In the area of the former Vinodol principality, the princes Frankopan had built nine castles, and their representatives were signatories of the Vinodol Codex from 1288. In today’s Vinodol area, there are still three of the nine existing castles – in Bribir, Grižane, and Drivenik, and another one, dating back to ancient times – Badanj. Badanj was erected on the foundations of an ancient fort and it towered above the valley spreading over the very heart of Vinodol towards the sea.

The castle of Drivenik is the most preserved and the most attractive castle of Vinodol, which is, along with St. Dujam’s and St. Stephen’s Church, situated on the hill overlooking the Tribalj Lake. The castle of Grižane was built on the rocky cliffs, which the locals like to call «griže», after which the castle was named. Only the remnants of the walls of the castle of Grižane are reminders of its glorious past today.

Out of what used to be the castle of Bribir, only the quadrangular tower and a part of the town wall from 1302 were preserved, because the people of Bribir in the 19th century built a school and the town hall where the former castle was located.

GUARDIAN OF THE FRANKOPAN SYMBOLS

Tower in Bribir

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“It was once a fortress surrounded by double walls with a long and narrow courtyard, a residential and administrative building and two towers (round and square). Today all that remains of that building is the square tower, known as “Turan”, on which the year 1302 is engraved along with fragments of the fortifications.”

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At the beginning of the 13th century the castle came into the possession of the Counts of Krk, the subsequent Frankopans. To this day Turan has survived in its original ground plan dimension, and the interior of the tower preserves the historical phase of the conversion of the tower in the prison and the very narrow prison cells.

Also belonging to this phase are small square windows framed with stone drawings on the eastern façade. The original loopholes have been preserved on all the façades. The other parts of the castle were demolished in the 19th century so that in its place a school and a municipal building could be built.

Turan also holds one more valuable memory of the Frankopans. Namely, in the tower there is an exhibited display with a presentation and reconstruction of the coats of arms, mediaeval weapons, seals and flags of the Frankopan Counts of Krk and the Zrinskis.

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