The Frankopan Heritage Trail
Krk Interpretation Centre
The Frankopan Castle, situated on Kamplin Square, one of the historically most significant squares at the heart of Krk's old town, is today home to the Krk Interpretation Centre, a cultural and tourist point of interest of the Frankopan Heritage Trail.
The Frankopan Heritage Trail is a project of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County within which, among many other activities, eight interpretation centres have been set up in order to preserve and protect the Frankopans' tangible and intangible heritage in a sustainable manner.
Each of them presents one aspect of the glorious history of the noble families of Frankopan and Zrinski. At the Krk Interpretation Centre, you will learn about the Frankopans' architectural heritage as a means of social control on the island of Krk. The castle also houses an interesting exhibition of medieval weapon replicas, and a small outdoor exhibition of archaeological artefacts. In addition to Liburnian cippi (tombstones from the 1st and the 2nd century), an inscription about the construction of a section of town walls from the 1st century, and another one dedicated to the patron saint of the 'most beautiful town of Krk' (splendidisimi Civitatis Curictarum) from the 3rd century also deserve to be mentioned here.
About the Frankopan Castle
The Frankopan Castle is the only preserved secular medieval structure in the town of Krk, built as a defence castle by the Frankopans between the 12th and the 15th century. Its square tower at the north-eastern corner, once a courtroom, is the oldest part of the building. It was finished in the late 12th century, as evidenced by the Latin inscription in the lunette above the front door. The inscription reads that the entire municipality joined forces to have the tower erected during the time of Bishop Ivan and the Krk counts Bartol I and Vid I. The building method reveals that it was most probably erected as a detached tower, which served as the bell tower of the nearby Cathedral.
The castle gained its shape when eastern towers were built and the existing square tower incorporated into the curtain walls, featuring a guard walk and a late Gothic crown. Based on the building method and certain architectural elements, the south-western or 'Austrian' tower can be dated back to the 14th century, while the round 'Venetian' tower was most likely built in the late 15th or the early 16th century, as its form can be related to a period when firearms were introduced. The outer part facing Kamplin Square contains a stone slab with the symbol of St Mark. The castle was remodelled recently, and it is now possible to take a walk along a section of the ramparts.
About the Frankopan counts of Krk
Over a centuries-long period of rule (1115-1480), this Croatian noble family brought glory, artwork, economic power and independence to the island of Krk. They managed to preserve old traditions and customs, as well as the old Glagolitic script and Croatian language as a symbol of acknowledgement of their roots.
From Dujam (1118-1163), the first known representative of the Krk Counts line, through John VII (1451-1480), the last Frankopan related to the island, all to the year of 1671 when the Frankopan line disappeared in Croatia, this family played a crucial role in both the national (by defending and preserving the Croatian sovereignty) and the European context.