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Lonjsko field, one of the largest natural swamp areas in this part of Europe as well as richest in fauna and flora, harbours a pearl of architectural heritage – the village Krapje in the Sava River basin.  Located on the left bank of the River Sava, not far from Jasenovac, it offers inexhaustible possibilities for enjoinment in traditional architecture typical for the mid Posavina region to enthusiasts of historical heritage. This is why in September of 1995, it was proclaimed a village of architectural heritage.  That year, the village was also awarded with the Category A European cultural heritage medal.

Krapje, located in an extremely rich hunting and fishing area, which is how it got its name (krap is a name for the fish carp), is framed by the river Sava and rows of houses, of which some are almost 200 years old. It will enchant visitors with its picturesqueness and environmental preservation, seeing as there is no industry and no major roads in its lose vicinity. Traditional Posavina houses, built by horizontally layering oak-tree planks, put together by wooden pegs, represent the climax of Croatian rural folk architecture in wood. Because of the danger of floods, the houses were originally raised onto wooden or stone columns, which were later replaced by brick foundations. The original covers made out of sedge, straw and wooden plates were replaced by roof tiles at the beginning of the 20th century.

Krapje old houses

The picturesqueness of the houses is accentuated by the covered outside staircases, the archaic porches, the protective small roofs and the richly decorated detail on the fences and columns, the window seals decorated by carvings, the wooden bars and fences of wooden one-storey and two-storey wooden houses. The wooden houses are most often turned with their narrow fronts to the road, and in the back yards the farm buildings of various purposes were located – the barn, the henhouse, the pigsty, the hayloft, the corn baskets etc. The local population has recognized the town’s potential for tourism, offering visitors relaxation and fun in the rare and indigenous as a tourist attraction. Among them is the family Palaić on whose farm the local museum is located, the Ethno house from 1912, with its preserved original from and original traditional objects. At the entrance to the village there is an information and education centre in which the staff of the nature park familiarise visitors not only with the cultural heritage but with the long history of this region.

Enjoying in the ancient wooden houses offering a pleasant and healthy stay and getting to know the folklore and traditional architecture of the Posavina region is not all that Krapje has on offer. Not far from the village there is an old armlet of the River Sava, Krapje-đol, which was proclaimed the first Croatian ornithological reserve in 1963. It is known as a habitat of protected bird species such as the spoonbill and grey heron.

Krapje and Sava river

More information

Sisak-Moslavina County Tourist Board

Lonjsko field Nature Park

(photos: Frka)