Visiting the bulwark of Christianity

duration: 7-8 h type: sacral-historical tour

Take a trip to Kostajnica to visit the bulwark of Christianity. First records of church buildings in Hrvatska Kostajnica date from the 14th century with the record of St. Nicholas church, so we recommend that you start your visit here.

Park your car near the site where remains  of St. Nicholas church are, surrounded by a beautiful meadow. You can pray at the cross near the church and at the spring Pekinac, near the locality, you can refresh and pour yourself water.

Walking along the River Una, opposite to the Central Hotel, you can drink water at the most famous spring in the area of Kostajnica – the Tekija spring. According to the legend, the one who drinks water from Tekija shall certainly return to Kostajnica again.

The road will further lead you to the parish church of St. Anthony of Padua. In the hallway of the parish church of St. Anthony you can see the only preserved pictures from the former parish church of St. Nicholas, as well as the pictures of the parish church of St. Anthony, its appearance after the end of the Croatian War for independence before the last renovation.

In the parish church there are valuable stained-glass windows, from which the window above the main entrance is dedicated to St. Anthony , while the rest depict scenes from Christs’ life. Certainly we recommend prayer and short spiritual contemplation within the parish church.

It is necessary to announce your visit in advance to the parish priest for the church to be opened.

After the St. Anthony church, the road further leads you to the remains of the former parish church of St. Anne, located at the graveyard.

The church was significantly damaged through history, especially in the last Croatian War for independence and today the remains of the former church with an obelisk at the entrance are visible. Here we suggest a short prayer, respecting the sacredness of the place.

After a walk, we recommend a lunch break at the Varoški Bunar restaurant, located on the hill near the church of St. Anne. We certainly recommend that you try local specialties such as the Varoš steak or chicken made in the Varoš way.

After lunch, we suggest a walk back to the Zrin Fortress. This fortress has a significant symbolism if we look at the history of this area during the Turkish conquest in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was a period of intense penetration of Turks who spread Islam, and the Zrin fortress located on the banks of the River Una was one of the fortifications at Pounje, which for many years prevented further expansion of the Turks to the west.

From that time comes the notion of the town Hrvatska Kostajnica as the bulwark of Christianity. To tour the interior of the fortress, please announce your visit to the tourist board office.

By returning to the remains of  St. Nicholas church from the Zrin fortress, along the river Una, you will pass next to the old bicycle next to the Una River promenade. On the other side of the road, opposite the old bicycle, there is a memorial to Croatian veterans, who died in the Croatian War for independence defending this region. There you can commemorate the fallen veterans by a minute of silence and a short prayer.

 

A further walk will take you past the most famous spring in Kostajnica called Tekija. The Legend of Tekija says that the one who drinks water from Tekija shall always return to it. We certainly recommend that you drink water from Tekija at the end of your one-day visit to Kostajnica and come back again.

Additional suggestions

Stained glass windows in St. Anthony church

Hiking trails

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