Krk, main settlement on the Krk sland
"THE TOWN'S HERITAGE"
The town of Krk, which is the main settlement on the island, is a typical Adriatic and Mediterranean town of Croatia, where traces of an ancient past are evident at every step.
Even the name of the town, KRK, can be traced back to a pre-Roman, Illyrian civilization that used the name K(u)R(y)K(ta), i.e. Kurycta, for the town and island. With the expansion of the Roman Empire to the eastern Adriatic coast, Krk became a prominent Roman settlement, a "municipium", proudly called by its inhabitants "Splendidissima Civitas Kuryctarum" - The glorious town of Krk, as inscribed on a stone monument from the beginning of the 4th c. The town had thermal baths with decorated mosaic floors at that time, which has been confirmed by recent archeological findings.
With the advent of Christianity in the coastal area, Krk became a bishopric very early and has remained so till today. Numerous sacral monuments testify a longstanding Christian culture. Within this Roman town, the first Christian community had their oratorio (a place for prayer), which tranformed into an early Christian basilica in the 5th century.
This church houses remains of an early Christian baptistery, a floor mosaic, stone ornaments and a unique capital with the motive of birds feeding on fish, a Eucharistic symbol. A major reconstruction of the basilica took place in the 12th century, resulting in today's Romanesque Cathedral. Within the Cathedral there is the outstanding Frankopan Gothic chapel, built in the 15th century. The Renaissance altar screens and two side ambos date from the 15th and 16th century. The Cathedral forms a unique sacral complex together with the church of St.Quirinus, the patron saint of the town of Krk and the bishopric. The church of St.Quirinus has a nave and two aisles, each ending in a semicircular apse. It was built in the 12th century and presents a unique two-storey church on the eastern Adriatic coast. Its ground floor (crypt), dedicated to St.Margaret, is a vaulted church with massive arches. The adjoining bell tower built in the 16th century and restored in the 18th century, completed this exceptional sacral complex built throughout the centuries.
On the hill within the old town walls there is a Benedictine convent. In its vicinity, there was once a convent of St.Clare's order. In the nearby Franciscan monastery glagolitic-Slav culture had been nourished for centuries. The Krk inscription from the 11th century, written in glagolitic script, is considered one of the oldest of the kind. Nearby is the Romanesque church of St.Michael with a nave and two aisles, today a much visited shrine of Holy Mary, Lady of Health.
All these churches house numerous works of art of Venetian and local masters, among which the most valuable is the silver altar relief, ordered by Count Ivan Frankopan and made in Venice in 1477. It was a gift to the Cathedral in Krk where it is kept today.
The Middle Ages have left their traces in countless little town streets, small squares, portals with ornamental coats-of-arms of patrician families and the unique defence walls with layers dating from different periods: pre-Roman, Roman and the Middle Ages, and mostly from the period of Venetian dominance.
In the 12th century, the Frankopan Counts, the medieval rulers of the island and the town of Krk, erected a fortified defence castle with four towers by the sea. Today, every summer, this ancient castle, as well as the Cathedral and other churches, stage outstanding concerts and performances organized by the "Krk Summer Festival".
"KRK'S PLEASANT CLIMATE"
Visitors to Krk, particularly those who come more often and stay here longer, will clearly notice many enjoyable characteristics of its climate. Compared to the climate of other places and areas of the island, as well as with the coastal area of Kvarner, Krk has a larger number of sunny days, the temperature is higher and windiness is less acute.
According to its latitude, the expected temperature in Krk would be 4,6 C lower than the actual annual temperature of 14,5 °C. This is mainly due to the influence of the warm sea. Positive temperature aberration in relation to the average temperature of the parallel on which Krk is situated is especially noticeable in winter, when, for example, in January the temperature reaches 7,4°C.
Sea characteristics of the climate in Krk are visible in autumn which is warmer than spring - approximately 2 °C. On average January is the coldest month with the average temperature of 5,4 °C, while the hottest, July, reaches 24,2 °C, which befits to hot Mediterranean summer.
During the winter the temperature drops below 0 C, which, on average, happens every 4-5 days, but it's not lower than -5 °C. In the middle of the last third of March the temperature rises above 10 C, when it's warm and pleasant to stay outside and this period can be considered the beginning of the tourist season. According to these thermal measurements, it lasts up to the middle of November. If summer is to be considered the period when the average day temperature reaches more than 20 °C, which is usual for moderate latitudes, then summer in Krk would begin by the end of March and finish in the middle of September. The daily temperature in July and August is usually above 25 °C (the so called hot or summer days), which illustrates the presence and stability of nice summer weather.
Temperatures above 30 °C, unpleasant to many people, are not very frequent in Krk. 30 °C is reached every three days and the temperature doesn't go above 36 °C, even in the hottest summers. Even rarer are sultry days, which is one of the favourable summer characteristics of the climate, particularly comparing it with the Dalmatian region. In the period June - September, the average day sea temperature is above 20°C, so it's the bathing season.
Krk isn't a particularly windy town, so calm weather is quite frequent, with only 15 days of strong wind a year. In the annual windiness the prevailing wind is "bura" (its main direction is northeast). Nevertheless, it can be claimed that Krk is quite well protected from strong "bura", so it's significantly weaker than in the northwest and especially in the southeast of the island. "Bura"is the most frequent and the strongest in winter, the least frequent and the mildest in summer. The second frequent wind is "jugo" (scirocco) which is a southern or southeasterly wind and blows mainly in spring and autumn. "Lebiæ", a southwesterly wind which blows mainly in spring, can cause troubles at sea, but luckily it is not frequent. Summer days are often refreshing thanks to "maestral" - a northwesterly wind. "Zmorac" - a day wind coming from the sea is not particularly important for the area, but it's frequent and strong enough (between 3.00 and 4.00 p.m.) to help endure the unpleasant summer heat. It also has some other favourable physiological effects. At night there is sometimes a refreshing wind coming from the nearby terraces.
It can be concluded that the influence of the sea is present and significant in numerous characteristics of the climate of Krk. Mild winters, hot and dry summers which are the driest periods of the year, rainy autumns which are warmer than pleasant springs - these are all characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, important for tourism. On the other hand, periodically noticeable winter cold accompanied by the strong wind - "bura", sudden storms in the warmer half of the year, the absence of significantly dry periods during the summer.Perhaps this merging of the sea and continental influence gives the climate of Krk its charm which can hardly be resisted.
"KRK - A TRADITIONAL TOURIST DESTINATION"
In a moment of inspiration, a poet once said:
"Each country belongs to the Earth,
And if we are to judge by the Earth
People might be the same
Wherever they are."
If the poet is to be trusted, then we must say that tourism is one of those rare phenomena that connect people and places from all over the world.
Tourism in the town of Krk is just a tiny stone in the mosaic of global trends. None the less, its inhabitants strive to make this ancient town a haven of rest for those modern fugitives running away from daily routine, seeking a place where they will spend the most cherished days of the year - their holiday.
It is not an easy task to make holiday leisure time interesting and fun for people tired out by their stressful and exhausting jobs. The tourist workers of Krk have spared no effort throughout the past century (1997 was a jubilee - the hundredth anniversary of organized tourism in the town of Krk) to make the tourist offer of the town a conglomeration of natural and social factors.
Climatic conditions and a perfect nature alone are not sufficient, but they are the initiative strength of tourism in Krk. It remains for the tourist workers to enrich the holiday experience of their visitors. Presently, Krk has approx. 1000 beds in hotels, 4000 beds in private accommodation and a capacity of 4000 people in camping sites, which makes Krk a recognized tourist destination.There is a growing number of cafes, restaurants, shops and the like, always present in the life of a tourist resort.
According to statistic reports, approx. 70,000 tourists visit the town every year. The most numerous are visitors from the traditionally emissive countries, such as Germany, Austria and Italy. They mainly spend their entire vacation in Krk. Therefore our tourism is classified as predominantly stationary tourism.
The main aim of the town's major investments in tourism is to improve the quality of life and standard of living of its inhabitants. This might be achieved by eliminating various restrictive factors, which in other words means satisfying the needs and demands of today's discerning consumer. A hundred years have passed - we hope that the next century of organized tourism will make "The Glorious City of Krk" an unforgettable destination for all who entrust us with their holiday.