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Tuna fishermen's fortress

Castle in Bakar

"If you were by any chance in Bakar at the end of the 18th century, you would have been in the largest Croatian town of that time! Although at that time the Frankopans were no longer governing the town, their castle, as it does to this day, dominated by protecting the town and the Bay of Bakar."

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The Bakar castle is mentioned in the Law Codex of Vinodol as a solid town with the towers Turan and Fortica. It was one of the last Frankopan castles built, and due to the threats of Ottomans and Venetians it was upgraded several times. Around 1557 it came under the rule of the Zrinski counts who held onto the castle until the fall of both families in 1671. After that the castle remained abandoned. It was used by the chamber administration, and later the military. After that inside was a linen factory, and in 1849 a nautical office as well. In 1848 a new door was placed on the eastern side which was ordered by Ban Jelačić and which then became known as the Ban's door. The fortress of an irregular triangular ground plan with an internal courtyard is located on a 50-metre high hill above the sea. It gained its present day look after an earthquake in 1750. There were four kitchens in the castle, a cistern in the courtyard, two dungeons and a large number of spacious halls. In the Frankopans’ story Bakar had one more interesting fact. Adding to the Frankopans’ landowning, warring, political and cultural interests is the fact that in Bakar the Frankopans were also fishermen – tuna fishermen. The nobles, to be fair, were not the fishermen, but they were the owners of numerous standing look out posts for spotting shoals of tuna on the Croatian Littoral, and two of these posts were in the Bay of Bakar.