In just five months, we designed and together with our collaborators prepared a story for seven new interpretation centers on the Cultural Route of the Frankopan Route. Find out in which city the famous Frankopan is waiting for you as a host, discover their secrets from personal and public life, take a peek behind the scenes: in the small Muse workshop where this pioneering project of interpreting local heritage was designed and implemented.
Do you know that long before fiscalization, the Frankopans implemented the slogan “no account, no account” in their Vinodol Code? That there is a century-old eco-pact of friendship between the famous noble family and the gray Gorski Kotar people? You are unemployed – what job would you get in a job vacancy in a feudal estate in Čabar? You need refreshment for your soul – find out which Frankopan fortress the Mother of God chose and moved her birthplace from Nazareth right there? Do you have entrepreneurial ideas – try yourself as a trader in medieval Bakar by exchanging salt for grain?
Route with hosts
Advocates and answers to these but many other questions related to the five-century story of the Frankopans and Zrinskis are already ready and woven into the great interpretive work that the Muses have prepared over the past five months to refine and line up the low Cultural Route of the Frankopans. Together with their collaborators, they designed the interpretation content for the seven new interpretation centers of this large heritage project, which was launched in 2005 by the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The goal of the Route was the restoration, modern valuation and revival of ancient castles and the Croatian noble family, without which the national history from the beginning of the 12th to the second half of the 17th century is inconceivable.
A link to the present
For example, in Bribir, visitors are led by Bernardin Frankopan, who is responsible for the great renovation of the castle. In the space of the interpretation center located on the second floor of the Tower, visitors with his mediation discover the thematic complex of the relationship between law and justice with which this building is particularly imbued. Bribir is one of the cities that signed the Vinodol Code, a legal document that is taken as a starting point for the protection of human rights in this area, and it was the Frankopan family that recognized the highest judicial authority in Vinodol. The tower hides the other side of the story, there are prison dungeons below the center, in such an atmosphere the provisions related to the treatment of high treason, foster care, violence against women can be figuratively compared… The narration follows real historical facts, but always finds a link to the present and general human default.
In the area of Gorski Kotar there are two Interpretation Centers of the Route: in Brod na Kupi and Čabar, and each has a Frankopan peculiarity and a different connection with today – this time with trade, business and ecology. In Brod, visitors are led by Stephen II. Frankopan Modruški, who charged merchants for crossing the river and built a castle, today known to his successors as the Zrinski Castle. In the space of the new permanent space of the Natural History Museum, interesting facts about the attitude of the Frankopan and Zrinski families towards nature were presented.
At the Čabar Interpretation Center, visitors are not led by a member of the Frankopan family, but certainly by his equal successor, Petar Zrinski. He will guide visitors to the basics of running a successful family estate, such as Frankopan and later Zrin, and will offer them a game: what occupation would they be doing if they were employed at the time.
The art of good company
The other two centers deal with a topic that could be called the art of (creating) a good society, in which the activities of politics, culture and spirituality are intertwined. In the first segment of this trefoil, it is especially interesting to have an interesting interpretation center located in the Frankopan castle in the town of Krk. This building is not only a strong architectural symbol but also an image of social control and networking of the Frankopan nobility. In this place, the host was specially chosen: he was Dujam I. of Krk, the founder of the line of princes of Krk, later Frankopan. In the Interpretation Center in Trsat Castle Martin IV. Frankopan, called the Pious, introduces visitors to the role of his family in the cultural momentum and the spread of spirituality, which are activities without which today’s social network is inconceivable.
Kaštel Grobnik, deals with a topic for which the human race has not yet found the right cure. It’s about war. In Grobnik, the guide will again be Bernardin Frankopan, this time in the role of a military leader. The theme of the center is the fatal battle with the Ottomans on the Krbavsko field in which Bernardin barely escaped alive. But Grobnik is also the center of memory and a kind of beginning of what is called information today: in Grobnik, Bernardin founded a scriptorium from which a breviary emerged, the pages of which were supplemented by a detailed report of a monk on the Battle of Krbava.
At the Interpretation Center in Kaštel in Bakar, visitors are guided not by one member of the family, but by two of them from one of their well-known marriage unions: Ana Katarina Frankopan and Petar Zrinski. Through the topic of trade relations between Frankopan and Zrinski, they will direct visitors to the difficulties that plagued the population of the area and invite them to try their hand at trading at that time.
The communion of generations
This is, of course, only a sketch of what the new interpretation centers of the Cultural Route of the Frankopan Routes will offer. Details are set on the thematic framework: from, for example, those related to the visual identity and logos that accompany visitors to the Route, through the comparison of life circumstances in a particular castle, the story of political games, the virtual depiction of the battlefield… In terms of interpretation generational differences and the elaboration of distinctive models of interaction enabled by the new digital age.
How to attract the attention of a diverse visitor population, because the centers will be visited by first-graders, middle generations, members of the third age, and gender and national diversity should be kept in mind? The model is found in the common denominator of curiosity and play, as universal human determinants. This principle, based on the concept of the central center in Kraljevica, is the link of all interpretation centers, which in this way become a kind of time capsule – a playful ship for a simultaneous journey into the past and awareness of the present. The credit for this, we hope, exciting and pleasant sailing, of course, goes to both architects and designers. See you on the route in 2021 when all visitor centers will be open to the public.
Primorska goranska županija
Interpretation plan, museological exhibition and content development