Rastoke

A watermill village situated where the blue-green water of river Slunjčica flows into the Korana river.
Most of the houses were built at the end of the 19th and the beginning o­f the 20th century. Because of its extraordinary natural beauties and historical tradition, in 1962 Rastoke village fell under the protection of the State Directorate for cultural and historical heritage. Many ancient civilizations, as well as contemporary urban environments whitness that the water has always attracted people to come to its banks and settle there.
For thousands of years, the water of Korana and Slunjčica, and their flora and fauna, fought the laws of nature, and as a result of this struggle in the limestone plateau, a remarkable canyon was carved in for us to take pleasure in.
Seeing this natural phenomenon, this "poured off" ("rastočen") terrain, a place where the water of river Slunjčica pour off in several backwaters, leaving behind small elevations which then form watercourses and waterfalls, people built a village and named it RASTOKE. Here, they found everything they needed and stayed here, forever bound with nature.
Rastoke is a village of ambiance value and authentic heritage when it comes to architecture, and according to some records, it was built in the 17th century, possibly even earlier.
Most of the houses were built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
People have always lived in Rastoke. Grain from nearby villages was constantly being milled here, and since its location is by the main road – which connects southern and northern part of Croatia – it became the intersection of various buyers, dealers and live stock traders. This rich village constantly suffered war damages and other social-caused troubles that destroyed it and set its development back to the beginning.
Although people were forced to move away, the nature always stayed and defied the odds with its distinctiveness.  
Because of its extraordinary natural beauties and historical tradition, in 1962 the Rastoke village fell under the protection of the State Directorate for cultural and historical heritage. During the Homeland War in the 1990's, the village was completely destroyed. It was renovated with the help of Croatian Ministry of Development and Reconstruction.
Today, there are about 30 households in Rastoke, and their wish is to renew the water mills and start running businesses.
The prerequisites to do that were met last year, when the sewage system was built in Rastoke. Most of the households started renting out rooms for tourists. The fear of the future when it comes to their businesses is increasing, because the old road Karlovac-Slunj-Plitvice is not as interesting to the tourists now that the motorway was built.
This problem could be dealt with earlier, and today can be evaded by organized accomodation.
That is exactly what prompted the Holjevac family, who already owned an estate in the centre of the village, to bulid a small complex of tourist facilities, and to offer those to domestic and foreign tourists.  
The family company Slovin Unique – Rastoke d.o.o. was founded in 1997, and is the legal bearer of all the services the company offers.  With their own knowledge, hard work and strong will, and with the loan taken from Croatian Postal Bank, the family turned the old hayloft into a cosy catering facility.
Today, the company has an elaborate vision of future activities.  
 
 
(VEČERNJI LIST, September 8, 2004 AND ARENA September 9, 2004)

Services offered by the company Slovin Unique Rastoke are a congress hall that can seat approx. 60 people, a tavern where guests can enjoy the home made specialties (masnica, proja, batter-dumplings and trout from the nearby mere) and see a mill where golden flour is made in an old-fashioned way. There is also a gift shop, offering various items made at craft-workshops, and the loom where traditional customs can be presented and handcraft and needlework can be purchased. But, that's not all.  In time, we plan to expand our offer.
The company plans are much bigger and include the whole estate, which stretches over three small isles. The goal is to have some sort of content on every isle, such as excursions/sight-seeing, field trips and camping, etc. A big part of this program is still not implemented. Apart from the summer months, there are plans to make the winter period interesting as well. There are plans to organize various presentations, Christmas and Easter workshops, bee-parties and spinning. The estate will be open all year round, because in Rastoke - every season is beautiful.
 The goal is to complete the offer by introducing excursions to Cetingrad, an old town and a place where the first Croatian parliament was seated. In Rakovica, tourists might find it intersting to see the nearby caves, Baraćeve špilje, and cycle tracks. In Slunj, there are remnants of the Old Town, the Napoleon Magazine, Matešić caves, etc.

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