The Counts of Krk Frankopans marked more than five and a half centuries of Croatian history: from Dujam to Fran Krsto, from Gradec on Krk to Wiener Neustadt, from 1118 to 1671, members of this noble family were the bearers of political, social, economic and cultural development of Croatia. The Frankopans took part in numerous battles, and resourcefulness, education, diplomacy, and above all the desire to preserve their own possessions, have sustained this family for centuries. To this day, they have left behind numerous castles and fortified towns spread throughout the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, which evoke the spirit of the past, intrigue, conflict, culture, literacy and religiosity.
Cultural-tourist route „The Routes of the Frankopans“ is based on the project of the same name, which was implemented by the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in the period from 2005 to 2008. At that time, the County, together with the local self-government units on whose premises the buildings are located, invested considerable initial funds in the arrangement and preparation of documentation for the reconstruction of the Frankopan castles. The restoration of one of the towers on the castle in the town of Krk was a symbolic beginning of the restoration of the Frankopan heritage. The second phase of the project lasted from 2013 to 2016, within the EU project HERA from the IPA program of Adriatic cross-border cooperation, when the reconstruction project was extended to Rijeka, Krk and Gorski Kotar, or a total of twenty facilities, and the first Visitor Centre Kraljevica was opened, with the intention of creating a cultural and tourist route that will permanently integrate the facilities into the cultural life of the wider community. The third phase began in 2015 with the application of the project Cultural-Tourist Route „The Routes of the Frankopans“ to the tender of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds. For the renovation of facilities, their arrangement, promotion and creation of new tourist products that will revive the Island of Krk, Vinodol hinterland and Gorski Kotar, HRK 47.3 million in grants from the European Union structural funds were approved, while the total project value is HRK 64 million. The implementation of the project lasted until May 1, 2021.
Cultural-Tourist Route „The Routes of the Frankopans“ includes seventeen castles and fortified towns (castles Gradec, Krk, Grobnik, Trsat, Drivenik, Grižane and Bakar, Tower in Bribir, Castle with Kvadrac tower Novi Vinodolski, Zrinski Castle in Brod na Kupi, The Old Town of the Zrinskis in Kraljevica, the Old Town of Ledenice, the Old Town of Hreljin, the castles of Nova Kraljevica, Severin and Stara Sušica and the Zrinski Castle in Čabar) and three sacral complexes (Franciscan Monastery with the Church of the Annunciation of Mary in Košljun, Pauline Monastery in Crikvenica and Gomirje Monastery).
The visitor and interpretation infrastructure of the Cultural-tourist route „The Routes of the Frankopans“ consists of eight interpretation centres (Trsat, Grobnik, Bakar, Bribir, Krk, Čabar, Brod na Kupi, Kraljevica), and the central Visitor Centre 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 presents the entire Cultural-tourist route. In other interpretation centres, visitors can get acquainted with various topics related to the Frankopans and each locality, and coming to each makes a unique experience.
The network of innovative and highly experienced cultural and tourist contents based on the Frankopan heritage profiles the cultural-tourist offer, but also encourages the economic improvement of micro-environments. Interpretation centres and route-related events reduce the seasonality of the tourist and cultural offer and enable the local population to improve their lives in their own community through their associations and personal entrepreneurial projects.
The project combines the natural, cultural, gastronomic and tourist offer of our region, points to the connection of Croatian medieval history with the European circle and serves as a great impetus to the development of the coastal hinterland and Gorski Kotar.
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