Tounj is the two-storey bridge and the Tounj cheese, the Tounjčica river and the Tounjčica cave. It is also the stone Roman soldiers and the stone quarry. Tounj is the Jozefina road and the Tounjčica and Bistrica canyons. This is a small community, but it is also large in a way, having a Neo-Gothic Sv. Ivan Krstitelj (St. John the Baptist) church, as well as the castle foundation remains above the Tounjčica cave. A narrow passage between the quarry rocks will take you to the Tounj quarry Cave.
The best approach to exploring Tounj is using a timeline. And that is no small task, since the history here is intertwined with the future, while the present can disappear in a moment. What appeared first, the caves or the rivers? Start from the rivers, water always comes first. The Bistrica canyon is carved deep into the rocks. While strolling along the banks, do take a look at the numerous small caves there. While in the Tounjčica canyon, go upstream and you will come to the grand cave entrance, where the very source of the Tounjčica is a crystal-clear turquoise pond.
The timeline will then take you to the castle remains above the Tounjčica cave, and if you’re in a mood for a speleological adventure, the quarry Cave will give you more than you can expect: more than 8 kilometers of the unexpected. Protected as a geomorphological natural site, connected to the Tounjčica by water, it hosts, in its dark labyrinths, the endemic Ogulin cave sponge, the only subterranean freshwater sponge in the world.
Approaching the present, the timeline will take you to the unique two-storey bridge, a part of the Jozefina road, and you will meet the bridge guards – the stone statues of the Roman soldiers. The stone bridge is the most famous attraction and the symbol of Tounj. The builders were inspired by the Roman architecture and today this is the only two-storey bridge in Europe.
At the end of your journey, come back to the present and opt for a gourmet treat: the Tounj cheese. The tradition of making the ‘creaky’ Tounj cheese, in numerous versions, is centuries old, and we recommend the smoked variety. This cheese has been blessed by the bats’ company and the age-old tradition of cheese-making, with a few hints of the makers’ little secrets.
Reaching the end of the Tounj timeline, turn around and go back. It is always good to go back to the very source of things.