The Louisiana Road (Via Ludovicea) was built in the period from 1803 to 1811. It was named after the Empress Consort Maria Louise. The road was 134 km (18 Austrian miles) long and connected Rijeka and Karlovac. 

Maksimilijan Vrhovac (1752-1827), the bishop of Zagreb, was the driving force and co-investor behind
the construction of the road, which was financed by the Royal Hungarian Privileged Canal and Shipping Company. The chief designer was Lieutenant Field Marshal Filip Vukasović

The road was 8.2 m wide, and its longitudinal inclination was less than 4%, with excellent stone bridges and embankments. Along its entire route there were milestones, wind barriers precipitation drains, cisterns, fences and many other facilities. 

The road was maintained by the collection of tolls. In the first half of the 19th century, it was one of the best mountain roads in Europe, meeting the needs of the trade and growing manufacturing and industrial production of the time and stimulating the development of the area as well as the towns and villages along its route. In 1828, a giraffe (a gift from the viceroy of Egypt) passed along the road on its journey from Rijeka to Vienna. 

Alongside the Louisiana, the settlement of Čavle developed, today the seat of its own municipality.

construction period: 1803-1811
: Lieutenant Field Marshal Filip Vukasović
main promoter and co-investor
: Maksimilijan Vrhovac
length: 134 km / 18 Austrian miles (1 mile = 7,585.9 m)

The Louisiana is considered one of the most important mountain roads in Croatia. It connected Rijeka and Karlovac in the early 19th century and incited the development of crafts, hospitality and trade in the towns and villages along its route. 

Although built a long time ago, this mountain road was successful in its design of being passable 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions.

Vrh Čavje – Elevation milestone

The height above sea level was expressed in Austrian feet (1,050 feet = 332 m above sea level; 1 Vienna foot = 0.31608 m). In addition, the milestone indicated the elevation difference between the highest point of the road at Ravno Podolje (which is located at 928 m above sea level) and the distance from Rijeka (c. 6 km). 

The milestone was originally located in Kosorci.

Lišćevica – Milestone with obelisk

This structure indicated that from this place it was exactly one Austrian mile to Rijeka (1 mile = 7,585.9 metres) and 17 miles to Karlovac.

Stone bridge Kikovica

The original stone bridge from the time when the Louisiana was built can still be seen here. In the past, there was a row of trees along the road, which protected it from bura wind in the winter and provided shade in the summer.

Čebuhar house

Čebuhar House was built in 1843. It served as a rest stop for travellers along the Louisiana Road. In times when passenger and goods traffic between Rijeka and the interior was carried out by carriages and carts, this was the place where horses were changed for the first time in the direction of Karlovac: after the first major climb – Buzdohanj – it was necessary to rest and replace tired horses with fresh and fed ones. 

The inn was owned by the Čebuhar family for generations. In 1926, lawyer Ivo Čebuhar (the grandson of its builder Fran Čebuhar) hosted the then most important Croatian politician, and leader of the Croatian Peasant Party, Stjepan Radić. 

The Čebuhar family lineage died out in 1963. Čebuhar House was completely refurbished in 2007.

Kamenjak – cistern

The cistern was built in 1836 on the Louisiana Road connecting Rijeka and Karlovac. Numerous travellers quenched their thirst and watered their horses by the roadside. 

The cistern was supplied from a source located several hundred metres above it and provided adequate drinking water even in the most severe droughts. 

Nearby there is a 50-metre-long wind barrier (1870) that still protects the road from strong gusts of bura wind.

Cirkul – Milestone with obelisk

The milestone with the obelisk at Cirkul indicated the distance in Austrian miles to Rijeka (2 miles) and to Karlovac (16 miles). After the metric system was introduced in 1871, miles were replaced by distances in kilometres. 

Nearby there is an impressive stone wall that supports the road to this day.