A green oasis that connects the continent and the coast: Tounj hides a unique two-story bridge

Tounj is hidden Oasis of peace which is actually the place that history says connects the interior with the coast. Near Karlovac, as far from the sea as it is from Zagreb, Tounj is in an ideal place if you want to spend a weekend outside the metropolis or be located in a green oasis far from the crowds of sea destinations, yet close enough to stop by the coast from Tounj's green zone. This area is a paradise for cyclists and lovers of walks and spending time in nature, as well as fishermen.

tounj promenade
Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

Tounj was rediscovered by tourists only in the twentieth century, although the remains of the old town confirm how people lived here from the 15th century. This small place in Karlovac County has its tourist assets in the incredible nature and greenery and the river whose pictures captivate every traveler.

///Two old bridges on Tounjčica

The most famous pictures from Tounj are still the imposing ones two-story stone bridge such as are seldom seen. Namely, this bridge is a unique monument of Croatian bridge construction, the only one of its kind in our country, but also in this part of Europe. It is decorated with statues of Roman soldiers, and the original builder was inspired by the magnificent ancient Roman architecture.

two-story bridge tounj
Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

The only two-story bridge in Croatia

The first floor of the bridge was built in 1775 during the beginning of construction road Josephine which connects Karlovac with Senja, under the supervision of builder and designer Colonel Vincenzo Giorgio Struppi. The bridge is in honor of the Austrian emperor and the Croatian king Josip II. called Joseph's Bridge. Two-story station in the 19th century, during the reconstruction of the road in 1836. Then, under the leadership of engineer Major Josip Kajetan Knežić, a second floor was added to the existing bridge, and thus the bridge got its final look and shape.

tounj two-story bridge
Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

During the Second World War, most of the upper floor of the bridge, three arches and their columns were demolished. Later, an improvised wooden crossing was constructed over these remains. Construction works on the restoration of the bridge were completed in 1973. But the restoration was primarily focused on the useful value of the bridge, while the original decorations were neglected. Statues and memorial plaques from the bridge were damaged and scattered in different places.

tounj stone bridge

The quiet charm of Tounj and its surroundings - a unique and stunning stone bridge

Only in the middle of the Homeland War did the first initiatives and efforts for the final reconstruction of the bridge and the reconstruction and discovery of lost and dislocated original decorations appear. The profession soon joined the local community 2011. The the bridge shone again in full glory. Statues of legionnaires and memorial plaques were carefully restored and returned to their original place.

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Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

The Josephine Bridge in Tounj, today after two centuries, after wars and the change of empires and states, still stands as a memorial to a daring idea transformed into a magnificent construction project to connect the interior of Croatia with the Croatian coast.

Tounj cheese - smoked cheese made from cow's milk

Gourmets know this area as it is widely known Toun cheese. Even today, every traveler is greeted with it in holiday homes, along with essential cured meat delicacies. In addition to cheese, which is an important part of tradition, here you will also find natural juices from local OPGs, and holiday homes confirm that Tounj is waking up as a tourist.

We found an ideal holiday home Ico which revealed to us the Toun region. We were greeted at the table by the famous cheese, and nearby are all the sights you need to see. The kind hostess took us through this area, I told the story of the two-story bridge and the Tounjčica river which springs from a cave.

This area is full of unexplored and interconnected caves that hide underground lakes. Be sure to visit a cave in a quarry almost nine kilometers long. The Ogulin cave sponge, otherwise an endemic species, lives in it the only underground freshwater sponge in the world.

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Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

When you meet these people for whom tourism is kind of natural, because housekeeping is in their blood, you will definitely want to come back here for a dose of peace and a detox from everyday stress that already offers a view through the window of endless greenery and nature attractive at any time of the year. In winter, here you will enjoy the whiteness of the snow cover next to the fireplace and the sounds of wood crackling. In spring, the scent of flowers and greenery predominates, while autumn here is a real palette of colors that takes your breath away.

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Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

Discover the rural oasis that is the only stop of the Zagreb - Rijeka train and connects the continent and the coast. For this reason, it stands out as a logical stop where you can stop and stay on the way to the coast, get lost on forest paths and walk along emerald rivers and even discover viewpoints that only the locals know about.

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Photo: Sonja Ostarčević, Holiday house Ico

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