From the beginning of the 12th century to the second half of the 17th the Croatian aristocratic family Frankopan left numerous traces of their influence and power. From 1118 to 1671, from Dujam I. to Fran Krsto, from Gradec on the island of Krk to Wiener Neustadt, members of this great family were the bearers of political, social, economic and cultural development of Croatia. During that period the Frankopans have participated in numerous battles, but the intelligence, education, diplomatic skills, and above all the desire to preserve their own properties, have kept this family for centuries. To these days they left us numerous castles, fortified towns and castles which are spread throughout the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, invoking the spirit of the past, intrigues, conflicts, culture, literacy and religiosity.
Due to their exceptional value and with the aim of restoration, preservation, protection and sustainable use of tangible and intangible heritage, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has initiated a strategic project "The Routes of the Frankopans", which has so far evolved into three phases: the first phase took place from 2005 to 2008, when the ten Frankopan's castles in the Vinodol Valley were renovated; the second phase lasted from 2013 to 2016, within the EU project HERA from the IPA program of Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation, when the renewal was extended to Rijeka, Krk and Gorski kotar, or more precisely to a total of twenty objects, with the intent of creating a cultural-tourist route that will permanently set the objects into the cultural life of the wider community. The third phase began in 2015 by applying the project cultural-tourist route "The Routes of the Frankopans" on the tender of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds. For the reconstruction of objects, their arrangement, the promotion and the creation of new tourist products that will revitalize the island of Krk, the Vinodol Valley and Gorski kotar during the whole year, 47.3 million HRK in non-refundable funds have been granted from the Structural Funds of the European Union, while the total value of the project is 61 million HRK . The cultural-tourist Route "The Routes of the Frankopans" will give a new added value to the project Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020. The implementation of the project lasts until the May 1st, 2021.
The cultural-tourist route "The Routes of the Frankopans" includes seventeen castles and fortified towns (Gradec, Krk, Grobnik, Trsat, Drivenik, Grižane and Bakar castles, Bribir tower, Novi Vinodolski castle with Kvadrac tower, Zrinski castle in Brod na Kupi, The Old Town of Zrinski´s 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 St.Mary Annunciation in the island Košljun, Pauline Monastery in Crikvenica and Gomirje Monastery in Gomirje). The project will unite the natural, cultural, gastronomic and tourist offer of our region, point out the connection of our medieval history with the European circle and it will be a great incentive for the development of the coastal hinterland and Gorski kotar.