History of Slunj
The start of the 19th century was marked with a brief French rule during which roads, bridges, warehouses and similar military objects were built. Dating from that time are the old bridge on Korana and the military warehouse. In May of 1810, Napoleon’s Marshal Marmont ordered fortified positions and sentry (Fr. Cordon) against the Turks. This is from where the name ‘Kordun’ stems for the entire area. The Austrian rule followed after the Napoleon’s army withdrew. Many civil institutions and schools emerged and the infrastructure, primarily roads was renovated. The most important new direction was the ‘krajiška’ road from 1825 with a magistral importance that it has kept until today.
After the military frontier was lifted in 1873 and civil authority was introduced, Slunj got the status of a town. Its urbanisation started but also the stagnation in the number of inhabitants. Slunj experienced its final transformation in the 20th century when it became a transit town. After the construction of a new bridge across Korana and the new road route in 1958, the main town street became a part of the magistral road connecting the north and the south of Croatia.
The development of the town and the surroundings was abruptly interrupted by the occupation. In November 1991, Serb terrorists exiled from Slunj almost all the non-Serb population and took over the rule. The exile of the people of Slunj was ended on 6 August 1995 when the Croatian military troops in the military and police action ‘Oluja’ freed Slunj and enabled the return of the displaced persons. Years of healing the war wounds, renovation and slow development followed.
Today Slunj is a part of the Karlovac County expanding on 392.54 square kilometres and the 67 villages there have a little over 5,000 inhabitants. The relief is karst with three larger rivers: Slunjčica, Korana and Mrežnica. The Slunj area is marked with a moderate continental climate with mild summers and moderately cold winters and a favourable precipitation calendar. The altitude is 258 meters.
In history, Slunj was named and written in several ways: Slvn, Sluin, Slouin, Slovin, Slovingrad, Zlun, Zun, Sluni, and in some of the surrounding villages until the 1970s it also used to be called Slonj.