in Zalužnica, Croatia

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D52 107, 53223, Zalužnica, Croatia
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N44° 51' 18" E15° 21' 25"   (44.855, 15.356944444444)
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Zalužnica is a village in the Gacka valley in Lika-Senj County, Croatia. It is located around the main road between the market town of Otočac and the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Over the last 100 years its population was around 700–1000 people but was de-populated in 1995 during the war that saw the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. A handful of old people remained in the village and a few new people have subsequently settled in the last 10 years.
The village was probably established in the 17th century by peoples migrating from the Ottoman Empire in a territory then under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The existing village church dates to 1705. During both the late 16th and 17th centuries the Ottomans had major offensives northwards. Many people fled ahead of them who were predominantly of the Christian Orthodox faith. The ethnicity of these peoples has been debated extensively but clearly from a simple review of family names they were a mix of mainly Serbs, Vlachs and various other minorities from Ottoman territories to the south. They settled in Lika and surrounding counties (such as Krbava); this was allowed by the Austro-Hungarian authorities to create a bulwark against future Ottoman incursions.
The Austro-Hungarian Army later maintained a presence in Otočac recruiting from both the Catholic Croat and Orthodox Serb communities in the surrounding area. This included the Otočac Border Regiment Nr.2 in the mid-19th century and the XIII Militärterritorial (Korps) bezirk, Otočac at the start of World War I.


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Address: D52 107, 53223, Zalužnica, Croatia