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Cultural heritage

The archaeological remains from the ancient history (Benkovac, Garden, Lukići), and the Middle Ages (the city of Maria Theresa and the upper city of Vrbaški, near Gornji Podgradci) provide us with evidence aboutthe time and the people who inhabited the area of Kozara for centuries.
Vrbaški town was first mentioned in 1293.godine. The remains of this settlement can be seen on the hill Pavetnjak (285 meters), 3 km south of Gornji Podgradci.
In the village of Kozarac, located below the slopes of Kozara Mountain, there is a tower which still dominates this place. The Kozara tower was built in1736 during the expansion of the former fortification.
In the Kozara National Park, on Pilanište, there is a chapel dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The chapel was built in 1903 on a hill overlooking the former mill. When the chapel was built, the locals named it Mehmed Church, because, according to a legend, it was a silent witness to the forbidden love between Mary, the daughter of the Austrian entrepreneur Karl Šmucer, and Mehmed Kulasic from Kozarac, who worked at the Šmucer’s mill.
Moštanica Monastery is located 14 km from Mrakovica and it was first mentioned in the records in 1579. In addition to the monastery church, Petar Pecija Petrović, the leader of the famous uprising against the Turks, was buried.
The tradition and folklore of Kozara people - a characteristic song "ojkača", folk customs, cuisine, etc., are kept from the oblivion in Potkozarje’s villages.
Various household items that in their form represent the folklore and tradition of the region have a special value. Items made of wool have impressing colours, patterns and designs.

The recent history of Kozara region was marked by the events of World War II. Since the beginning of the war in 1941 and until 1945, offensive attack of the enemy on Kozara did not stop. The most difficult was the offensive attack in 1942 when 45,000 enemy soldiers fought against 3,500 partisans. During this offensive in concentration camps, from Jasenovac to Ausvic, 68.600 civilians from the area of Kozara were taken, among them 23.000 children under the age of 14.
Battles at Kozara never seized, they lasted for all four years, but the region was never conquered by the enemy.
In the memory of deceased soldiers a memorial complex, which consists of the Monument, Memorial Wall and Museum, was built in the central part of the Kozara National Park- Mrakovica in 1972.
With its height of 33 m the monument, symbolically, represents the size of liberty and freedom-loving spirit of Kozara people. The monument is surrounded by concrete columns which represent physical pressure that enemy put on Kozara.
9 921 names of soldiers killed in battles in this area during World War II were engraved, "in death for the eternity”, in the bronze memorial wall.
Photographs and documents, showing suffering of Kozara people, are displayed in the Museum.
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