Military Wiki
Croatian Military Frontier
Kroatische Militärgrenze
Hrvatska vojna granica
Hrvatska vojna krajina
section of the Military Frontier, Habsburg Monarchy
16th century–1882
Location of Croatian Military Frontier
Croatian Military Frontier in 1868
 •  Established 16th century
 •  Disestablished 1882
Today part of  Croatia

Military Frontier.

The Croatian Military Frontier (Croatian language: Hrvatska vojna krajina

or Hrvatska vojna granica) was a territory in the Habsburg Monarchy, including the Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.


Founded in the late 16th century out of lands of the Habsburg Kingdom of Croatia, it was initially a nominal part of that Kingdom, to be later transferred fully under direct imperial rule as part of the Military Frontier. The Frontier was located on the border with the Ottoman Empire. In the Krajina zone, the king-emperors promised free land and freedom of religion to people who came to the area with the majority of the population being Croatian and Serbian. In exchange, the people who lived in the area had an obligation to militarily fight for the Empire, and to protect the land. The laws of the Frontier were established in 1630 with the imperial Statuta Valachorum.[1] It was known that the soldiers had to fulfill military service from the age of 16 until 66. In the end of the 17th century, Habsburg Monarchy expanded its borders and territory of Croatian Military Frontier was also expanded to include some former Ottoman territories in the east. Croatian Military Frontier existed until 1882, when it was abolished and incorporated into the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.


This part of the Military Frontier included the geographic regions of Lika, Kordun, Banovina and bordered the Adriatic Sea to the west, Venetian Republic to the south, Habsburg Kingdom of Croatia to the north-west, the Ottoman Empire to the south-east, Habsburg Kingdom of Slavonia to the east, and Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary to the north.

It extended onto the Slavonian Military Frontier near the confluence of the Una river into the Sava. Like the rest of the Military Frontier, it ceased to exist as a political entity in the late 19th century.


Croatian Military Frontier included three sections:

  • the Varaždin Borderland (Bilogora and Podravina)
  • the Karlovac Borderland (Lika and Kordun)
  • the Zagreb Borderland (Banovina)


In 1820, population of Croatian Military Frontier included:[2]

  • 207,747 Catholics
  • 198,728 Orthodox Christians

Official Austrian census of 1851 (data for the entire Military Frontier):[3][4]

  • Croats = 480,494 (50.1%)
  • Serbs = 310,964 (32.4%)
  • Romanians = 113,723 (11.9%)
  • Germans = 37,875 (3.9%)
  • Slovaks and Czechs = 8,822 (0.9%)
  • Hungarians = 4,985 (0.5%)
  • Jews = 479 (0.1%)
  • Others = 1,535 (0.2%)

See also[]

  • Slavonian Krajina
  • Banat Krajina
  • Kingdom of Croatia (Habsburg)


Further reading[]

  • Rothenberg, Gunther E. (June 1960). "The Origins of the Austrian Military Frontier in Croatia and the Alleged Treaty of 22 December 1522". The Slavonic and East European Review (Maney Publishing) 38 (91): 493–498.
  • Rothenberg, Gunther E. (March 1964). "The Struggle over the Dissolution of the Croatian Military Border, 1850–1871". Slavic Review (American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies) 23 (1): 63–78.

External links[]

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