Klana Municipality
Općina Klana


Location of Klana in Croatia

Coordinates: 45°27′0″N 14°22′48″E / 45.45000°N 14.38000°E / 45.45000; 14.38000Coordinates: 45°27′0″N 14°22′48″E / 45.45000°N 14.38000°E / 45.45000; 14.38000
Country Croatia
County Primorje-Gorski Kotar
  Mayor Matija Laginja
  Total 94 km2 (36 sq mi)
Population (2011)
  Total 1,975
  Density 21/km2 (54/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code 051
Website klana.hr

Klana (Italian: Clana) is a municipality in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in western Croatia.


The municipal area is situated in the densely forested Gorski kotar mountains, about 18 km (11 mi) north of Rijeka and the Kvarner Gulf, close to the border with Slovenia. At Klana is the source of the Reka river, running northwards across the border towards the Slovenian Snežnik karst plateau. Though officially part of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the area marks the northeastern rim of the Istrian historical region, bordering Croatia proper in the east as well as Slovene Istria and Inner Carniola in the north.

There are 1,975 inhabitants, in the following settlements:[1]

As of 2011, the population is 94% Croats.[2]


The name Klana[3] was first mentioned in a 1235 deed (located in the Roman library) recording a visit of the Bishop of Pula. Due to its geographical position at a crossroads from north to south and from east to west, as well as its forests rich in wildlife and fresh water springs, the area was suitable for settlement even in ancient times. Indications of Histri settlements trace back to around the 6th or 5th century BC.

Klana castle and market, engraving by Johann Weikhard von Valvasor, 1679

Croatians settled in the eastern and central Istrian peninsula, as well as in the area around Klana, from the 7th century onwards and early on accepted Christianity. Mass was conducted in the Old Church Slavonic language and writing was done in Glagolitic, with evidence in the Vatican archives of mass in Old Slavonic taking place in the 13th century in the Holy Trinity Church of the castle overlooking the town. Additional evidence of Glagolitic writing is in the form of an inscription from 1439 AD placed over the door to the sacristy of the parish church of St. Jerome. The scholar Johann Weikhard von Valvasor (1641–1693) writes of the celebration of Holy Mass in Old Slavonic in the 17th century.

In 1040 Emperor Henry III had established the March of Istria; from the 12th century onwards Klana was a possession of the Counts of Castel Duino, officials of the Counts of Gorizia at nearby Kastav. In 1374 northeastern Istria finally passed to the Austrian House of Habsburg, while the western and southern parts of the peninsula were gradually conquered by the Republic of Venice. From about 1400 the Klana estates were held by the Lords of Walsee. Throughout the Middle Ages, Klana was an important trading center and incorporated turnpike with postal service coordinated between the Imperial Duchy of Carniola in the north and the Adriatic Port of Rijeka.

In Early Modern times, Klana and the whole Habsburg Monarchy were constantly threatened by the Ottoman Turks who repeatedly raided the region. However, on 2 February 1559, the Ottomans under the leadership of Malkoč-beg experienced a heavy defeat by Uskok forces under Ivan Lenković at the Battle of Klana. From the 15th century until 1918, with a short-lived discontinuation within the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and the Illyrian Provinces from 1805 to 1815, power was stabilized under the Austrian Habsburgs, who gave rule over Klana as a gift to various Lords. In 1849 it was incorporated into the Austrian Littoral crown land.

In 1843, Klana began operating a public school and the first known teacher was Joseph Corsiga. After the abolition of serfdom upon the 1848 revolution, Klanans purchased from Baron Andrije Negovetić his portion of land in 1861, including the right (which expired at the beginning of the 20th century) to elect a mayor. 1852 saw the birth of Matko Laginja, a national revivalist of Istria and in 1920 Ban of Croatia, the most notable native of the region. Klana was hit by a devastating earthquake in 1870 that destroyed most of the houses, but fortunately there were no casualties. In that same year, a post office was established and in 1882 gas lamps were introduced.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Klana, despite the loss of importance gained in the past century, was still developing. Thus, in 1908, the post office received a telegraph station, 1911 saw the merchant Anton Medvedić establish a sawmill, and in 1913 Klana received its first aqueduct. Also at that time a reading room, library and tamburitza club were established.

During World War I, Klanans, like their neighbors, fought on battlefields across Europe. With the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Klana became part of the unrecognized State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, but almost simultaneously it was occupied by Italian forces along with the surrounding villages. The Treaty of Rapallo two years later drew the border between Klana and Studena so that Studena remained a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) while Klana, Škalnica, Lisac and Breza were annexed into the Julian March of Italy.

Klana soon became one of the largest border garrisons of the Italian kingdom, where there were stationed up to 10,000 Italian soldiers. Despite the high concentration of troops and attempt at Italianization, which almost immediately began and culminated in various fascist repressions and the introduction of the Italian language in school and other institutions, Klanans still preserved their Croatian identity. One of the most stalwart guardians of the Croatian language was Pastor Ivan Koruza, who was in Klana from 1896 to 1942. In the mid 30s, many Klanans were forcibly mobilized and sent to the battlefields of the Italo-Abyssinian War in Ethiopia. Following Italy's capitulation in World War II and the decision of ZAVNOH (State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia) in 1943, Klana with Istria would join the Socialist Republic of Croatia, though two difficult years of war lay ahead. Nazi German forces occupied the region in 1944 and reinforced the Rapallo border such that in April and May 1945, fierce fighting took place. Klana was finally liberated on 5 May 1945.

After World War Two, Klana was an independent municipality from 1945 to 1953 and then a local community within the framework of the former Municipality of Rijeka. In Klana there is a sawmill and forestry service, a newly built school, firestation, community hall, restored churches and despite depopulation, is an area of urbanization. In the Croatian War of Independence, fought from 1991 to 1995, many people from the area participated in the defense of the country. In 1993 in the new democratic country of Croatia, Klana again became a municipality united with Studena, Škalnica, Lisac and Breza, thus establishing the conditions for community development through a localized government.

Notable People


There are a number of industries located in Klana including:


Klana has pre-primary, primary and middle school through the 8th grade.


Sport has been a long-standing tradition first started with the introduction of soccer (football) by the Italian occupying army and the birth of the local soccer team in 1931.[10] Since then, other sports were popularized amid the formation of formal team representation. Another long-standing sports tradition is bocce, which has been played in Klana on bocce courts adjacent to the various bars and restaurants in town. A team was formed in 1974 bocce club "Klana".[11] The bowling club "Sveti Rok" currently plays out of Klana.[12]


  1. "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Klana". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  2. "Population by Ethnicity, by Towns/Municipalities, 2011 Census: County of Primorje-Gorski kotar". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  3. A Short History of Klana (Croatian)
  4. Primorski slovenski biografski leksikon. Goriška Mohorjeva družba, Gorica 1974-1994
  5. Matko Laginja (Croatian)
  6. http://www.klana.hr/Novosti/2014/tomaca.htm Slavko Gržinčić
  7. http://www.klana.net/info/sumarija.htm Šumarija Klana
  8. http://www.klana.com/indexeng.html Klana Pilana
  9. http://www.klanatrans.hr/ KlanaTRANS
  10. http://www.klana.hr/nogomet.htm Nogometni Klub Klana
  11. http://www.klana.net/bocari.htm Bocce Club "Klana"
  12. hr:Dodatak:Popis boćarskih klubova u Hrvatskoj
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