The city in the bosom of Mrežnica
Duga Resa is a town in Karlovac County, about ten kilometers southwest of Karlovac. Although it is mentioned for the first time in 1380, the area actually contains archaeological findings and evidence of steady population growth since prehistoric times.
The location of Sveti Petar Mrežnički is an important archaeological site from ancient and Roman times, and with the arrival of Croats this area became an important part of the medieval Croatian state, especially in later anti-Turkish wars.
As a result, numerous fortersses and strongholds were built in the area of Duga Resa for the purpose of defence.
Economic development and transformation into a modern city began after the Karlovac – Rijeka railroad construction in 1873 and the establishment of the Pamučna industrija (Cotton Industry factory) in 1884.
It is interesting that the accurate description of the former Duga Resa was given by the famous Croatian writer August Šenoa who traveled with the first train on this route.
It became the municipal center in 1896 and in 1993, after the establishment of the contemporary Croatian state, it finally got the official status of the city.
The protector of Duga Resa is Saint Peter, and the City Day is celebrated on June 29 when that name is marked on the Catholic calendar. Alongside Saint Peter, Saint George is also considered to be the patron saint of Duga Resa.
There are several interpretations about the origin of the name Duga Resa:
- according to one source, the name was derived from the word “resa” – a fringe that appears on folk costumes
- another source attributes the name to the terrestrial plant „resa“ that inhabits the area
- others derive the name from the water-growing plant “resina”
- and some associate the name of the place with the name of the innkeeper, Reza, who had a tavern in Duga Resa.
Duga Resa is geographically situated at the crossroads from Pannonian region toward mountain region of Croatia, which makes the Duga Resa and broader Karlovac area extremly important in terms of transport and communication.
In evidence to that there are numerous roads and notably most famous of them are the historical roads of Karolina, Jozefina and Lujzijana which have played a very important role in the economic interlinking of the coast with the inland of Croatia.
The most famous regional and international symbol of Duga Resa is the magnificent river Mrežnica which is today one of the most visited tourist destinations of continental Croatia. Thanks to Mrežnica, the major lifeline of this region, and the preserved nature of the town, Duga Resa is known as a place of active life and rest.
Unique natural beauty, wealth of intangible heritage of the people, cultural and historical sights and urban industrial heritage are the basis of today’s tourism industry in Duga Resa. One of the delightful pecularities of Duga Resa is its unique dialect and accent. This is the original Chakavian dialect mixed with numerous kajkavian and shtokavian elements.
As a city of active vacation, Duga Resa is also recognized as a city of sport. Numerous prominent names such as football players, Željko Perušić, Dragutin Drvodelić, and Marija Matuzić; table tennis player Antun Stipančić, and basketball player Željko Drakšić made Duga Resa famous in Croatia and across Europe. Sports like table tennis, volleyball, martial arts, football, handball, basketball, and shooting are just some of the activities that attract a great number of young people from Duga Resa to join their ranks.
Croatian painter and graphic artist Miroslav Šutej, the designer of the contemporary Croatian coat of arms, Croatian kuna banknotes, as well as the first Croatian national football team jersey, is also born in Duga Resa.
Since its very beginnings, voluntary firefighting has been and remains one of the major participants in social events and the protection of property and life of people from Duga Resa, coinsiding with the development of the city itself.