‘The Routes of the Frankopans’ Give New Value to Rijeka – European Capital of Culture Project

Daniela Rogulj

September 15, 2019 -‘The Routes of the Frankopans’ is a cultural and tourist route that includes 17 castles, fortified towns and palaces, and three sacred complexes.

HRTurizam writes that the Frankopan princes of Krk left a deep mark on Kvarner, and because of their exceptional international influence, many consider them the most significant family in Croatian history – and true diplomats.

The history of the Frankopan princes of Krk lasted more than five and a half centuries: the members of this great family were the bearers of political, social, economic and cultural development in their territories, primarily in the present-day Croatian region of Kvarner.

The noble family, whose origin is linked to the island of Krk, extended their influence to the Kvarner region, part of Lika and part of the interior of Croatia. Thus, because of the historical heritage and the importance of the Frankopan family for the whole of Kvarner, and because many castles and palaces were left behind, a project for the development and revitalization of the cultural and tourist route ‘The Routes of the Frankopans’ has been launched 

The cultural and tourist route includes 17 castles, fortified towns and palaces, and three sacred complexes. The route is divided into four territorial units that emphasize the diversity of the landscape of the Kvarner region, namely the island of Krk, Gorski Kotar, Rijeka with its surroundings and Vinodol.

The project aims to develop a cultural and tourism product whose content will attract more visitors to the locations of the castles, which were not at the forefront of the tourist offer of the Kvarner region, and thus revive the less developed parts of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The project protects the Frankopan family’s cultural heritage in the Kvarner region and creates new socio-economic value through its tourist valorization.

The project is developed by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and its partners are the cities of Rijeka, Kraljevica, Bakar and Čabar, the municipalities of Čavle, Lokve and Vinodol and the Diocese of Krk, the Rijeka Museum of Natural History, the City of Krk Cultural Center, the Rijeka Tourist Board and the Kvarner Tourist Board. The total value of the project is HRK 64,116,001.04, while the EU grant amounts to HRK 47,306,235.33.

The first phase of the project took place between 2005 and 2008 when an investment was made in ten Frankopan castles in the Vinodol Valley. The second phase of the project lasted from 2013 to 2016, within the framework of the EU project HERA from the IPA program of the Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation, when the reconstruction project was extended to Rijeka, Krk and Gorski Kotar, or a total of twenty objects, with the intention of creating cultural-tourist routes that will permanently integrate objects into the cultural life of the wider community. The third phase began in 2015 when the project was submitted to the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds competition. A total of HRK 47.3 million in grants from EU Structural Funds has been approved for the renovation of facilities, their arrangement, promotion and creation of new tourist products that will revive the island of Krk, the Vinodol region and Gorski Kotar throughout the year. The total value of the project is HRK 61 million. 

The project will be completed at the end of 2019 and the ‘The Routes of the Frankopans’ will give new added value to the Rijeka – European Capital of Culture 2020 project.

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