Castles, fortified towns above the sea, endowments… Battles, victories and defeats, diplomatic games and conspiracies, personal dramas, and national turning points… If you start from Krk, Vinodol, or maybe Gorski Kotar, it’s not so important: the adventure is just as exciting and is called – The Routes of the Frankopans.
The Routes of the Frankopans
For five and a half centuries, a noble Croatian family grew in prosperity on our lands and left numerous testimonies of their influence and power. They are the Frankopan family. From the beginning of the 12th to the second half of the 17th century, the noble Frankopan family gained influence and left their unforgettable trace in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
They were the bearers of Croatia’s political, social, economic, and cultural development. During that period, the Frankopans have participated in numerous battles. Still, the intelligence, education, diplomatic skills, and above all, the desire to preserve their own properties have kept this family safe in their position for centuries.
Numerous castles, fortified towns, and sacral buildings are spread throughout the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and preserved up until this day, invoking the spirit of the past, intrigues, conflicts, culture, literacy, and religiosity.
17 castles and forts and three sacral buildings
Today, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County offers a unique cultural-tourist route based on the rich heritage of the Frankopans. It includes 17 castles and forts and three sacral buildings on Krk Island, Vinodol, and Gorski Kotar. The route is a true gateway into the past and a chance to see this region as it once lived.
Explore the route and Frankopan’s heritage!
Stepping onto the route, you will get a chance to meet this noble family and get a feel of how life once was. You will find out that there were no social and political duties and roles which the Frankopan family did not perform – they were counts, bans, viceroys and warriors, supporters of the arts and poets, but at the end also political revolutionaries in search of a better world.
Behind them, they left scriptures, statutes, and other important civil documents, recorded in the Croatian language and Glagolitic script. In their family line, there were 114 Frankopans and 17 generations. If you liked this super short snippet of their story, this route is the one you will enjoy and get so much more than you expected.
114 Frankopans and 17 generations of one noble family
Exploring the land, learning about 17 generations of this family, and getting to know every important detail is made easier for you in the interpretation centres of the route (Trsat, Grobnik, Bakar, Bribir, Krk, Čabar, Brod na Kupi, Kraljevica), and the central Visitor Centre which is located in the Nova Kraljevica Castle.
This centre is an example of heritage preservation with the implementation of elements of contemporary art and multimedia, and in other interpretation centres, visitors can get acquainted with various topics related to the Frankopans and individual sites.
The project and how “The Routes of the Frankopans” came to existence
Construction and planning of this enormous project were initiated almost 20 years ago – in 2005. Inspired by the exceptional value of everything the Frankopan family left behind, the County has initiated a project, “The Routes of the Frankopans,” with restoration and protection.
The project has evolved into three phases: the first phase (2005 to 2008) – when the 10 Frankopan’s castles in the Vinodol Valley were renovated; the second phase (2013 to 2016) – within the EU project HERA, when the renewal was extended to Rijeka, Krk and Gorski Kotar – to a total of 20 objects, with the intent of creating a cultural-tourist route. The third phase began in 2015 by applying the project Cultural-tourist route “The Routes of the Frankopans” on the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds tender.
The route is a true gateway into the past and a chance to see this region as it once lived
If you are a history lover and would love to know how our forefathers lived, this is the perfect place to visit. With the natural, cultural, gastronomic, and tourist offers of this region, “The Routes of the Frankopans” will give you an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting to come back for more.