This year, in 2012, Crikvenica is celebrating the 600th anniversary of its name.
Kotor is considered the oldest part of Crikvenica. It is situated on the top of the small hill Kotor. The oldest material evidence of human settlement dates back to the Ilyric settlers. During Roman times, the settlement was named Ad Turres.
When the Croatians inhabited this area, they translated the name Ad Turres as “Kod tor” (near the towers). Kotor was a large settlement with a parish church and 5 smaller churches. In 1776, a fire destroyed Kotor. The priest and part of the church valuables found sanctuary in the Paulist monastery, in the area of today’s Crikvenica. After the fire, part of the population moved closer to the sea.
Grand-Duke Nikola Frankopan IV is considered to be the founder of Crikvenica. In 1412 he had a monastery built for the monks of the order of St Paul the Hermit. The monastery was built at the mouth of the river Dubračina, next to the Middle Aged church, from which the town got its name (crkva=church). The preserved Deed of Gift, which was issued in Modriš, on the 14th of August 1412 by Nikola Frankopan IV, is the oldest written testimony of the name Crikvenica, therefore this date has been declared as Crikvenica Day. The monastery connected the nearby fishing villages and became the centre of public and cultural life of the area. In recent times, the monastery has been converted into hotel Kaštel.
The century’s long rule of the Austrians and Hungarians left a visible Central European mark, especially noticeable in the hotel architecture. The first hotel in Crikvenica, the Archduchess Clotilde Hotel (today the pharmacy Jadran), was built in this style. The style is also very noticeable in the architecture of hotel Therapia, the first big hotel in Crikvenica, built in 1895 and was first named Archduke Josip Hotel.
You can learn about the history, traditions and cultural heritage of this area in the local museum, through the history of the Crikvenica amphora, the cave lion from the pit Vrtare, the history of fishery, the work of the miniaturist artist Julije Klović and the Zvonko Car atelier. You can experience the harmony of the past and present by taking part in numerous entertaining and educational performances, art workshops, art exhibitions of local artists and national folklore.
Popular manifestations are: Francopan Days, Crikvenica Days, Fisherman’s Week, Summer Festival, Tourism Days, Advent marathon, swimming marathon, Ad Turres Days, the carnival.