Old town Cetin
The fortress of Cetin is situated 5 kilometres south of Cetingrad, above the village of Podcetin. It is still unknown who and when built this fortress and how the site for its construction was chosen. Roman inscriptions on stone slabs (which probably ended up in the Vienna Museum) prove that Cetin was once ruled by the Romans, that is, that Cetin existed in that period. In the immediate vicinity of the fort there are higher hills, which is evidence that the builders did not know about artillery weapons. It is likely that in the past, next to the fort, there was an important transportation route connecting the northern part of Croatia with the Croatian coastline. Parish of All Saints was first mentioned in 1334.In 1387 Cetin was donated to Ivan Krèki by king Sigismund of Luxembourg as a sign of his gratitude.
The Middle Ages were the golden era of Cetin. Near the magnificent fortress, which at that time was the largest in the wider area of the central Croatia, there was a Franciscan monastery and several churches. At that time Cetin belonged to the Frankopan family. In the 15th century the Cetinski branch of Frankopan family was formed, but did not last long. Ivan Frankopan Cetinski died in the Battle of Krbava field. His brother Grgur and his son Franjo Frankopan became archbishops. They were the last members of the family of Frankopani Cetinski. After them, the fortress became the property of Frankopani Slunjski.
Cetin played an important role in the history of Croatia. After the defeat at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, there was disarray in the Kingdom of Croatia and Hungary. Croatian nobility gathered at Parliament on Cetin at the end of the year and elected Habsburg Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria as the king of Croatia. The new king pledged to defend all the privileges, rights and freedoms of the Croatian Kingdom and its people as well as to help them financially and militarily in the battle against the Turks. In the following 400 years the fate of Croats had been closely associated with Austria, and the fortress of Cetin was defending the Croatian homeland.
In the centuries-old battles with the Turks the fortress was badly damaged and became almost unusable. Two stone plates in The Croatian History Museum in Zagreb testify about reconstructions of the fortress in the 18thcentury, while it was still under the Turkish rule. In 1790 Austrian troops, under the command of general Walisch, finally returned Cetin to the Habsburg monarchy. In 1809 Ottoman forces once again occupied Cetin on the initiative of the French, but in 1810 they had to withdraw under the threats of Marshal Marmont, the governor-general of Illyrian provinces. The historical records of that time show that the name Czettin was used instead of Cetin.
In the late 19thcentury, after the Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, all administrative and management control was transferred from Cetin to the new settlement of Vališ selo (the present Cetingrad) and the fortress of Cetin remained abandoned and forgotten. The remains of the walls and the pile of stones are the only silent witnesses to the turbulent history of the impressive Cetin fortress.