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This town is situated at the foot of the ruins of the Frankopans’ castle and of the craggy cliffs of “Griže”, after which it was named. The old castle was damaged in a strong earthquake in 1323. Round towers were completed in the 15th century, and today you can only see the remnants of the once famous castle. The castle of Grižane had an irregular, rectangular shape with round towers, and this irregularity was caused by the peculiar configuration of the ground. Prince Martin kept court here; he was the founder of the port called Crikvenica, which is situated in the coastland.


The remnants of walls of the castle in Grižane remind of its famous history. The castle was in the shape of an irregular quadrilateral with round towers at the corners. It used to be headquarters of Kapetanat, feudal government of estates belonging to the Frankopan family in Vinodol. The castle was damaged in 1323, when Vinodol was befallen by an earthquake. The castle is located on porous ground and built alongside craggy cliffs which are called “griže” – hence the name of the town.


The ruins of medieval hill-fort which was erected on remains of the Roman fortification from the 4th century in the period of consolidation of the Liburnian Limes (line of defense). Badanj was a firm rampart of Vinodol because its position enabled it to have control of the area expanding from the sea to the heart of Vinodol. The basis of main fort was shaped like an egg, and it appeared like a massive tower. This is probably the reason why people called it Badanj (big barrel). The sea used to reach all the way to the base of Badanj, and there were a few stone pillars there to which people used to tie their boats.


A medieval church from the 16th century which was erected on foundations of an older church. The church was reconstructed in the 17th century, which is written in the Glagolitic inscription above the door. In the church there are many Glagolitic inscriptions in stone. Rich inventory of this church comprises a valuable main altar, a sepulchral slab with the engraving of the queen of death, a great number of tombstones in Glagolitic script, as well as extremely valuable bellows organ from the 17th century, which is one of the oldest organs in Croatia.


St. Martin’s parish church is of medieval origin, which is confirmed by some items in the remaining church inventory and by Glagolitic inscriptions about restorations of the church in the 16th and 17th century. The church was thoroughly reconstructed and expanded in 1906, when it got two lateral naves. This is how it assumed characteristics of historicism, or Neo-Renaissance. Valuable exemplars of Gothic and baroque designs of the altar are preserved in the treasury of the church.

Pictures & text taken from

Villa Ursula - Grižane
address: Marušići 11, 51244 Grižane (Crikvenica), Croatia
tel: +385 99 8324901
open: all season