Cultural and Historical Heritage
The region of Gacka was inhabited in prehistoric times. The oldest site in the Gacka region from this period is located in Pećina in Lešće. The traces of charred bones of wild animals and bones with clearly visible traces of stone tools reveal the presence of humans from the Mesolithic period - the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic.
Traces from the Intermediate and Late Bronze Age were found in the area of Vrhovine. In the cave Bezdanjača under Vatinovac Hill, just two kilometers west of Vrhovine towards Zalužnica, a necropolis from 1400 BC was discovered – one of the largest cave necropolises in Europe. It is evident from the remains of the material culture that a group of people inhabited that region who belonged to the Proto-Illyrians, ancestors of the later formed Illyrian tribes.
Gacka is one of the oldest Croatian provinces. Its inhabitants were mentioned as early as in the ninth century, for the first time in 818, at the time of the development and formation of the early medieval Croatian state. the Duke Borna is the first Croatian ruler who is mentioned as "dux Guduscanorum" in the Frankish Annals, or leader of the Guduscani, and the Guduscani are called "natio Guduscanorum".
In the mid-10th century, the Byzantine emperor, writer and philosopher Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus mentions the Croatian counties, among them three – Gacka, Lika, and Krbava – ruled by a ban, while all others were ruled by a duke. Thus, in the early 10th century, Gacka belonged to the first Banovina of Croatia known in history.
Throughout his history, the man had left behind a legacy of cultural goods in a modest extent. During long-term periods of security and peace, the culture in the area of today's Gacka was splendid and equal, or even superior, to other neighboring cultures. Thus, the Iapydes had lively contacts with the Etruscans, that most famous cultural people on the Apennine peninsula, with the Greeks in the Mediterranean, with the cultural people of the Black Sea. And they were equal to them. When the history was more fierce and tumultuous, the muses were silent, and the remains of the material culture were becoming rarer. But what man had created throughout the centuries in the area of Gacka was of outstanding cultural and artistic value.
Therefore, this area calls and tickles the human imagination to decide and reveal something magical and beautiful. This is Gacka, the land and the water.