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“In this area, every wound is healed and any evil is forgotten”, said dr. Antun Barac, who was born in Vinodol. Besides him, in this area were born other great men of Croatian public and cultural life.

Juraj Julije Klović
One of the greatest representatives of European and world miniature painting was born in Vinodol in 1498. In his early youth he left for Italy. At first he went to Venice, and then to Rome, Mantova, Florence and other towns where he created his masterpieces of miniature. Soon he found himself among leading artists of the 16th century, like Michelangelo, Raffael, El Greco etc. His works, which belong to the period of mannerism, are to be found in the greatest galleries and museums of the world. The only work that is located in our homeland is “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”.

Antun Barac
Dr. Antun Barac, a chronicler of Croatian literature, was born in Kamenjak (Grižane) in 1894. After finishing elementary school in Grižane, he continued his schooling in Rijeka. He went to study in Zagreb, where he earned his Doctor’s degree (“Dissertation on Vladimir Nazor”). He worked as a teacher in the Classics-program Secondary School in Sušak and Zagreb. After that, he worked as a professor of Modern Croatian Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. He started his literary work with riddles and poems, and continued with brilliant studies, essays and literary criticisms on practically all significant writers who were writing in the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century. Barac’s works are printed in about 20 books.

Mihovil Kombol
The other great chronicler of literature was born in 1883 in Bribir, where he went to elementary school. He attended secondary school in Sušak and Senj, and afterwards went to college to Vienna, where he also earned Doctor’s degree with his dissertation “About Accentuation of Dialects in the Bribir Area”. He worked as a high school teacher in several towns, among them Vukovar. He later taught Early Croatian Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, and afterwards at the Academy of Theatrical Arts in Zagreb. He wrote numerous studies, criticisms and essays, and he is especially known for his brilliant translation of “The Divine Comedy”, which was painted by J.J. Klović. He died on November 9, 1955, the same year as Antun Barac.

Josip Pančić
Dr. Josip Pančić was born in 1814 in a hamlet called Ugrina in Bribir. He was a famous botanist and a teacher of natural sciences. He went to school in Bribir, Gospić and Rijeka, and he attended college in Pešta. He spent the greatest part of his life in Serbia, where he became the first president of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences. He discovered numerous vegetal and animal species, and he is especially known for omorica picea, which became known as “Serbian spruce”. He died in 1888.

The following great men were born in this area, too:
From Novi Vinodolski:

  • Antun Mažuranić (1805-1888), professor and Slavist

  • Ivan Mažuranić (1814-1890), Vice-Roy and writer

  • Matija Mažuranić (1817-1881), travel writer

  • Fran Mažuranić (1859-1928), writer

    From Crikvenica:

  • Ivan Kostrenčić, chronicler of literature
  • Ivan Skomerža, innovator and known for his contribution to the field of history of fishery
The Vinodol Codex is the oldest text of Croatian medieval common law written in chakavian dialect and in the old Croatian script – Glagolitsa. On January 6, 1288, the Prince of Krk, Leonardo, and representatives of nine former town districts (Novi, Ledenice, Bribir, Grižane, Drivenik, Hreljin, Bakar, Grobnik and Trsat) met in Novi and signed the Codex. It defines the relationship between princes of Krk and the people of Vinodol. Namely, in 1225 Vinodol had come under the jurisdiction of landed nobility of Krk in accordance with the deed of gift by Croatian-Hungarian king Andrew II. Free villagers had not wanted to become serfs, and this situation subsequently led to conflicts which lasted until 1288, when people of Vinodol accepted the authority of the princes and in return received certain concessions.
Although this Codex primarily protects interests of feudalists, it also contains novelties from various branches of law: direct, criminal and trial law. It is an imporant historical document of old Croatian common law which illuminates the feudalization process in Croatia and proves the high level of social development of the Vinodol area in the 13th century.  
Glagolitsa is an Old Slavic script which emerged toward the middle of the 11th century. It was used in Croatia until the 19th century, although Latin script started to supersede it at the beginning of the 16th century. Glagolitic script appeared in two forms: round or Bulgarian and angular or Croatian. It is believed that authors of Glagolitsa were St. Cyril and Method, who had used it to translate church books to Old Slavic language.
In Vinodol area there is a great number of documents written in Croatian language and Glagolitsa. They are significant for comprehending social, economic and cultural circumstances in the historical development of Vinodol. Some of those may not be of particular historical value, but they still remain a source for getting to know some of the features of Vinodol and the people of Vinodol in the past; for getting to know national Croatian family names, national legal customs, topography, folk vocabulary, and they are especially valuable for studying old Croatian language, because «since most Glagolitic documents originate from the area where chakavian dialect was used, they are very important for studies of this particular Croatian dialect.»
Ivan Barbarić, professor



St. George and St. Barbara were coming out of the woods; Barbara was walking and George was riding. When they reached the peak of the Upper side, suddenly they saw a big valley (Vinodol). St. George’s horse leaped to the lower side, which was pointing to the sea. On solid rock you can still see the traces of the hoof, saber and foot. St. Barbara walked on foot and could not leap over the valley, so she came down to a village called Podskoči and took a stride over the valley. In Podskoči you can still see the imprints of her shoe and spindle. On the place where St. George landed with his horse the people of Bribir built St. George’s Church, and on the place where St. Barbara set her foot they erected St. Barbara’s Chapel.

According to a folk’s tale, once upon a time Vinodol was invaded by the Turks who attacked the castle of Vinodol, which was safeguarding women, old people, children and a few members of garrison. Most of the garrison went to defend Ledenice. Women defended themselves so well that they managed to repulse the Turkish attack. Consequently, the Turks started making preparations to leave. When they saw that, the women started mocking the Turks who then realized they had been defeated by women. They got mad, attacked again and won Drivenik.

In the area around Grižane there are numerous natural recesses. Some of them are called Malik’s Holes. Our elders believed that such recesses were inhabited by Maliks, little people dressed in red clothes and wearing small red caps.


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