The old town of Grobnik today represents the most important cultural point of the wider area of Grobnišćina (Grobnik region), and the tourist potential guaranteed by its good location and rich heritage makes it an unmissable destination for all visitors to this picturesque area. We also invite you to take a stroll through the old town of Grobnik, through the time and legacy of the people who have lived here.
Grobnišćina is historically a turbulent area where armies and battles alternated, and important roads crossed.It is therefore not surprising that there are prehistoric remains at sites such as the hill Cernički Vrh, or the Roman limes that point to the borders of the former empire.
A journey through history
The old town of Grobnik, as the old town centre, was inhabited in prehistoric times, followed by the Illyrians, and after them by the Romans, who fortified it for defence from the barbarians. It then fell into the hands of the Goths and the Franks, and then from the 10th century it belonged to Croatia. After 1225, it is owned by the Counts of Krk.
The turbulence of thisarea is also evidenced by the Tartar battle on Grobnik Field in 1241, in which the Croats won and thus stopped the Tatar incursion.
The very name Grobnik and its representatives are mentioned in 1288 in one of the most important legal documents of feudal Europe, the Vinodol Law. In it, Grobnik is listed as the property of the Counts of Krk who would later take the name Frankopan. As early as 1225, they gained power from the Croatian-Hungarian King Andrew II over the Vinodol principality, which included Grobnik.
Life in the old town of Grobnik in the 15th and 16th centuries was characterised by the incursions of the Ottomans, and Grobnik passed from Frankopan hands into those of their Zrinski relatives. In 1671, the Habsburg Vienna executed the ban PetarZrinski, and very rich Grobnik was looted and handed over to the Austro-Hungarian chamber.
The beginnings of education in Grobnik date back to 1670. A permanent school was established in 1852 with the help of Bishop Vjenceslav Šoić, when 70 students attended it, and the following year their number climbed to 120. The existing school building was built in 1863.
Religious education, reading, writing and expression, arithmetic, singing, German, agriculture, vegetable growing, fruit growing and beekeeping were taught at the Grobnik school.
At the entrance to the old town, there is a stone-carved female figure with a large head and small breasts. The stone is known as “Baba” by the local people. It is supposed to be an idol that dates back to the Liburnian period and represents the female deity, the Great Mother, whose cult the Liburnians nurtured.
According to popular legend, everyone who enters the town for the first town had to kiss “Baba”.
The Parish Church of Sts Philip and James
The first record dating from 1105 testifies to the Parish Church of Sts Philip and James, the patron saints of Grobnik, and to Christianity in these parts. At the intersections of vaulted ribbed arches are miniature Frankopan coats of arms. In 1572, a bell tower was added that was later restored in the Baroque style because it was damaged by a thunderbolt in the mid-18th century.
Its present appearance, dimensions and layout – a three-nave space with a square shrine – was given to the church in the 17th century, whilst the southern approach with a wide staircase dates from the 19th century.