The Frankopans, originally the princes of Krk, are one of the most famous Croatian noble families. Croatian history from the 11th to the 17th century was shaped by their influence. They defended Croatian land and autochthony from invaders like the Ottomans, as well as from Habsburg absolutism.
In order for their influence and legacy to be remembered, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County launched the project "The Routes of the Frankopans" whose main goal is the evaluation, restoration, preservation, protection and innovative interpretation of 17 Frankopan fortified towns, castles and three sacral buildings. As part of the project, a cultural and tourist route was designed divided into three parts - Krk, Gorski kotar and Vinodol, with which it is possible to visit the Frankopan heritage in a very simple and interactive way.
On the island of Krk it is possible to visit 2 castles, Kaštel Gradec and Kaštel in Krk, but perhaps the most famous location is the Franciscan monastery on the island of Košljun. It was the Frankopans who enabled the arrival of the Franciscans on Košljun and initiated the reconstruction. In addition to the church itself, in the monastery it is possible to see museum collections of rare books, animal exhibits, ship models and a botanical garden.
In the vicinity of Vinodol there are as many as 12 stations on the route, of which there are numerous castles, towers and monasteries. Trsat Castle is also one of the stations. The Frankopans started its construction in 1223, and over the years it became one of the strongest military fortifications in Primorje. Today, Trsat has a great spiritual value because it is considered that the image of Mary as the Mother of Mercy, which is located in the church on Trsat, is miraculous and that it was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist.
Northeast, in Gorski Kotar, there are the Zrinski Castle in Čabar, the Stara Sušica Castle, the Gomirje Monastery, the Severin Castle and the Kaštel in Brod na Kupi. Severin Castle was built by the Frankopans on the banks of the river Kupa, and it is the only Gorski Kotar castle that returned to the ownership of the Frankopans after the rule of another important noble family, the Zrinskis.