A historical holiday
Rijeka is ringed by castles – there’s even one in town. Trsat is accessed by a grandiose staircase, Trsatske stube, from alongside Titov trg. As you climb, the view widens out until the reason for this vantage point being coveted by the Romans, Frankopans and Habsburgs becomes clear. With a commanding panorama of the Bay of Kvarner, Trsat was an obvious spot to site a fortress. By the time Irish military leader Laval Nugent was gifted it after the Napoleonic Wars, it was in poor condition. Rebuilding it in neo-Gothic style, he also commissioned the family mausoleum here.
In winter, with no leaves to block the view, the vista from the battlements is unparalleled.
With their powerbase in nearby Krk, the Frankopans were the most dominant dynasty in the Middle Ages, illustrated by the castles they left behind.
The nearest to Rijeka is Grobnik, whose striking façade looks even more dramatic when surrounded by a blanket of snow. Legend has it that when a nobleman took a shine to a local village girl, Lucy, she jumped from the battlements in fright. The spring below, in winter a picturesque scene of ice and snow, has been named after her.