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Trip Planner Europe  /  Croatia  /  Lika-Senj County  /  Otocac


Otočac is a town in Croatia, former bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see. It lies in the northwestern part of Lika region, in the Gacka river valley. The population of the municipality was 9770 in 2011, the majority of whom were Croats (91%), the number having risen exponentially since the Croatian War of Independence, before which Croats comprised 65% and Serbs 31% of the town's population.Names and etymologyThe name of the town is Otocsán in Hungarian, Ottocio in Italian, and Ottocium in Latin.In historical sources, the name has been rendered as Ottochaz (German and English), Ottocaz (Italian and German), Ottotschaz (German), Ottotschan (German), and Ottocsaz (German).HistoryOtočac was named after the early Croatian parish. The text of the famous Baška Tablet (around 1100) says that the church of St. Nicholas in Otočac was part of the order community with the Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor on the island of Krk. From 1300 on, it belonged to the estate of the Frankopan family. Sigismund Frankopan (1461–1535) founded a diocese there (see below). The settlement with a defence tower, at a bend in the river Gacka, was protected by a towered fort. After the fort's demolition in 1829, only parts remained preserved. To provide a safer defence, a Renaissance-era castle ("Fortica") was built in 1619, with a triangular layout of cylindrical towers (these ruins stand above the town).
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