Visiting castles is always fun! In Croatia many castles, fortresses, medieval ruins, fairytale castles, well maintained castles with a museum or totally neglected fortress walls and towers can be found. Fortunately, there is a growing inclination to preserve this cultural history and there are many initiatives to open the castles for visitors.
One of those initiatives is the “route of the Frankopans” (putovima Frankopana), there is a website and brochure containing information on 20 castles, ruins and monasteries which were built and inhabited by the noble family Frankopan and the Zrinski family. With the accompanying app (hr.pgz.frankopani en itunes) you can follow a route running from the Adriatic coast near the city of Rijeka, on the island of Krk and smaller coastal towns in the rugged interior of the Gorski Kotar region.
Everything revolves around the Croatian noble family Frankopan, who played a very important role in the history of Croatia. The history of the Frankopan family goes at least back to the 12th century and already in 1133 Dujam Frankopan was named as the lord of the island of Krk and in later times the family possessed important properties on the mainland of Croatia and managed large territories as dukes or counts. The family, together with the Zrinski family built many fortresses and castles to defend their territory, and fortunately many of these buildings can still be see today.
I recently visited the 17th century castle in the city of Brod na Kupi, situated on the beautiful river Kupa (also an ideal place for anglers!) on the border with Slovenia, in the region Gorski Kotar. The castle has a nice modern museum. On the ground floor the theme is – fishing, and hunting – fishing for trout is popular in the Kupa river. The next floor is devoted to another important theme in this wooded area and that is forestry, logging and woodworking. On the top floor part of the collection of the natural history museum in Rijeka is displayed.
From the top floor of the castle you have a splendid view over the surrounding area through oval windows.