The first view seen on entering Vinodol from Bakar inlet after mountain saddle Križišće opposite to Tribaljsko polje, are the ruins of fortified town Drivenik on an isolated wooded hill. It is supposed that the hill is already inhabited in prehistory, and some historians see here "one of the Roman towers mentioned in the itinerary of Antoninus". The Law of Vinodol mentions in the text the town Drivenik as one of nine towns of the county of Vinodol.
The whole area of the top of the hill originally represented fortified building: at the highest peak there is a strong fortress, and the settlement is enclosed in a system of defence wall which follows configuration of the land. This unit long since ceased to function as a living settlement, when the inhabitants descended from the hill to the valley where the present settlement developed by the road. Only the church and the cemetery have kept their active function.
The town - castle has a square ground-plan with cylindrical corner towers, which are added to the castle in the 16th ct. From the 13th ct. it belongs to the Frankopans, and in the 16th and 17th ct. to the Zrinskis. It is considered that the primary fort was built of wood, and the stone one was built in the course of the Middle Ages. The southern part of the castle with large round defence tower and high walls enclosing a square yard at the northern side are all built in the first building phase.In the second phase the yard area towards the north is expanded, the new outer wall is built, strengthened at the corners with round open towers, and the eastern wall is fortified by a semi-tower. The entrance itself is strengthened with one round tower at the western side.
Only few of otherwise scarce houses are preserved in the nearest southern part of the town under a fortified place, and the remains of small terraced housings choked with macchia are situated below the approaching road. The houses are characteristic for simple urban coast architecture.
Below the castle is the old votive church of St. Stephen, built probably at the end of the 18th ct., with three bells. The church has three building phases: Early Romanesque (substructions), Gothic - with pointed sanctuary vaulting, and baroque - with barrel-shaped vaulting. The valuable church inventory consists of a polychrome late Gothic sculpture "Mourning of Christ" and a baroque "golden altar". Today they are in Zagreb, in the Museum of Art and Craft.
The chapel of St. Martin is situated at the cemetery. It has rustic baroque frescoes dating from the 18th ct.. A portrait is placed on the western wall, and on the northern there is a theme "Taking down from the cross". There is the Way of the Cross with four shrines. The end of the Calvary is marked with three high crosses with pedestals, dating from 1768. In the later periods the crosses got concrete covering.
The parish church of St.Dujam with three naves and a bell-tower at the front, is extended and reconstructed at the beginning of the 19th ct. Originally it was mediaeval building with one nave, without the open bell-tower. At the end of the previous century the whole church inventory was lost, so that the present one has neo-stylistic features. The church is partially restored in 1968. The marble altar of St.Dujam is made in 1909., and the paintings representing the same saint originate from the previous altars. The side altars are a combination of marble and stone. Ten sepulchral slabs are found in the church floor, the oldest dating from 1653.
© Ineco, 1995./2005.