Cradle of estate

Gradec Castle

"Built far from the coast, hidden from view, it is tucked into the woods above the track that connected the town of Krk on the west coast with the agriculturally rich municipalities on the eastern part of the island. This is the birthplace of the late Frankopan feudal estate. When in 1322 the Krk count Nikola named Gradec castle his patrimony, it was obvious that several generations of future Frankopans governed from this place…"

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Gradec, the first possession of the Counts of Krk and also known as the Rovoznik fortress, has the ground plan of an irregular hexagon, 22m x 20m in size. Its simple interior consisted of a small courtyard, an elongated main room and a kitchen with a pantry. Today it is difficult to believe how they, in such a small and modest building, were able to carry out such grand and important affairs, however in that time it really was the centre of military, political and administrative power. From inside documents were issued, an assembly was held of representatives of all Krk's municipalities, the church and Venetian authorities and so it was, besides on the local level, also a part of the wider Mediterranean circle. Namely, the counts of Krk very quickly gained the title of administrator of the islands of Brač, Hvar, Korčula and Lastovo, whilst one of the counts was even the mayor of Split for a short period. Gradec was abandoned in the 15th century and only ruins remain of it, some of which have been partly preserved. Both folk legends and songs bear witness to life in the fortress: “When a Frankopan was wed, the road from Gradec to Vrbnik was covered with rugs”. The rugs were tapestries that the young bride touched with her hand before the wedding. Imagine the scene when you start a walk down the gravel road to the cradle of the Frankopans.