Humans have inhabited the Plitvice Lakes region for thousands of years. It has in turn been inhabited by Illyrians,

Zapods, Celts, Romans, Avars, Slavs, Croats and Turks. Under Julius Caesar the region was incorporated into the Roman

Empire as the Province of Illyricum. The territories of neighboring tribes of Pannonians, Liburnians and Dalmatians

were united in the province of Dalmatia. Successively, the Ostrogoths took over the rule. After the Battle of Nedao in

454, the Ostrogoths were rewarded with a union agreement with the Roman Empire. During the 6th century, the Avars

settled in the area, alongside the Croats. The Croats eventually defied Avar control and settled permanently in the

region. In medieval times, frequent attacks by the Mongols posed a lasting threat to the settled population. The lakes

became part of the medieval Kingdom of Croatia, elected in personal union with Hungary in 1102.Croat rule, and in

particular the rule of the aristocratic families of the Zrinskis and Francopans, led to economic reforms in the wider region.

A monastery was built on the lakes on the remains of an ancient settlement of the Japods and the Romans.

Presumably, this monastery belonged to the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit (Croatian Pavlinsi) or the Knights Templar. Today,

only the ancient wall remains of this building (Croatian gradina) exist. The foundation was made of travertine rock.