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Napoleon’s warehouse

11. December 2019. by slrastoke

Slunj, once the westernmost point of defence in the war against the Ottoman conquerors, in the period from 1809-1813 becomes the easternmost point of Napoleon’s Empire. As opposed to the Austro-Hungarian rule that confined the Croatian soldiers because of the fear from a conflict with the Ottomans, the French, led by Marshal Marmont, with their authority supported the Croats thus bringing back their self-confidence. They firmly fortified the Military Frontier and put sentries on it (Fr. cordon), after which the today’s name of Kordun stems for areas to the East of Slunj. The French undertook general social and political changes under the impact of the ideas of the French Revolution. The abolishment of the feudal and church privileges, the equality of all before the court, respect for all nations and introduction of the vernacular language, civil marriage and freedom of religion were revolutionary interventions indeed in the then social system. In comparison with social reforms, they launched the biggest construction undertakings in the history of Slunj and the surrounding areas, i.e. reconstruction and improvement of the existing bridge across Korana, road construction and construction of bigger mills with accommodation areas in Rastoke along the existing small ones. The Napoleon’s wheat warehouse was built for storing wheat and arms. Education and agriculture were encouraged, vineyards with choice vine from France were planted, karst was afforested and new cultures such as flax, onion and mulberries were planted. General Marmont, who had encyclopaedic knowledge, the manager of the area, was especially thrilled by the people of the Slunj area and the love was mutual.