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Grad Gospić
Town of Gospić
View of Gospić
View of Gospić
Flag of Gospić
Gospić is located in Croatia
Location of Gospić within Croatia
Coordinates: 44°32′46″N 15°22′30″E / 44.546°N 15.375°E / 44.546; 15.375Coordinates: 44°32′46″N 15°22′30″E / 44.546°N 15.375°E / 44.546; 15.375
Country Croatia
CountyFlag of Lika-Senj County.png Lika-Senj
 • MayorKarlo Starčević (HSP)
 • Municipality966.64 km2 (373.22 sq mi)
656 m (2,152 ft)
 • Municipality12,745
 • Town
Time zoneUTC+01 (CET)
Postal code
53 000
Area code(s)053
Vehicle registrationGS

Gospić (Croatian pronunciation: [ɡǒːspitɕ]) is a town in the mountainous and sparsely populated region of Lika, Croatia. It is the administrative centre of Lika-Senj County. Gospić is located near the Lika River in the middle of a karst field (Ličko Polje).

Gospić is the third smallest seat of a county government in Croatia. Its status as the county capital helped to spur some development in it, but the town as well as the entire region have suffered a constant decrease in population over the last several decades. Scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla was born in the nearby village of Smiljan and grew up in Gospić.



Kingdom of Hungary stamp cancelled in 1896

The first organised inhabitation of the area was recorded in 1263 as Kaseg or Kasezi. The name Gospić is first mentioned in 1604, which likely originates from the Croatian word for "lady" (gospa) or another archaic form, gospava. It was ruled by Ottoman Empire as part of Sanjak of Lika initially in Rumeli Eyalet (1528–1580), later in Bosnia Eyalet (1580–1686).

Today's town was built around two Ottoman forts (the towers of Aga Senković and of Aga Alić). The Turkish incursion was repelled by the end of the 17th century and Gospić became an administrative centre of the Lika region within the Military Frontier.

Until 1918, Gospić (named GOSPICH before 1850) was part of the Austrian monarchy (Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia after the compromise of 1867), in the Croatian Military Frontier, Likaner Regiment N° I.[2] In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Gospić was part of the Lika-Krbava County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.

According to one source (Raphael Israeli), at the beginning of the World War II a concentration camp was established in Gospić in which (together with other camps that belonged to the same complex) Ustaše might have killed between 24,000-42,000 people, most of them being Serbs and Jews, but some of the prisoners were also Croatian.[3][4]

In the 1990s, during the course of the Croatian War of Independence, Gospić suffered greatly during the Battle of Gospić. The town was held by Croatian government forces throughout the war, while the rebel Serb forces of the Republic of Serbian Krajina occupied positions directly to the east and often bombarded the town from there. In February 1992, a statue of the Serb scientist Nikola Tesla in downtown Gospić was destroyed in an explosion. The perpetrators were never apprehended.[5] Control of the area finally devolved to the Croatian government with the success of Operation Storm in August 1995.

Gospic is also the site of one of the regional branches of the Croatian State Archives, the Državni arhiv Gospić, at Kaniška 17. It was founded 30 September 1999 and officially opened 1 September 2000 in a renovated building and now houses historical documents of relevance to the Lika-Senj region which were formerly housed in the Regional Archive at Karlovac. In 2013, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović urged the town's authorities to allow for a replica of the Tesla statue that had been destroyed in 1992 to be reinstated. The mayor of Gospić, Nikola Kolić, refused to give his approval for such a move and instead vowed to erect a statue of wartime Croatian President Franjo Tuđman on the spot where the Tesla statue had once stood.[5]


The municipality was the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, Ferdinand Kovačević and Ante Starčević.



Gospić has a humid continental climate, Dfb by Köppen climate classification, with mean temperatures varying from −0.9 °C (30.4 °F) in January to 18.1 °C (64.6 °F) in July. Being situated higher than 500 metres (1,640 ft) above sea level, the area experiences high diurnal ranges, especially in summer, and frost has been recorded in every month except for July. The record low and high temperatures are −33.5 °C (−28.3 °F) and 38.7 °C (101.7 °F), respectively. Gospić is also quite a rainy city, with a slight summer minimum, but it experiences plentiful precipitation all year long, with the maximum being in autumn. During winter, Gospić can get strong blizzards, with on average 5.1 days a year when more than 50 cm (20 in) falls, and 16.1 days when more than 30 cm (12 in) falls. Its record snow cover was 285 cm (112.2 in), and it was measured in February 1916.


Demographic history of municipality
Ethnic group 1948 1953 1961 1971 1981 1991[8] 2001[9] 2011[1]
Croats 24,307 (65.02%) 18,525 (59.25%) 18,613 (64.07%) 12,050 (92.84%) 11,860 (93.06%)
Serbs 11,801 (31.56%) 9,283 (29.69%) 8,976 (30.89%) 625 (4.82%) 609 (4.78%)
Yugoslavs 635 (1.69%) 2,907 (9.29%) 513 (1.76%)
Others 640 (1.71%) 548 (1.75%) 947 (3.26%) 305 (2.35%)
Total[10] 26,920 26,285 27,390 37,383 31,263 29,049 12,980 12,745
Demographic history of town
1948 1953 1961 1971 1981 1991[8] 2001[9] 2011[1]
4,204[10] 5,127[10] 6,767[10] 8,046[10] 8,725[10] 9,025 6,088 5,795

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Gospić". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  2. ^ Handbook of Austria and Lombardy-Venetia Cancellations on the Postage Stamp Issues 1850–1864, by Edwin MUELLER, 1961.
  3. ^ Israeli, Raphael (4 March 2013). The Death Camps of Croatia: Visions and Revisions, 1941–1945. Transaction Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4128-4930-2.
  4. ^ Radovi (Filozofski Fakultet Zagreb. Humanisticke i Drustvene Znanosti). Zavod. 2007. p. 355. Procjenjuje se daje u logorskom kompleksu Gospić-Velebit-Pag (Mirko Peršen, Đuro Zatezalo, Ilija Jakovljević) pogubljeno oko 24.000 ljudi.
  5. ^ a b Pavelic, Boris (23 January 2013). "Bring Nikola Tesla Monument Back, Urges Croatia PM". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Gospić Climate Normals" (PDF). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Mjesečne vrijednosti za Gospić u razdoblju1872−2015" (in Croatian). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Naselja i stanovništvo RH od 1857–2001. godine", Izdanje Državnog zavoda za statistiku Republike Hrvatske, Zagreb, 2005.
  9. ^ a b "2001 census by settlement". Central Bureau of Statistics (Croatia) (in Croatian). 31 March 2001. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Croatia censuses 1948–1991

External links[edit]