Cultural-Historical Heritage

The town develops near the old castle of the Frankopans with a parochial church of St Nicholas, belonging to the end of the 18th c, when the parish was founded as well. The greatest flourish of architecture was achieved by the end of the 19th c and the beginning of the 20th c, when several representative urban houses and the residence of captains of Kraljevica come to existence. Along Strossmayer Street and the street parallel to the shipyard there is a line of representative urban (captains`) houses, with characteristic symmetrical fronts the central axe of which is often emphasized by a balcony with banisters made of wrought iron. The decorations of the front bear simple Secession style features.

Summer houses and resorts in cove Oštro are built in the period between the two wars, and together with Liburnia hotel, they are the only preserved structures connected to the outsets of tourism in this area.

The beginnings of tourism resulted in the construction of Liburnia hotel and later reconstruction of a smaller fort on the cape (Fortice) in villa Nirvana (today`s sanatorium). The monumental hotel Liburnia with its Secession style decoration is one of the most prominent buildings of this kind in this area, while villa Nirvana bears style features belonging to the period between the two wars. The most recent stratum of the historical identity of Kraljevica also belongs to that period – a line of residential buildings in gardens, small hotels and summer resorts, situated in the coastal area of cove Oštro, which represent a significant historical envirnoment. Villa Caponi (the house of Kraljevica`s mayor between the two wars) was one of the most representative neo-style structures in this area, but it was devastated with a later reconstruction. Among the other, villa Ingra is one of better preserved buildings.

The Church of St Nicholas

Stari grad – Kaštel (Castle) – registered in the Record of cultural heritage no. 120 (1960)

In the first half of the 17th c. a mediaeval town with the church of St Nicholas (Sv. Mikula) was established above the port. Today`s church of St Nicholas was probably built near the supposed mediaeval chapel of St Nicholas.

"Stari grad" (Old Town) was one among the castles which were erected across Croatia by aristocratic family Zrinski. The castle consists of two citadels with two interior yards (atrium). At the front of the castle there is a bell tower with a baroque dome, dating from 1790. The church of St Nicholas is a one-nave space, formerly a warehouse for salt, which was adapted for church purposes in the 18th c. The church is a constituent part of this complex and together they present a unique spatial unit. Despite heavy bombing at the end of WW2, the complex has maintained its original characteristics of an early-baroque structure.

Frankopan Castle "Nova Kraljevica" - registered in the Record of cultural heritage no 119 (1961)

The Frankopan town – castle is a mediaeval defensive structure, situated on a hill above the sea. It dominates in its surroundings with its dimensions and shape and it represents a unique architectural accent in the environment. Petar Zrinski started the construction works in 1650 in the shape of a rectangular fortified yard with exterior corner towers of a circular shape. The castle was built on the basis of a late-Renaissance fort, but with numerous Baroque details. The constructor is unknown, but it can be assumed, according to economical and political connections of prince Petar Zrinski and comparative morphological research, that the main constructors were from Veneto.

The castle consists of basement level where there were warehouses, and the first and second storey surrounded by a beautiful atrium. The inner yard with a cistern in the middle (with coats of arms of the Zrinski and Frankopans) is opened with colonnades around it. Jesuits, the owners of the castle from 1883 have annexed the second storey and changed the interior ground plan arrangement.

Nova Kraljevica - a cistern with a coat of arms
Nova Kraljevica - a view inside a yard

Even though the castle looks like a fort from the outside, it wasn`t the purpose for its construction, because there was no need for such at that time. Still, according to its interior features it is constructed as a residential castle. It was luxuriously furnished.

Nova Kraljevica - a night atmosphere

The downfall of the Zrinski and the Frankopans after the failure of the conspiracy in 1671, brought to the ravaging of the castle, and numerous further renovations which have changed its appearance (monastery, colegium, hospital). Moreover, the main architectural elements and a large part of manneristic and early-Baroque architectural sculpture have been preserved, what makes the castle one of the most significant historical structures of the wider region. Apart from its cultural and architectural values, it possesses substantial historical, symbolic and associative worth, most of all as a former seat of the most important Croatian aristocratic families, and legend has it that it was the place where the Zrinski-Frankopans conspiracy against the Hapsburg dynasty came to existence.

Lighthouse in Oštro - registered in the Record of cultural heritage no 295 (1972)

On the cape of a small island Oštro there is a lighthouse which was built in 1872. The front is constructed of fine chiseled stone, i.e. the ordinary style of that type of Austro-Hungarian littoral buildings. The front has two window axes and a portal in the middle. The extended circular tower of the lighthouse projects through a roof. On top of the lighthouse there is a prominent chornice, and above it an iron railing. The upper part of the lighthouse holds a metal bulb and a lightning rod. Although the lighthouse is out of function today, it gives a characteristic maritime attribute to Kraljevica. Today it stands as a symbol of former development of merchant navy, especially sailing-vessels in the second half of the 19th c and the first half of the 20th c.

Position Historical development Town Kraljevica Ethno-zones and ethno-monuments Galery

© Ineco, 1995./2005.