Bakar, Unassuming Croatian Town Full of Impressive Achievements

Lauren Simmonds

Bakar, a small town in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County isn’t on everyone’s ”must visit” list. Far from sharing the exposure of much more popular, larger Croatian destinations like Dubrovnik or Split, or even Zagreb, Bakar has an industrial past and was late to the tourism game, therefore it usually isn’t on the radars of keen foreign visitors, even if they’re already visiting other areas in the increasingly popular Kvarner region.

Despite its issues when it comes to succeeding as a tourist destination, the pretty town of Bakar has more stories to tell than one might first expect.

As Morski/Silvia Jacic writes on the 24th of June, 2019, at the turn of the nineteenth century, Bakar was embedded in industry, it was the largest Croatian town in terms of the the number of its permanent inhabitants, and the revival of its former glory, the majority of which is either unknown or lost with the passage of time, has been re-awakened in the tourist sense. This beautiful little town in Kvarner is combining its past and its present for visitors.

Bakar’s traditional summer event which is held from the 29th of June to the 27th of July, 2019, will be marking some of the most celebrated moments of this town’s long and surprisingly rich history that will, in conjunction with fun for all generations, be a good occasion to come and visit beautiful Bakar.

The sounds of Baroque music will resound through the streets of the town on the 29th of June at the opening of this summer’s event, where you will be able to take a stroll back in time through the history with Maria Theresa, who, a whole 240 years ago, granted Bakar the status of a free royal town.

This year’s walk through history will be in the spirit of the period of time dominated by the fascinating ruler Maria Theresa, and encompass the deep traces she left in this coastal town’s local history. You’ll be able to find out much more in Marjeta Trkman Kravar’s detailed tour. You will also be able to visit the Baroque castle, which will also take you back in time with its various events.

The maritime battle is an unmissable event in Bakar’s history, the manifestation dedicated to which will celebrate the last, unsuccessful attack by the Venetians, who carried out similar attacks in various parts of modern day Croatia, and for which nearly 15,000 people visit the town each year in the middle of July.

Pay it a visit yourself on the 13th of July on the anniversary of this significant battle, which will disturb the peace of the night with a veritable ”welcome” to Venetian sailboats with cannons, troops of the Croatian Army from various periods of history and from all over Croatia will also be present.

The successful defense of Bakar will be celebrated with a spectacular firework display that will bring Bakar back to its old, glorious splendor. Children can also count on great entertainment because they will have a special program organised for them called The Little Maritime Battle under the sponsorship of INA with a lot of content and the possibility to visit a Croatian Navy ship.

This event is a great opportunity to taste the many delicacies made by Bakar’s local producers, and traditional dishes prepared by the hands of local caterers will be waiting for you at every corner.

The aforementioned maritime battle is one of the most important events in Bakar’s long history, but a visit to this Kvarner town during the warm summer months will bring you to another, extremely important “maritime story” which reveals even more about Bakar’s rich maritime past.

In its much more famous days, Bakar was a seafaring town which relied heavily on that industry, therefore the most important moment for the development of maritime affairs in the town was certainly the founding and the opening of the Bakar Maritime School, which began operating back in 1849, 66 years before the founding of the same, much more famous school in London!

The Maritime School in Bakar is the oldest vocational school in the whole of the Republic of Croatia, and it’s fascinating to know that it had the first Maritime School merchant navy vessel not only in the Adriatic sea, but also in the entire Mediterranean.

The Bakar Tourist Board started work back in 2009, fifteen years after the closing of Koksara, a symbol of Bakar’s more industrial past, long before tourism was ever a focus for this coastal area.

Although burdened with the traces the town’s industrial past had left on it, as well as its total isolation in comparison to the much more developed Kvarner, in the sense of tourism, the Bakar Tourist Board has been persistent for ten years in an effort to achieve what many considered to be impossible – to turn Bakar into a desirable excursion destination despite obstacles.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel and lifestyle pages for much more.


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