History

Traces of human settlement in the Brinje area date back to ancient times. This is confirmed by some prehistoric archaeological finds, for example at the archaeological site in Humac near Brinje, where every now and then an ordinary mole digs out from the ground some vessel or bracelet belonging to the ancient inhabitants of this region. It is assumed that members of the Illyrian tribe of Japodi lived here, and according to some written traces, the place from Roman times was called Monetium.

Brinje is first mentioned in 1343. It is considered that the name itself derives from the word “brnja”, which in Chakavian dialect stands for the medicinal plant pine or juniper, which grows here in abundance.

Grown up in a harsh environment, the inhabitants of this region know all its secrets. The miners from Brinje were well known as builders of many roads and tunnels throughout the world. It is said that there is no tunnel in the world in the construction of which at least one inhabitant of Brinje did not participate. That is why today, in the centre of Brinje, there is a bronze statue of a miner, the work of the academic sculptor Kosta Angelini Radovani.

In the very center of Brinje, on the Josephine Road, there is a stone bridge across the Gate Jaruga stream. It was built more than 200 years ago, in 1801, by the industrious hands of coastal and Brinje builders and stone-carvers. During the reconstruction, on the bridge was mounted a stone sphere.

Once upon a time, in the Brinje valley, the sound of stone mill carts could be heard spinning at the numerous rapids of karst waters. One such spoon mill whose stone carts can still be torn from sleepiness, has been preserved to this day.

Shingle houses built of stone and wood are typical for this region, and nowadays they represent examples of protected traditional architecture.

Another example of protected national monuments of the Republic of Croatia testifying to the long history of wood processing is a stationary locomotive, one of only 10 in the whole of Croatia.

The Brinje region is also proud of many famous historical figures, from notables in the field of education and pedagogy, through writers and poets, numerous brave war heroes, through historians, to the famous priest Marko Mesić, leader of uprising in Lika against Ottoman empire, whose monument stands at the entrance to the parish church.

The wealth of life has persisted to this day. Thanks to their dedicated work, numerous successful sports societies, associations and native clubs contribute to the preservation of heritage and diversity of life in this area.