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Croatia  Krk

The “golden island”, as the island of Krk Croatia has been called since ancient times, is the nearest island to western Europe. The latitude of the island is 45° and the longitude is 14°35'. We do not consider it an island so much anymore because it has been connected with mainland since 1980 a 1400m long bridge made of reinforced concrete. Krk has approximately 17.000 inhabitants in seventy different settlements. You can reach Krk by land, sea and by air because there is also an airport (Rijeka airport) which can handle large and small planes. The island doesn't have a railway. The nearest railway station is in Rijeka, only 30 km from Krk. There are daily trains to and from Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary. Rijeka also has daily coach lines which connects all European points such as Munich, Zurich, Trieste, etc. If you like boat rides you can also reach Rijeka by ferry and one of the safe harbours of the island in your own boat. You can leave your boat during the winter in Marina Punat or in other marinas offering dry storage.

Image1The town of Krk, which is the main settlement on the island, is a typical Adriatic and Mediterranean town of Croatia, where traces of an ancient past are evident at every step.
Even the name of the town, KRK, can be traced back to a pre-Roman, Illyrian civilization that used the name K(u)R(y)K(ta), i.e. Kurycta, for the town and island. With the expansion of the Roman Empire to the eastern Adriatic coast, Krk became a prominent Roman settlement, a "municipium", proudly called by its inhabitants "Splendidissima Civitas Kuryctarum" - The glorious town of Krk, as inscribed on a stone monument from the beginning of the 4th c. The town had thermal baths with decorated mosaic floors at that time, which has been confirmed by recent archaeological findings.

With the advent of Christianity in the coastal area, Krk became a bishopric very early and has remained so till today. Numerous sacral monuments testify a longstanding Christian culture. Within this Roman town, the first Christian community had their oratorio (a place for prayer), which transformed into an early Christian basilica in the 5th century.

Image2The church houses remains of an early Christian baptistery, a floor mosaic, stone ornaments and a unique capital with the motive of birds feeding on fish, a Eucharistic symbol. A major reconstruction of the basilica took place in the 12th century, resulting in today's Romanesque Cathedral. Within the Cathedral there is the outstanding Frankopan Gothic chapel, built in the 15th century. The Renaissance altar screens and two side ambos date from the 15th and 16th century. The Cathedral forms a unique sacral complex together with the church of St.Quirinus, the patron saint of the town of Krk and the bishopric. The church of St.Quirinus has a nave and two aisles, each ending in a semicircular apse. It was built in the 12th century and presents a unique two-storey church on the eastern Adriatic coast. Its ground floor (crypt), dedicated to St.Margaret, is a vaulted church with massive arches. The adjoining bell tower built in the 16th century and restored in the 18th century, completed this exceptional sacral complex built throughout the centuries.

Image3 On the hill within the old town walls there is a Benedictine convent. In its vicinity, there was once a convent of St.Clare's order. In the nearby Franciscan monastery glagolitic-Slav culture had been nourished for centuries. The Krk inscription from the 11th century, written in glagolitic script, is considered one of the oldest of the kind. Nearby is the Romanesque church of St.Michael with a nave and two aisles, today a much visited shrine of Holy Mary, Lady of Health.
All these churches house numerous works of art of Venetian and local masters, among which the most valuable is the silver altar relief, ordered by Count Ivan Frankopan and made in Venice in 1477. It was a gift to the Cathedral in Krk where it is kept today.
The Middle Ages have left their traces in countless little town streets, small squares, portals with ornamental coats-of-arms of patrician families and the unique defence walls with layers dating from different periods: pre-Roman, Roman and the Middle Ages, and mostly from the period of Venetian dominance.

In the 12th century, the Frankopan Counts, the medieval rulers of the island and the town of Krk, erected a fortified defence castle with four towers by the sea. Today, every summer, this ancient castle, as well as the Cathedral and other churches, stage outstanding concerts and performances organized by the "Krk Summer Festival".

Towns

Njivice Is located in a spacious bay surrounded by forests and well-attended gardens of family houses. Once a small fishermen's village, today it is a well known tourist meeting point of visitors from European and other countries.
For the first time, Njivice was mentioned in the deed of gift of the prince Ivan Frankopan in 1474 although, judging from some archaeological finds, the village is much older. In 1710 besides Njivice another settlement is mentioned called "Villa di sasso bianco" or Beli Kamik.
In past centuries this was just a small village of the island of Krk, the inhabitants of which were mainly engaged in the fishing trade, olive growing and stock-breeding as well as in logging wood.

Malinska Located in the wooded bay of the west coast of the largest Adriatic island, Malinska has for a long time allured and appealed with its tranquillity and safety, representing a refuge, at first for seafarers in trouble, and today for tourist and numerous visitors.
The many beaches, the natural beauties of a varied landscape, the cultural monuments and the mild Mediterranean climate, with more than 2200 hours of sun a year, are the characteristics that allure most of the visitors. The charms of the sea, the sun and the summer leave no one unexcited. Pleasant for vacation all year round because of its mild climate, Malinska was named already at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century an ideal health resort.