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« : Rujan 21, 2006, 05:20:00 »


The town was established in the 17th century, at the time of the Military Border, as the centre of the Lika headquarters and the brigade headquarters of the Regiment of Lika and Otočac. Among the structures, the most prominent are the tower of Aga Senković, army barracks from 1767 and the late Baroque parish church of St. Mary from 1780. The church bears a memorial tablet, dedicated to those who fell in the battle of Bilaj in 1809 (R. Frangeš-Mihanović). In the chapel of St. John Nepomuk are three paintings from the 18th-19th century. On the cemetery is The Bust of a Woman with Ducats, a work by Ivan Rendić, from 1907 (tombstone of Lovro Pavelić) and on the square a monument dedicated to Nikola Tesla, made by F. Kršinić (1981). In Gospić there is also the Museum of Lika, opened in 1958, with archaeological, ethnographic, historical (recent history) and art collections. Dominant are archaeological finds (Iapodian culture, Roman coins found in Lički Ribnik). Within the Museum is also the regional collection "Nikola Tesla's Birth-house" in the village of Smiljan.

Bilaj (Belaj), a village 5 km southeast of Gospić. On a rock in the middle of the village are the ruins of a mediaeval town with a high pentagonal defence tower; it is enclosed by a moat carved in stone. Banovac Tomo Tvrtković had to cede it to Viceroy Petar Talovac in 1451; in 1509 it belonged to Ivan Karlović. The town was under the Turks in the period 1528-1689. - In the surroundings are numerous barrows (tumuli) with finds from the Bronze and the older Iron Ages.

Bužim, a village 7 km northwest of Gospić. West of the village are ruins of the fortified town of Bužim. Its ground-plan is an irregular rectangle with towers on its corners and the central residential part. It was probably built earlier than the 13th century as a tribal fortification.

Medak, a village 14 km southeast of Gospić. In ancient times there was a habitation called Senia-Burnum along the road. Various archaeological finds originate from this place (Roman sarcophagi, coins, a mile-stone from the 3rd c.). In the vicinity are the ruins of a mediaeval fortified town.

Mušaluk, a village 10 km north of Gospić. The chapel of the Holy Spirit has a polygonal sanctuary and a front belfry "na preslicu" above the main front. According to the inscription, the priest Marko Mesić had it erected in 1700. The church features Baroque plastics from the 18th century. Above the village are the ruins of the Bešina tower from Turkish times.

Pazarište, an area 13 km northwest of Gospić. Comprises the following villages: Donje Pazarite, Klanac, the former Gornje Pazarište and a hamlet called Srednje Pazarište, all of them situated at the entrance in the canyon between the peaks Kuk (708 m) in the north and Oteš (745 m) in the south. The hills Oteš and Ostrovica accommodate the ruins of the mediaeval towns named after the hills, which in the 15th century belonged to the Frankopans. Ruins of a Pauline monastery and church (Klotar), endowment of the Drašković family from 1489, rise above Donje Pazarište.

Počitelj, a village on the western edge of the Ličko field, 16 km southeast of Gospić. Southwest of the village are the ruins on a hill (hill-fort Vuksanova Gradina), probably the remains of the mediaeval town of Počitelj. It was first mentioned in 1263.

Smiljan, a village 6 km northeast of Gospić. The birth-house of Nikola Tesla is the memorial museum today (with a memorial tablet, made by Grgo Antunac, 1956). - In the surroundings are hill-forts Bogdanić, Smiljan and Krčmar, prehistoric tombs, the churches of St. Anastasia, St. Mark and St. Vitus. The parish church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built in 1860.

Široka Kula, a village 3 km northeast of Lički Osik. Archaeological sites are found in the village and its surroundings, from Hallstatt (tumulus Vranića burial mound from the 14th until 15th c. BC) and Roman cultures (tombs, inscriptions, mile-stones). Northeast of Široka Kula is Gradina near Razvale, a large oval structure with towers, probably of Roman origin.

Vrebac, a village 13 km east of Gospić. At the foot of the hill-fort are two big barrows (tumuli) with stone grave structures from the late Bronze and Iron Ages. Remains of the ancient town were visible in the village as early as 1834. Ruins of two mediaeval towns have been preserved in the vicinity.
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