Anyone driving through the Rijeka-Zagreb motorway gives a thorough look on Fužine. The road suddenly exits the wooden and hilly teritorry just to give a glimpse of the Lake Bajer and the town of Fužine, stretching up and down the hilltop. This image invites everyone to Fužine, to enjoy the shades and cool mountain air in summer, try the fruits of the forests in autumn, celebrate the New Year at noon in winter, and hike on the numerous walking paths in spring. And while the motoway gives faster way to reach the Croatian coast from the capital Zagreb, Fužine is not new to the major transit route. It is precisely here that Karolina was built, a road that used to connect the interior with the littoral, named after the Karl III, the Habsburg king and emperor.
The road was built in 1728 and was a vital heartbeat between Karlovac and the port of Bakar. it passed Fužine, a village made in 17th century when the Croatian noblemen Zrinski started to mine the iron ore. It turned out this work was not profitable, but Fužine retained its name. It comes from the Italian “fucina” or German “fusionieren”, a term denoting the mining and manufacturing the iron ore. In 1873 a railroad was made, effectively transforming and developing a wood industry here. Exactly one year later Fužine turned to be a tourism destination.
Long ago, in 1898 travel writer Dragutin Hirc wrote: „There is no other area in the homeland where there would be so many interesting things in such a small space, as there is around Fužine. There are few areas even in foreign countries, where beauty is laid before you as in a palm of the hand. The surroundings of Fužine are magnificent, it is a true alpine region. Encircled by high hills covered in evergreen woods, there are fir groves. There are mountain ports and beaches, meadows with most luxuriant mountain and alpine flowers, there are streams, streamlets, little springs, valleys, plains, there are landscapes that elate your soul completely, there are many, many things and the attire that Fužine wears is adorned and of which it is proud.” When a famous Croatian historian Tadija Smičiklas wrote about Franjo Rački, the first president of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, he noted that he was born in the Magical Fužine!
At the time, there was no lakes around Fužine, but the area is extremely rich in water. The place has the highest annual rainfall in Croatia, and this fact was important to capture this enormous amount of water in three accumulation lakes. The oldest of these is Bajer, built in the 1950s, and a major natural tourist attraction in Fužine. One could not imagine this settlement without Bajer today. It is suitable for boat rides, canoeing, kayaking, even wind surfing. Although less known, Lake Lepenica actually has more amount of water and larger surface. Both lakes invite many anglers. People from Fužine often go to Potkos, small artificial lake on the foot of Bitoraj mountain.
Guests don’t roam just the countryside, they go beneath it. The area is rich with caves, from Fužine up to the neighbouring municipality of Lokve. While constructing the Lake Bajer, workers accidentally discovered the cave Vrelo. It is only 300m long, but its beauty is exceptional and it is rich with cave formations. There are walking trails and lighting inside and guests can see a beautiful mountain spring, lake, and chasm.
Because of its natural beauty, Fužine is popular for sportsmen and nature goers. There are numerous bicycle and hiking trails on Viševica (1482m), Bitoraj (1386m), Tuhobić (1109m), while less adventurous can simply climb Preradović hill, which gives a spectacular view of Fužine and its surroundings. Angling is also very popular, while those who know how to ride can experience almost unspoiled nature on a horseback. Romantics may warm up with blankets while riding a snow sledge with horse in winter, and those preferring conflicts can easily do it in the Paintball park Vrata.
Fužine Tourist Board