Rastoke, a watermill pearl of the Slunj area, created by a whim of nature where the green and blue Slunjčica river flows over the travertine barriers into the Korana river, thereby creating a multitude of waterfalls, rapids, small lakes and cascades.
For thousands of years, the Korana and Slunjčica rivers resisted the laws of nature and, as a result of that battle, they carved an immense natural wealth for the man in the limestone plateaux. Just in that dissolved terrain, elevations in the form of water flows and waterfalls, man created the Rastoke settlement.
According to records, the settlement has an ambient value and an authentic construction heritage dating back to the 17th century, however, it is believed that it had existed even earlier.
Among other things, Rastoke witness of the impressive harmony between the nature and human achievements whereby the power of the water was used as the main and only mill drive. This is the first time that primitive machines were not powered by human or animal power. Apart from grinding wheat, the power of the water was used to wash the laundry. Long before the washing machine was invented, laundry in Rastoke was ‘basketed’ (‘košalo’) in baskets beside the mills. Baskets were deep wooden barrels with drilled holes in which water tossed and turned the laundry until it was entirely clean.
The largest number of settlements was built at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century and, due to the extraordinary natural beauties and history, in 1962 Rastoke were put on the State Administration List for the Protection of Cultural and Historic Heritage. In Rastoke at that point, there were 22 water mills, 4 fulling mills, 7 baskets for rinsing whites and coloured laundry and 28 houses with appertaining farm buildings.
Due to the harmonious construction, historic and ethnographic heritage, in 1969 Rastoke were entered in the Register of Immovable Cultural Monuments at the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Zagreb.