Passionately embraced by The Unac and The Una rivers, carefully hidden and preserved for ages there lies a unique settlement of natural magic called Martin Brod. Martin Brod harbours the largest complex of waterfalls in the Una National park, with once numerous watermills and bučnicas – natural washing mills.
The settlement emerged from the medieval town which was probably built by the end of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century at the confluence of the rivers Unac and Una, although there are historians who place this settlement back to 13th century. According to written document from 1396, there was a town called Konuba here. Than in 1431 the town was presented by the Hungarian king Sigismund to Nikola Frankopan.
Today, in Martin Brod there is an Orthodox monastery of Rmanj which is an important spiritual centre of the northern triborder ( Bosnia, Lika, Dalmatia). The oral tradition of local population tells of the Katarina Branković (1418 or 19 – 1492) as a town founder. She was a daughter of a Serbian despot Đurađ Branković and Byzantine princes Jerina Kantakuzin, and was married to count Ulrich II of Celje.
The Rmanj monastery was also mentioned under names: Hrmanj, Ajerman, Chermlja, Szermil, Hermanya, Herman and it was named after Katarina’s son Herman III, who died very young. Katarina erected the monastery as a token of love and devotion to her son. The course of time and turbulent historic events transformed the name of the monastery from the original Herman to today’s Rmanj.
Martin Brod has a legend of its own too
Once there was a beautiful maiden called Marta who fell in love with a curly-haired young man who lived on the other side of the river Una. The girl’s parents did not approve of the youngsters’ love...One day, late in the evening Marta set off over the Una to her lover. She took the ford which was made of slippery river rocks, slipped and fell into one of the Una’s white water rapids. Only for a few seconds there were locks of her golden hair on the surface of the emerald green water and then she disappeared. This ford (brod) was given name Martin Brod (Marta’s ford). Thus the name of this small settlement keeps memory of a young and beautiful Marta and her forbidden unfortunate love.