Lost Castles Tour - Frankopani, Croatia

The mysteries of arts, history, nature, or culture can be easily unlocked on quality trips. When I say quality trips, I’m talking about the concept of slow travel. This Lost Castles Tour is a prime example.

After I wrote the first and the second episode, here I come with the third and last one. Now I can also say that a Lost Castles Tour also becomes a Lost Towers Tour, as I will be talking about some towers, including the one bellow that is not lost. His “twin” (not exactly twin but still) was demolished.

This is also an article about the most exciting topic in my world – museums! Who knows that little angel emoji, knows how I feel about it 😀

Lost Castles Tour - Novi Vinodolski
This tower has a nice viewpoint on the top!

The modern laws of the Middle Ages

One of these lost castles is the one located in the coastal town of Novi Vinodolski. This castle used to be quite bigger while a large part of its defensive structure was demolished in the late 19th century. One tower is still here so we can appreciate the historical structure the way it was.

Inside the castle there is a nice local museum. Bu saying local museum, I mean that there is everything about the town and the area inside that museum. The local municipality institution currently reside in the castle but they are about to move to another place. That in turn, the entire castle that is not lost will become a larger museum.

Lost Castles Tour - Novi Vinodolski, Vinodolski zakonik
One of the oldest non-traditional laws in Europe

The Law of Vinodol (in Croatian: Vinodolski zakonik) is one of the oldest non-traditional laws in Europe. The fact that a law is non-traditional is quite important. Although the Frankopan family was wealthy, self-oriented, exploiting and all the facts we know about aristocratic facilities, they believed justice is important.

That being said, the Law of Vinodol did not follow any religious book, or any local or “tribal” justice traditions. It means that there was no death penalty and for many crimes the sentence would be material – in money or goods.

So we have Medieval Age and a common law? Isn’t it mind blowing?

As the history continued after the disappearance of glorious Frankopans, this museum tells a couple of more recent stories. One of them is about a man who became a governor of the whole region in the 19th century, although he was not born into a noble family.

Lost Castles Tour - Frankopani, Croatia
The impressive defensive tower which was not lost!

A lost tower on the Lost Castles Tour

In the mountain area of this Kvarner region there are many hidden gems and several lost castles including the one I presented in the first part of this series. However, the most intriguing building is not a castle and it has never been a castle. Nevertheless, it is a partially lost building. We are talking about an Orthodox Monastery, once impressive complex in a remote village of Gomirje.

Lost Castles Tour - Gomirje Monastery
Beautiful Byzantine style icons that would later inspire some modern age artist like Gustav Klimt.

The noble Frankopans once invested in construction of a powerful defensive tower in the middle of the complex. The monastery was the economic centre of the area. Having farms and later wood industry, it gave jobs to the people living in the village of Gomirje.

With all the conflicts and well-known structural changes that occurred in Croatia and surrounding countries through the 20th century, the complex lost of of its infrastructure.

It also lost its tower.

All we can find today is a beautiful Orthodox Church full of stunning works of art, and a monastery building. Additionally, the most important fact is that this is the westernmost Orthodox monastery in Europe.

Diversity is not (only) a modern term

Nowadays we talk a lot about diversity and the word is often overused. Little do we know that in the past many areas used to be naturally multicultural and only conflicts made certain groups fade away.

While some areas of the region had Orthodox Christian population, the majority was Catholic, influenced by the Venice and Austria. There are several Catholic monasteries in the area, but one of them is a standout.

A colleague of mine once captioned this place “Courtyard goals” for an Instagram post.

The small island of Košljun is located in quite a closed bay next to the town of Punat on the island of Krk. So from the mainland island of Krk (wow what a wordplay!) to Košljun there is a 10 minutes boat trip. The island is small and covered by a forest. The Franciscan Monastery once had some fine Venetian painters coming here and painting altar equipments.

If that part is “unappealing” (smile), why not to check something else?

Old money from all the countries you can imagine. Here I posted pieces from Egypt, and of course, Italy, Portugal, and Greece.

The big collection of money makes everyone stay in that museum for at least 15 minutes longer than expected. In contrast, next to that collection, there is a baby sheep with – two heads. A real baby sheep that was born like that, could not survive, but was preserved in adequate liquids so that there is an evidence about phenomena of nature.

Diversity always existed. It’s our job to find it, discover it, appreciate it. This Lost Castles Tour is one of many tour of this kind that exist around the world, and I hope to discover many more.

Back to origins – the very first lost castle

Finally, I wanted to share with you one picture of the very first place where the Frankopan family resided. People who love to walk around in nature will like it even more than the other places on this Castles Tour.

So if you ever find yourself on the island of Krk, near the town whose name is Vrbnik, there is a way to the forest. In the middle of the forest you will find this romantic ruin.

Culture Tour or Culture Route?

Furthermore, I would like to suggest you to check the Culture Route official website. To clarify, the “culture route” is a bit bureaucratic term, and something needs to have some conditions so they can call it a culture route. On the other hand, a culture tour, or a castle tour, it’s a clear and popular term.

Above all I like to say that all my travels are culture tours.

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