History Reborn: Maritime Tradition in Crikvenica Upheld

Lauren Simmonds

New life is set to be breathed into Maritime tradition in Crikvenica.

As Morski writes on the 1st of February, 2018, it would have seemed that only memories remained from one of the boats which wrote several important pages of Crikvenica’s local history, but history will be reborn and traditions will be kept this summer as one of these brand new historical boats is set to be rebuilt this summer.

The Museum of the City of Crikvenica opened an exhibition called the Wind of the Mediterranean (Vjetar Mediterana) – traditional Adriatic boats by Lucian Keber, a boatman and a true lover of traditional construction. The maritime themed exhibition was organised by the Naval Heritage Institute Ars Nautica, to breathe a sense of life back into the boats used on the Adriatic back in days long gone by.

The exhibition’s author complained that none of the faculties had a doctrine on wooden shipbuilding, that it was a dying art, and that it was clear that traditional, wooden construction in general has been endangered over recent decades, according to Novi List. Among it all, some the most significant interest was attracted by the ”Kvarner Guc”, a boat that occupies a special place in the local history of Crikvenica. It is locally known as the ”Crikvenica Guc” and barely differs from those which come from Opatija and the island of Rab.

At the opening of the exhibition, Crikvenica’s Jasminka Citković emphasised the wish of Crikvenica and its local population to see the coastal city properly recognised for its long maritime and fishery traditions. The Crikvenica exhibition has really forced the question of Crikvenica’s ”guc” into the light. How is it possible that Crikvenica did not save a single copy of such a traditionally and historically important vessel?

There have been several attempts and ideas to bring Crikvenica’s special boat ”back to life”, even the idea of combining such an significant piece of Crikvenica’s long maritime history with modern tourism trends. There are a number of practical ideas, and a lot of good will exists, but, as with many other things in Croatia, actual realisation is another story entirely.

Yadro Selce Sailing Club’s President Davor Lončarić is naturally a great advocate of the sea and of preserving historical maritime tradition, where wooden boats are of course, of great importance.

”We’re renovating the vessel owned by the club, it will be ready for sailing in time for the tourist season,” announced Lončarić, adding that in cooperation with the shipbuilding school and the Maritime Faculty, a workshop for the restoration of wooden boats will be organised.

The relationship between Crikvenica and Selce is specific, Selce locals believe that they’re constantly living in the shadow of Crikvenica on all and every issue, claiming that these traditionally significant vessels are to be theirs only, because of the agriculture on Krk, rather than that in Crikvenica.

Despite the usual squabbling that is characteristic of such matters, the ”rebirth” of this historically, traditonally and culturally important vessel with such a special tie with Crikvenica is something to be celebrated, with the hopes that it can eventually add some more shine to the coastal destination’s overall tourist offer.


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