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Hrvatska Kostajnica – Chestnut Festival (Kestenijada)

hrvatska-kostajnicaAt the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the banks of the Una River, Hrvatska Kostajnica – a small town that derives its name from the surrounding forests, rich in chestnut woods. It is the chestnuts that play the lead role in the traditional October event in Kostajnica – the Chestnut Festival at which the many lovers of nature, strolls, chestnuts and the traditional culinary specialities of the region gather.

The Chestnut Festival of Kostajnica has been held for seven years at the beginning of October. As a part of the Kestenijada – the chestnut harvest on the surrounding hills and forests, the local population does its best to attract the visitors who traditionally come to the chestnut harvest.

Besides the relaxing and entertaining harvest, a lavish culinary offer is also organised during the Chestnut Festival – all of the specialities are made of chestnuts – visitors can sample cooked and baked chestnuts and many chestnut sweetmeats. Visitors can also participate in the harvest and in the traditional bicycle tour.

Hrvatska Kostajnica is a small town nestled on the left bank of the Una River. The towns destiny has been ordained by its location. It is situated on the left bank of the river Una, in the eastern part of Banovina beside the railway line running from Sisak – Bosanski Novi. There is evidence of Roman times by the excavation of remaining road signs and sacred shrines. The fall of the Roman Empire was followed by Croats coming into the area. In the 10th century, the country was part of the Croatian Kingdom under King Tomislav.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the town and castle were ruled by different noble families until 1530, when it came into the possession of Nikola III Zrinski. In the times of Turkish incursions into the town, it was bravely defended until the year 1556 when it fell under Turkish occupation. Kostajnica was liberated by Croats in the year 1688 and since then has been part of Vojna Krajina. In the year 1690, the town was built in a better, more suitable and secure spot. In time, New Kostajnica developed into the important military, trade and commercial centre of Pounje, with baroque characteristics.

Due to development in 1776 Kostajnica, it became a “borough” and by the charter granted I by Emperor Josip II “a free royal town”. After the dismantling of Vojna Krajina the town attained the status of a town with a coat of arms and town seal. By the construction of the railway in the year 1881, the town expanded in a northwestern direction. Renowned Croatian pedagogue Davorin Trstenjak had well-defined influence in the lives of Hrvatska Kostajnica. In the 20th century the town was developing until the Great War, but after that stagnated.

For more info visit Sisak-Moslavina County Tourist Board: www.turizam-smz.hr

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