CULTURAL – HISTORICAL HERITAGE

URBAN UNIT

HISTORICAL CENTRE OF TOWN KASTAV

The little town Kastav is situated 11 km northwest of Rijeka. Built on a isolated hill 378 m over the sea surface dominates over a wide territory old trails conducing from Triest and Slovenia to the port of Rijeka. The town with a municipal administration, had a statute written in Croatian language in 1400 – «The Code of Town Kastav». That is the period of fortifying of Kastav`s commune, the centre of manorial estate which expands all the way to Mošćenice.

Ancient prehistoric building determines the location (near to Misinci necropolis) and antiquity determines the itinerary (the road Tarsatica-Tergeste) and the Middle Age originated the urban genesis in the walls with towers and the urban gate - all this yet in a good condition.

The ground-plan and architectonic objects of Kastav show the disposition of urban agglomerations fortified with a solid system having nine towers, describes by the author Valvasor in the 17th century.

Situation and construction of the town is oriented towards the eastern and southern declines of the hill where the houses were built in horizontal rows, narrower to the northwestern rim where a threenaval big basilica of St.Helene dominates with a belltower vertically this densely packed agglomeration.

The communication raster and character and the appearance and form of houses insert the whole ambient with the town Kastav among mediterranean urban settlements. Inside the town, several transversal passages and lanes connect to the main street, forming several insulas. The fortification system is in some degree made of houses built above western and southern town`s walls. Narrow winding lanes separate themelves from the central communication leading from the main urban entrance over the central square at Lokvina to the county St.Helene church and to the fortress Zudika.

Pogled na Kaštel Pogled na Kaštel s Lokvine Pogled na crkvicu Sv.Trojstva

In the town, in the central square – square Lokvina, where once all public life was held, and which was named after a puddle (lokva) which was once there and was used for water supply, there were constructed two vaulted cisterns («šterna») with two wells, but only one has been preserved. The square is rectangular. At the northwestern side there is the Castle - the Captains residence (manorial estate – castle). Opposite to the Castle there is a small Gothic church of the Holy Trinity from the 15th c, which belonged to the Castle and a cistern with an inscription (1666).

A traditional tale is connected to the puddle at the square, preserved to the present times. In the year 1666 a certain Franjo Morelli from Rijeka was the Captain of Kastav. He announced his intention to collect a 10% tax to agricultural products. This was against the valid laws. Malcontent Kastav inhabitants rioted, seized the Captain and drowned him in the puddle. After this all were questioned and all confessed to be guilty with such words:
"All of us, me and my brother and my brothers brother and the judge Kinkela, we all did this to this devil. The old Mary did sting him with her spinning wheel."

At the eastern side of the town is Crekvina- a site with the remnants of an unfinished Jesuit church of St.Mary. In front of town`s gate there is a Renaissance Municipal Loggia, the biggest structure of that type in the Croatian littoral, which was renovated considerably by the beginning of the 20th c. A settlement called Dukići developed outside the fortification lines, along the steep access road to Kastav. Tradition has it that once this suburb was also protected with a fortress wall, and that is why the square with a small park in front of town`s gate is called «Fortica». In the suburb there is a small, originally mediaeval church of St. Sebastian, which was renovated to a greater extent in the period of classicism. There is a large number of mediaeval chapels of Romanesque ground plan in the vicinity: chapel of. St. Michael in village Rubeši, chapel of St. Lucy, chapel of St. Anthony the Abbot. The first assembly of Croatian people of Istria was held in front of St. Michael`s chapel. A smaller sacral complex «Calvary» is located in village Jurčići, with an end chapel of a central type, and a dome supported by slender columns. Unfortunately, the stations of the Cross have been degraded due to the inappropriate renovation and building of new houses in immediate vicinity.

Dukići Karlavaris - Osojnak's House

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