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5 reasons why you should visit Trsat

Dec 9, 2020 | Rijeka

Trsat is a place of castles, forts, churches, monasteries and one of the best coffee shops in the town. You can also enjoy a meal royalty style in a restaurant in Trsat castle’s courtyard. If you’re in Rijeka and wondering where Trsat is, you can see it from the Jelačić Square, from Fiumara, Wenzel, Fishermen Streets and the entire Dead Channel (Mrtvi kanal). The best way to get there is by walking up almost 600 Petar Kružić’s Steps. However, if you don’t feel like walking, you can also come very close to the fortress by car and public transportation.

1. The most amazing view in Rijeka

If you are looking for a place from which you’ll have an amazing panoramic view, put 138 meters high Trsat hill on top of your “Must see in Rijeka” list. The view from the castle extends to the Rijeka hillside districts of Kalvarija and Kozala, the centre of Rijeka itself, the city port, the whole of Kvarner Bay, a part of Istria and the islands of Cres and Krk.

2. Petar Kružić’s Steps

If you have healthy knees and some time, don’t miss the chance to climb the steep steps to the Trsat castle. They were originally made for pilgrims and some even today practise the ancient votive tradition of climbing the steps on their knees. As you ascend, the views of Rijeka become more and more stunning, until you reach the top of the hill and the entire Kvarner Bay lays out before you.

The steps start at the centre of Sušak, a part of the city of Rijeka situated along the left bank of the River Rječina. According to tradition, the Croatian military leader, Petar Kružić, began the building of the steps in 1531 along the track of an existing votive path towards the monastery. The beginning of the steps in Sušak is marked by the Baroque chapel in the form of the triumphal arch.

3. The Trsat Castle

Gradina Trsat or The Castle of Trsat stands on the same spot of an ancient fortress from the Illyrian and Roman times. The reason for a long history of fortresses on this location lies in the fact that the sea along the Rječina River is easily controlled from up the hill. The castle of Trsat was built in the 13th century by the Frankopans, Croatian aristocrats originating from the island of Krk. It played an important role in the battles against the Turks and Venetians. Trsat Castle is one of the oldest fortifications on the Croatian coast that preserved the features of early medieval urban planning. The castle as you see it today was completely reconstructed and renovated in 19th century by the military commander Laval Nugent. He renovated it in the romantic classicist and Biedermeier styles.

Today, the Trsat Castle has been enriched with new features, such as a gallery space with art exhibitions, summer concerts and open-air theater performances, as well as fashion shows and literary evenings. Within the Trsat Castle, there is an info point by Croatian Tourist Board where you can get all the information about the building and the city of Rijeka.

4. Mary’s Trsat

Mary’s Trsat is a special historic, religious, cultural and building complex consisting of the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat and the Franciscan Monastery. It is often referred to as Croatian Nazareth. The legend says that the small house in which Mary was born was transferred by angels to Trsat (1291-1294) before the arrival in Loreto, Italy. This is one of the many reasons why many pilgrims visit the Mary’s Trsat. One of the most famous pilgrim visits was made by the Pope John Paul II in 2003. One of the most visited parts of the Shire is the Chapel of Votive Gifts filled with valuable donations of the Habsburg rulers, including a two-headed golden eagle studded with gems, the symbol of Rijeka.

If you are interested in the spiritual and cultural aspect of the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat and Franciscan monastery, you might want to have a look at the detailed (72 pages long) guide published by the Shire, which is available here. It gives a detailed overview of the history and present state of the Shire with amazing amount of photographs of the interior and exterior of the church and monastery, its art, pilgrim life and the visit of the Pope John Paul II.

Restaurant Trsatica, Photo credit: Facebook

5. Great coffee & food

Trsat castle is one of the most beautiful places in Rijeka where you can drink morning coffee or enjoy the sunset in an unforgettable ambience. You will find restaurant Trsatica at the meeting point of the sea, sun and stone in the heart of Trsat fort. The restaurant is elegant and spacious with a historical aura which shines bright even to this day.

If you’re one of those people who like to get up early in the morning and enjoy the perfect sunset, you can treat yourself with amazing cup of coffee in the beautiful Vintage caffeeThis is one of the nicest cafés in the city, overlooking the entire city of Rijeka. You can choose to have a drink in the outside seating in the Fort yard or inside the tower, were you are surrounded with bottles of wine and old books. 

Vintage caffee, Photo credit: Borko Vukosav Check out his amazing photo gallery here

FRIENDLY WARNING: Due to COVID-19 restrictions which are changing on almost weekly basis and could affect the organization of events and working hours of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or questions. Also, you can get up to date info on the official Croatian Government dedicated site  and Total Croatia News portal with special section on traveling during pandemia.

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