After careful evaluation, the scientific committee of the Swiss Tourism Awards then selected the city of Karlovac for the Discovery Destination category and awarded the prize:
Karlovac is known as the city of four rivers, the city of parks, the city of the Star Rock, the city of events, perfect for an active vacation, known for fun and beer festivals. It lies at the junction of Croatia’s lowland and mountain regions, in the “soft underbelly” of the central part of the country. It is one of the rare cities in the world that is located at the confluence of four rivers: the Kupa, Korana, Dobra, and Mrežnica. The reason for the city’s location is military and defensive.
Construction of the walled city began in 1579, when the border of the Ottoman Empire was moved westward by the Kupa and Korana rivers, at the expense of the Habsburg Empire. Vrbanic Gardens were designed in 1895 along the Korana River to create a beautiful green oasis. The gardens are protected as a monument of garden architecture. Nearby Vrbanić Gardens is the Arboretum, a dendrological nature park since 1986 with more than 1,000 decorative plants, trees and shrubs. Modrusan Park with its beautiful magnolia trees next to the Edison Theater was planted between the two world wars. Parks and flower gardens are a heritage that Karlovac residents cultivate with pride, skill and care. The Croatian Tourist Board awarded Karlovac as the best continental tourist destination in 2010. The banks of the Korana are one of the longest, most beautiful and most visited in the city. Rowing boats are a frequent image of Karlovac.
The four rivers are also a fascinating destination for solo fishermen , painters and photographers. A visit to these waters is ideal for rest and relaxation, and also inspires creativity. Today, Karlovac is also well known for its cultural events, such as the Karlovac Beer Festival, the Four Rivers Ethno-Jazz and Jazz Festival, the Youth Film Festival, the Film Four Rivers Festival, the International Folklore Festival, and the St. John’s Bonfire in June. Among believers, the city is known for meetings at the National Shrine of St. Joseph and the Shrine of the Virgin Mary in Kamensko. Karlovac is a city on a human scale. Not too big, not too small, rich in antiquity but open to modernity, steeped in culture and full of greenery with its rivers, near the metropolis of Zagreb, but also close to the sea, a perfect place for a harmonious approach to life and creativity.