Many civilizations have inhabited this region throughout history, thus creating a priceless cultural and historical treasure which is spread and unfolds before you across the entire Kvarner region. From prehistoric, ancient and medieval monuments and cultural habits of the Romans, the Greeks, the Slavic, Germanic and Hungarian peoples, until the present day and contemporary artistic achievements, many cultural expressions and monuments founded on the same have intertwined, thus creating a region boasting heart-capturing values. The region is home to the Baška Tablet (Baščanska ploča), the oldest monument of Croatian literacy, and the Vinodol Law Codex (Vinodolski zakonik), the oldest fully conserved monument of common law in the Croatian language. The region’s rich past has left a legacy that includes numerous monuments, valuable religious and secular collections, as well as cultural expressions that make everyday life in Kvarner exceptionally interesting.
You can listen to concerts by Croatian and world music stars, enjoy events based on the region’s inexhaustible heritage or modern sounds on the stages set up in town squares and parks, in the silence of the churches or on the stages set up for special occasions. The galleries and museums will open their doors only for you, revealing you the region’s heritage and conveying a clear message of the cultural identity of this interesting and never fully discovered region.
The sounds of old folk musical instruments have always resounded throughout the Kvarner region. Here, and particularly on the island of Krk, you will hear the sound of the sopile (sopele, roženice), an old shepherd’s musical instrument. One never uses only one sopile but two, a big and a small one, or the sound of the big sopile is enriched by vocal accompaniment. The sopile is usually accompanied by two voices singing in various styles (po domaću, na tanko, na debelo). Other traditional instruments include: mih (a wooden instrument with a bag serving as a reservoir of air made from animal skin, a pipe and a vent) and a two-pipe wooden instrument known as dvojkinje (vidulice, volarice) which is played across the entire Kvarner. Numerous renowned musicians come from Kvarner. Let us mention only a few: Vinko Jelić (1596 – 1636) from Rijeka who was honored with the title of the Master Composer of Spiritual Chamber Concertos by European music connoisseurs on the basis of his works Parnasia Militia, Arion Primus and Arion Secundus, and Ivan pl. Zajc (1832 – 1914) who is famous for its operas Nikola Šubić Zrinski, Mislav, Ban Leget and Lizinka. Zajc also composed operettas, cantatas, as well as orchestral, concert, chamber and piano compositions. The time during which he was part of the Croatian musical scene is named after him. Ivan Matetić Ronjgov (1880 – 1960) found inspiration for its creative work in the local musical heritage, such as the two-voice sopile music. He primarily composed vocal music, i.e. compositions for choirs, two voices and solos.