground. On the other hand, some millers were only interested in the millstone turning and in the milling being finished quickly so as increase the profits from their service. The milling trade was therefore considered an easy way to earn money and a secure source of income. However, the millstones required maintenance. They had to be removed every couple of days, depending on the amount of grain processed, and had to be sharpened.Only the most skilled millers knew how to chisel the stone, place it in circular wood forms and cover it with resin, and after the resin had hardened, nail it with brass rings.

A single water mill had more than one owner with each of them entitled to use a single millstone according to a predefined schedule. They were "holders of the line", a right acquired by inheritance, donation or acquisition of shares. Even women were entitled to it through dowry.
Today, at the beginning of a new century, the water mills at the springs of Gacka are still standing as monuments of traditional architecture, with the clatter of millstones.
Visit us and experience the centennial peace of old water mills, either on your own or in a group. For sightseeing tours and demonstration of the grain milling process, cloth fulling and wool rug weaving,  please announce your visit directly to:

Jure Majer, the Miller
Phone:  +385 92-105-1466

Jure Kolaković, the Miller
Phone: +385 99-571-6940


KUD Dangubice Kuterevo


08.10.2011.godine. was founded with the desire to preserve traditions and customs, songs and dances of his village and the whole Kutereva based. What we want to preserve them from oblivion is playing the tamburitza-dangubica or as it is called more and kuterevka original speech of his village. They were named after Kuterevskoj tamburitza called kuterevka or dangubuci that the original instrument Kutereva village and which is still made in Kuterevo with family Šporčić, everywhere-in the act about 50 members of different ages. The CAS operates in several sections as Dangubaška groups, drama, folklore ..

We played at various festivals and events, "Kuterevska evening" in Zagreb, on 14 and 15 Festival Lika-in Otocac, the feast of St. Elijah in Sinac, 11.Međunarodnoj festival of original folklore titled "The old chest open," the Husband and the 47th Vinkovci Autumn, 5 Evenings songs of folklore and old customs in Zemunik, the ninth Angel folklore festival in Vidusevac and many hot events and events ..

Bank account: HR9524020061100621989


Head of the company's : Matej Šporčić; vice president: Mandica Marinić, secretary: Lucija Šporčić i treasurer Mirjana Malčić.

You can contact us at the number : 385 99 590 7787

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facebook page: KUD "Dangubice" Kuterevo

Velebit Bear Orphanage

The village of Kuterevo is situated at the north-east slope of the Mount Velebit along the border of the Velebit Nature Park. Apart from forestry, the people of Kuterevo are still  engaged in the old craft of woodworking. Kuterevo lies in the proximity of the Senj - Otočac – Plitvice road, with the Otočac - Krasno - Sv. Juraj road running along the west fringes of the Kuterevo valley.

Owing to its geographic location in North Velebit in the vicinity of an area densely populated by bear habitats, Kuterevo has become home to the first Bear Orphanage in Croatia, providing shelter to young, abandoned bears.

The bear orphanage project (popularly known as: The Velebit Bear) has been initiated by the Croatian Centre "Knowledge for Environment" and is implemented on site by the Velebit association Kuterevo – VUK. The project is aimed to build and establish the first bear orphanage in Croatia in order to help efficiently protect the brown bear species and to contribute, through education of the local population and visitors, to a better awareness of the valuable biodiversity in the Velebit Nature Park area and the need for its preservation.

The Kuterevo Orphanage is run by a team of nature lovers composed of biology and environmental protection experts and layman volunteers who are motivated by their great love of bears. They all selflessly care for the bear inhabitants of Kuterevo and are anxious to provide the young animals with a safer future and the living conditions as similar as possible to their original habitat.

The Velebit Bear Orphanage in Kuterevo will serve as part of the visitor centre as well as being an attractive site for the promotion of the Velebit Nature Park.

The first inhabitants of the Orphanage: the bear couple Mrnjo Brundo and Janja Zora.

To visit the Orphanage, please make an appointment at:
Fax: +385 53 799 600
Phone. +385 53 799 222
Mobile: + 385 91 583 54 12
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Activities Coordinator: Ivan Crnković – Pavenka
Project Manager: Vladimir Lay, D.Sc.

Professional Guidance: Prof. Đuro Huber, D.Sc.

FD Otočac

fd otocac

Folklore Society "Otocac" established by the decision of the Governing Council of 15 September 1998, under the name of Folklore Society "Gacko Valley", and renamed its present name in 2000. It brings together about 70 members of all ages and it tamburica, original, folk and children's section. Nurture chakavian dialect, folk customs and dances Gacka and other Croatian regions.

The success of his work was confirmed by a series of performances at home and abroad. They participated in numerous folklore festivals, occasional events and all-night cultural programs, a record participation in the shooting of documentaries on traditional heritage and in the series "A lovely our". Folklore Society "Otocac" He has made the album titled "River Gacka, you are our pride."


Head of the Folklore Society Otočac: Vera Dasović
phone: +385 98 948 0481
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Croatian Centre for Indigenous Water Fish and Crawfish Species

The Croatian Centre for Indigenous Karst Water Fish and Crawfish Species was set up in Otočac in 2006. The founders are the Town of Otočac, the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the company Gacka d.o.o. The Centre operates as an independent association of legal entities.

•    Scientific research of indigenous karst water fish and crawfish species, with emphasis on their genetic profile and spawning
•    breeding fry for karst water restocking
•    development of projects and programmes for commercial breeding of indigenous karst water fish and crawfish species  
•    branding

The highest managing body of the Centre is the Council and the Centre manager is responsible to the Council. Each of the founders of the Centre has one member appointed in the Centre Council. The relationships and mutual rights and obligations of each founder are regulated in an organisational plan. Promotion and market presence are defined in the marketing plan through the marketing mix (production, price, distribution and promotion).

The project was developed over a period of three months for the EU Phare 2005 BRI programme. The project applicant is the Town of Otočac with partners: Croatian Chamber of Economy, Otočac County Chamber, Gacka d.o.o., Tourist Board Otočac and associated partner IRB, Zagreb. The project was submitted in February 2007 with an initial project value of EUR 722,389.00. In October 2007, the project went through two evaluation phases. After two month’s negations the total project value was reduced to EUR 630,222.85 (75% EU, 25% applicant and partners), cutting back on 2 technical assistance funds, staff allowances, vehicle maintenance, etc. The co-funding agreement was signed on 29 October 2007.

The Centre was officially opened on 28 November 2008.

KUU Gacka


Ličko Lešće lies on the left bank of the river Gacka along the Otočac-Gospić road. There is also a railroad through the village. Lešće is located in the Gacka valley between the slopes of Kapela and Velebit mountains, surrounded by a mountain range on three sides.

The evidence of human habitation in this area can be traced back to the Middle Stone Age with the earliest finds, as old as 10000 - 4000 B.C. discovered in the Pećine cave site.  Numerous charred remains of animal bones and bones with clear traces of stone tools indicate the presence of a Middle Stone Age material culture. In the Late Bronze Age, Lešće was inhabited by Iapodes tribes as confirmed by ceramic fragments found in the Pećine cave. There is also evidence of Roman and ancient Croatian settlers. From the ancient Roman period there are two limestone bases with inscribed texts in honour of the Roman emperors Augustus and Trajan. In the Pećine cave there is a clean and clear stream called Kostelka   (Tepli potok) and a number of smaller streams suitable for fishing.

In the village centre there is a Baroque church devoted to St. Mary of the Rosary (popularly known as St. Rosary) originally built in 1700 and rebuilt in 1786. The church has Rococo altars, pulpit, baptismal font and well-preserved liturgical vessels. There is also a small church dating back to 1721, the St. Francis, with walls built from stones of the ruined ancient Roman Arupium with fragments of Latin texts.
With the arrival of the Croatian settlers Ličko Lešće embraced a new culture and new customs. Cultural life was vibrant among the population. However, no written records are available to tells us about the life of the villagers and their customs of song, music and dance.

The first organized cultural group emerged in 1928 as the peasant culture association "Seljačka sloga" (Peasant Unity) Ličko Lešće.

A tamburitza ensemble called "Javor" (Maple) was set up. The initiator of the group was Delko Bogdanić, the son of Ilija Bogdanić, one of Lika’s biggest entrepreneurs. The Bogdanić family paid for all the instruments for the group. Taught by Delko Bogdanić himself, the young and talented tamburitza players, all of them working in a sawmill in Lešće owned by the Bogdanić family, soon developed into a very good vocal tamburitza ensemble. Among them: Frane Marić (Đukan), Mate Vašarević (Mrka, Golubica, singer), Mate Vašarević (Šajan), Ivan Marić (Starešina), Tomo Orešković (Tomac), Dragan Ostović (Babić), Stjepan Ostović, Dragan’s brother, Marko Babić (Markus), Frane Kovačić (Dancik), Nikola Dujmović (Knez), Joso Ladišić (Šnjapar), and Stjepan Orešković (Stipurina, singer).
The ensemble had its first performances in Ličko Lešće, Sinac and other villages in the Sinac municipality, and later performed in Otočac, Perušić, Gospić and Senj municipalities. “Javor” also participated in the Zagreb Folk Festival with one of the ensemble members attracting special attention both with his singing skills and his rugged highlander physique – Stjepan Orešković (Stipurina). A photo of this hero from Ličko Lešće has for many years appeared on the cover of the Croatian Cultural Heritage, a publication issued in Zagreb. The name written under the photo said Mane from Popina, a false name used to conceal the identity of Stjepan Orešković from Ličko Lešće during the dictatorship of King Alexander.
In 1936, a Community Centre was set up in Vrilo, providing the two culture groups with better conditions for practice. After a local shop owner, Perica Pleša, who built the building for his shop (today housing a post office) had gone bankrupt a few year later, the building was put up for auction and bought by Seljačka Sloga as a venue for cultural events in Lešće. Javor continued in existence until the Second World War. As almost all ensemble members were employed with Ilija Bodganić, his son Delko was able to take them off work and pay them their daily allowances for the interests of the ensemble, thus promoting the culture of the village of Lešće in other parts of Croatia. The 1930s were a period of national awakening in Croatia, a movement lead by Vlatko Maček which resulting in the Cvetković-Maček Agreement and the creation of the Banate of Croatia.
After the Second World War, when the tamburitza ensemble and all other forms of cultural activity came to a standstill, teachers Milan and Mandica Sabljak revived the cultural life in the village by forming youth folk and drama groups. Rehearsals were held in the school next to the church. They were soon joined by tamburitza players Franjo Marić (Đukan), Ivan Marić (Starešina), Tomo Orešković (Tomac), Stjepan Kolak (Žiža), Dane Kovačić (Trapan), Dragan Ostović and others. Collective folk dance Kolo, singing with tamburitza accompaniment and male a cappella singing were rehearsed in preparation for the first Folk Festival in Zagreb in 1947. Stjepan Kolak (Kekljin) was then in charge of the culture group.
Among the outstanding members of the male singing group were: Franjo Orešković (Stipurina), Stjepan Orešković (Stipurina), Dane Kovačić (Trapan), Jure Marković (Bracan), Milan Jakšić (Jovan), Ivan Jakšić. At the Folk Festival in Zagreb they performed the song "Oj Livado zelena bujado" (Oh Meadow, Green Ferns), and Dane Kovačić (Trapan) had a solo performance with the song "Čuvam ovce i sjedim u ladu i studiram za koga da me dadu" (I Tend to My Sheep, Sitting in the Shadow, Musing about Whom to Marry). The folk group performed the collective folk dance Ličko Kolo and the tamburitza ensemble played the song "Junak sam iz Like ja" (I’m a Hero from Lika). The prominent members of the folk group included: Manda Kolak (Rođina), Francika Kolak, Kata Kolak, Mandica Orešković, Luca Orešković. Parallel to the formation of peasant cooperatives in Yugoslavia, community centres began to be built in villages throughout the country. With the construction of a Community Centre in Ličko Lešće in 1949, even better conditions were created for further development of the already vivid cultural life in the village.

When the teacher Milan Sabljak left Lešće to move to Zagreb, a great vacuum was created in the cultural life of the village, however, thanks to a group of young enthusiasts, among them Dane Orešković (Tomac), Tomo Orešković (Tomac), Milan Kolak (Nanika), Ivan Marić (Miloš) and others, a dance group met each Sunday in the Community Centre in Ličko Lešće. Though not a formally organized group, they worked on their own initiative until arrival of Stevica Uzelac as school headmaster and Mandica Šerić as teacher of music and traditional Lika dance. Under the guidance of Mandica Šerić, school children from Ličko Lešće took part in a festival (Slet) in Otočac which was taking place on a football pitch. The students of the elementary school in Ličko Lešće performed a Kolo dance "Ej mati, mati" (My Mother)  in the Open University Community Centre.
In the early 1960s, Željko Pavelić (Buban), a teacher from Otočac, moved to Lešće. He immediately started teaching children how to play tamburitza and founded a large student tamburizta ensemble. This ensemble yielded a number of important tamburitza players who diligently practiced the tamburizta until the foundation of the Arts and Culture Society (KUD) “Ružica Brkljačić”. There was also a drama group under the guidance of Stevica Uzelac and  Mandica Šerić as well as a folk and tamburitza groups. The drama group had many notable performances with the play "Klupko" (Hank) by Pero Budak accompanied with folk and tamburitza performances. Notable members of the drama group include: Manda Kolak Ćuić, Stjepan Kolak, Nikola Bodlović (Režo), Katica Uzelac (teacher), Ankica Vukmanić (teacher). They held performances in Lešće at all major events (Labour Day, New Year’s Day, Women’s Day). They also had performances in Donje Kosinje, Švica and Sinac. Towards the end of the 1960s, the cultural activity in the village became almost extinct save for some school activities thanks to the efforts of Mandica Šerić. In 1972, following the reconstruction of the Community Centre, the Scout Association of Croatia launched a project "Ništa nas ne smije iznenaditi" (Nothing Can Surprise Us) in the village. On this occasion,  Branko Ćuić, Živko Marić, Joso Marić, Dane Čop, Tomo Kolak, and Tomo Grčević and some other enthusiasts started collecting the surviving violins and organizing tamburitza dance events. With the money raised they bought new tamburitzas from the artisan tamburitza maker "Stjepan Gilg" in Sisak. The revival of the tamburitza ensemble gave new hope for the rejuvenation of cultural life in the village. A new seed was planted and nurtured by Joso Marić (Đukan) until the foundation of the KUD "Ružica Brkljačić".

During the periods when the ensemble was inactive, some enthusiast players continued to play at wool spinning and down plucking gatherings, allowing the tradition to be preserved. After the Second World War, until KUD "Ružica Brkljačić" was set up, the cultural activities in the village were organized under the auspices of the Ličko Lešće Elementary School. The school teachers played an important role as instigators of all cultural life activities. The young people of Lešće were also active in the public and cultural life of the village through the youth organization. Despite the fact that they were sometimes quite inactive, the Youth Organization has still made a significant contribution to the preservation of the traditional heritage and encouragement of cultural life in the village. In 1980, the need arose for setting up an art and culture society (KUD – Kullturno-Umjetničko Društvo). Housed in the Ličko Lešće Elementary School, the KUD came about on 20th April 1980 through the initiative of a group of enthusiasts. On 20th April 1980, the following villagers met with the aim to set up the KUD: Mićo Orlović, Dragan Orešković (Paja), Dragan Orešković (Belaš), Luka Orešković, Dane Čop, Tomislav Madžar, Tomislav Jergović (Trumba), Franjo (Mićo) Rupčić, Orešković Ivan (Buco). Dragan Orešković (Paja) was elected the first president by the constituent assembly, with Tomislav Madžar elected as secretary and Branko Vašarević as treasurer of the organization. All the villagers who could play the tamburitza and all men and women who could sing well joined the society. Housed in the premises of the Elementary School, the KUD practiced songs which they would soon perform throughout Lika and other parts of Croatia, but also abroad where they presented their local customs to Croatian workers temporarily employed outside the country. The tamburizta ensemble was made up of the following members: Frane Marić (Đukan), Joso Marić, Mate Kolak (Žiža), Dragan Orešković (Belaš), Tomislav Jergović (Trumba), Mile Polić, Tomo Kolak (Žiža), Mile Vuić, Dane Čop, Jurica Ostović, Ivan Orešković (Šinđa), Josip Žanić (Čiko), Biserka Tonković, Nevenka Bobinac, Ružica Marić Mandica Šerić, Ana Čop, Nada Kraljić, Ivan Orešković (Buco), Milan Jakšić, Milan Orešković, Drago Adamović, Josip Žanić (Čikin), Anka Kolak (Žižina), Jadranka Gomerčić, Janja Kraljić Franjo Rubčić, Nikola Kraljić, Tomica Kraljić, Ankica Dujmović (Vidova).

The first record with authentic traditional songs of Ličko Lešće was recorded in 1982. A second audio cassette was recorded in 1984. The KUD had two performances in Switzerland, in addition to performances in Otočac, Gospić, Pašman, Ogulin and other towns in Croatia. In 1986, the  KUD took part in the TV show "Lički divani" (Lika Coversations) made by the Zagreb TV.  In 1986, the first video recording showing a down plucking gathering with the songs "Oj livado zelena bujado" (Oh Meadow, Green Ferns), "Oj medvjede gorska životinjo" (Bear, the Animal form the Mountain) and others. In the same year, the KUD appeared on the TV show "Oj slobodo bistra vodo" (Freedom, You Are  Clear as Water). Dragan Belaš founded a tamburitza school to teach the young generations of elementary school children how to play tamburitza. In 1994, Mato Čop, the managing director of "Industrogradnja" from Zagreb reconstructed the Community Centre in Vrilo, originally built in 1936 by Seljačka Sloga.  Following its reconstruction the Community Centre became the property of the KUD. For unknown reasons, the Community Centre in Lešće was registered as property of the Agricultural Cooperative in Otočac. Towards the end of the 1990s, the Otočac Agricultural Cooperative suffered the same fate as the rest of production facilities in the town of Otočac region and was dissolved. The Community Centre was built by the villagers who contributed both labour and financial donations.

Thanks to Mato Čop, the rebuilt Community Centre is Vrilo is now available to the inhabitants and the KUD as a place where they can get together for meetings and other activities. Since the founding of the KUD in 1980, Mate Čop has been the principal sponsor of all major performances, audio and video recordings. Mato Čop remained the honorary president of the KUD until his death. During the recent independence war in Croatia, KUD’s activities waned as most members of the KUD were actively involved in the defence of the village and the country. In 1994, the KUD members gathered again and resumed their activities. At the assembly meeting the KUD changed its name from KUD "Ružica Brkljačić" to Arts and Culture Association (KUU) "Gacka" Ličko Lešće. The elected presidents of the KUU were: Franjo Rubčić, Milan Matasić (Prća), Ivan Orešković (Šinđa), Darko Orešković (Mićanov), Tomo Jagodić (Tule), Julica Banić (Brižanova), Tomislav Jergović (Trumba), Tomo Jagodić (Tule) – elected for two terms, and the current president Đurđa Orešković (since 2009). Todays president is Ivan Marković.

The KUD had notable performances at the following events: County Folk Festival in Otočac, Bread Festival in Gospić, the Feast of Our Lady of Carmel in Kuterevo, Vinkovci Autumn Festival (twice), Zagreb Folk Festival in 1998, Regional Folk Festival in Gradiška, Lika Evening in Slavonski Brod in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, Spring Festivities (Prošarica) in Slavonski Brod in 2003 and 2006, Male A Cappella Singing Groups in Ivanić Grad, performances in Otočac at the Town of Otočac Day festivities, Folk Festival in Perušić "Ide jesen, ide ličko prelo" (Autumn Comes, the Wool is Spun), Ostrovački Lišani, Šibenik, Mirlović Zagora, the Lace Festival  “Šlingani Dani" in Jalžabet, performances in Switzerland (twice), and Stuttgart.

Also, the KUD has regular performances in Ličko Lešće at religious events and festive liturgies, and in Sinac.
Tomo Jagodić – Tule started the initiative, through the Ministry of Culture, to protect “ojkanje” and “rozganje” singing as intangible cultural heritage. The proposal sent by the Ministry to UNESCO was accepted and KUU Gacka received the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Charter (Bear, the Animal from the Mountain). The Croatian Prime Minister Ms  Jadranka Kosor handed over the Charter to Tomo Jagodić – Tula on 20th February 2011.

This history is based on memories of the children of the oldest members of the Society who have long been dead, the memories of the author based on the stories of these people, and based on the memories of individual members of the KUD. Those who have read this text, and can provide information about the KUD, which they have obtained from their cousins, fathers, grandfathers or neighbours, are invited to submit their remarks and suggestions for improvement of this text to the e-mail address of the Lika-Senj County Association of the Blind and Vision Impaired or the address of KUU Gacka in Ličko Lešće. After we collect the required data, we will try and write a book about the KUD, which would be the first book ever to be written about Ličko Lešće by the people of Lešće themselves.

Address: KUU "Gacka"
53224 Ličko Lešće
IBAN-HR 30 2402006 1100132554
Account No.: 2402006-1100132554


Turistička zajednica Grada Otočca

Kralja Zvonimira 17, 53220 Otočac
Fax: +385 (0)53 - 771 603
Tel: +385 (0)53 - 771 603

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