The town of Čabar covers a territory which locals regard as the greenest part of Croatia. More than 94 per cent of the area is covered by woods. Picturesque small places of Čabar, Prezid, Gerovo, Tršće and Plešce are dotted next to the rivers of Kupa and Čabranka, making this region almost Alpine-like part of Croatia.
Between lush woodlands and green mountain valleys you can see the remnants of history – mostly connected to the noble Croatian family of Zrinski. Ban Petar Zrinski established Čabar, where his manor still stands as the most valuable historical place in whole area. Today it houses the Municipal museum, the gallery of paintings of the academic painter Vilim Svečnjak, and a trophy collection. Next to it is 17th century parish church of St. Anthony of Padua. Iron mining and wood industry was for centuries the essence of life in Čabar.
Nearby place of Gerovo is one of the oldest places in Gorski kotar. The parish here was established in 1504, and was centre of Gorski kotar during the reign of Zrinski dukes. On the other side of Čabar is Prezid, a place named for the wall from Roman and Liburnian times. This old settlement was once property of Frankopan family, later given also to Zrinski. Today, this is the best place to see the original old wooden houses, built in the original Gorski kotar architecture.
These houses with a rectangular ground plan and two narrow eaves are made of stone and wood with tilted or shingled roofs. Croatian rural architecture heritage is enriched with preservation of Vesel, Ožbolt, Žagar, and Lipovac houses in Prezid. In the centre of Plešce is another beautiful household from the 19th century, the Palčava šiša, estate of the Čop family.
Along the river Čabranka and below the cliffs of Sveta Gora, lies Plešce, place of sawmill, mills, and smithies. The miners’ centre was Tršće, another place in Čabar region, where exploitation of iron ore begun in 17th century. The natural wealth attracted noble families, whose tombs at the Čabar graveyard are of special interest for the sacral architecture, especially the tombs of family Križ, Ghyczy and Paravić.
Čabar is the homeland of Petar Klepac, a Croatian giant and a legendary hero who was brave, resistible to all bad things, clever and intelligent, with big heart and sense of humour. On Sveta Gora he received a miraculous strength to help weak and unhappy people, defending it from their enemies, mostly against the Turks. Klepec is still alive in many different stories from the Čabar region, all of them celebrating heorism, bereavement, honesty and strength connected with intelligence.
Klepac for sure roamed around the forests and next to mountain creeks, where people built mills and saws. Some of them are still standing as a testimony to the old times. Among the oldest is the Selanec mill, mentioned first in 1751 in Zamost. Today it is run by family Žagar, who managed to preserve their mills together with three millstones for grinding corn, wheat, barley, and oats from the neighbouring hamlets, both for Slovenian and Croatian side of the Kupa valley.
The area is ideal for nature lovers, especially hikers and mountaineers. The most outstanding trek here is on the Risnjak Mountain, which is also National Park. To walk beside the Kupa and Čabranka rivers is another adventure, especially if one visits the source of the river Kupa. It is one of the most powerful, deepest, and widest river sources in Croatia, with an impressive green-blue colour.