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Two courts and their saint

Old Town of the Zrinskis, Kraljevica

"The Old Town (Stari grad) of the Zrinskis, an architectural complex consisting of a Lower and Upper castle, is a real time machine. The Lower castle was probably once a small fortress with a chapel dedicated to St Nicholas and as a fortification, it probably dates from the pre-Frankopan era. With the construction of the Upper castle part of the mediaeval structure was adapted in the baroque style."

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Despite not being investigated, the long-time of neglect and subsequent alterations, the Old Town of the Zrinskis has to a great extent preserved is baroque shape. On the site of its farm buildings, in its east section, civic houses sprouted up at the end of the 19th century, which with their external front make up part of the centre of Kraljevica. An integral part of the complex of the Old Town is the Church of St Nicholas, built as a chapel as early as 1471 at the time of Martin Frankopan. From the 16th century right up until 1790 the church was a warehouse for salt. With an enlargement in 1750 it became the parish church. At that time it also gained a baroque tower with preserved elements of the earlier Late Gothic style. It is renowned for its altar picture of St Nicholas which Pope Pius VI presented on 29th November 1795 with a special privilege of complete forgiveness of old transgressions (sins) to those who visited the shrine on the feast day of St Nicholas. History did not record whether the royal commissioners managed to repent in front of it, those who after the collapse of the Zrinsksi-Frankopan Conspiracy of 1671, after the arrest of the plotters, robbed the castles and courts of the Frankopans, pulling, as the chroniclers noted, “glass from the windows, keyholes from the doors and marble slabs from the floors”.