Located on the gently coasts of Kastela Bay, the town of the same name gathers numerous visitors during Croatian summers. We list just several reasons to love Kastela, the second largest settlement in the County of Split and Dalmatia
The town is specific because of the fact that it developed around 7 settlements (Kastel Stafilic, Kastel Novi, Kastel Stari, Kastel Luksic, Kastel Kambelovac, Kastel Gomilica and Kastel Sucurac) or around castles. Each village has its own particularity merged into character of this part of Mediterranean. Radun and Rudine emerge in recent years as the two new smaller centers.
The western part of the town is more tourism- oriented. This is the area with most accommodation capacities: tourist apartments, rooms, camps and hotels. There is a newly built Marina Kastela in Kastel Gomilica capable to accommodate large number of private and charter boats.
Kastela is of the places with the best traffic infrastructure. They have an international airport Split – Kastela, a railway station at Kastel Stari, and access to Split – Zagreb highway at Prgomet and Vucevica. The Museum of the town of Kastela found its place in the Vitturi castle, and an exhibition room in onetime bishop’s summer residence in Kastel Sucurac.
Four Reasons to Love Kastela
Crljenak kastelanski is an old, almost forgotten, Croatian species of grape which recently captured interest of the wine-making public. The reason for that was discovery that Crljenak kastelanski and an American species Zinfandel have the same genetic profile. It was established that the two species are the same. The mystery of origin was resolved.
Around 16 castles seven villages were formed: Kastel Stafilic, Kastel Novi, Kastel Stari, Kastel Luksic, Kastel Kambelovac, Kastel Gomilica and Kastel Sucurac. These villages grew, developed and finally merged to the town of Kastela. The villages preserved authentic Dalmatian architecture: houses with open front stairs, balconies, wine cellars, narrow streets and squares at their centers.
Miljenko and Dobrila
In Kastel Luksic in the second half of 17th century aristocratic Vitturi family have had a daughter Dobrila, and Adalberto Rusinic a son Miljenko. Fair looking boy and gentle girl fell deeply in love. Quarrel between their fathers over feudal rights regarding peasants, forced lovers to meet secretly. Maid Antica facilitated their secret meetings. Eventually, their parents found about their affair and Dobrila was put under strict supervision.
Love didn’t won this time! Dobrila’s last wish was to be buried in the same grave with Miljenko in the little church of St. Ivan at Rusinac where on the gravestone is written: “Peace to the lovers”. Beside the grave in Kastel Luksic still stands the authentic Dobrila’s castle Vitturi from 15th -16th century, Miljenko’s castle Rusinic from the15th century and the old church from 1530 where they were married.
An olive more than 1500 years old grows in Kastel Stafilic, which people of Kastela call Mastrinka. It is considered that it was brought from Southern Italy or Greece. Due to the fact that estates of the Roman were in this area, it was presumed to be a remnant of an agricultural estate from those times. The system of roots occupies space of more than 100 meters. The span of the tree is 6 meters, the span of the tree top is 22 meters and the height is 10 meters. Annual crop of olives is processed into oil and packed into replicas of glass lacrimatoriums as an autochthonous souvenir of Kastela.
Milena Budimir / The Adriatic Times
Photo: Zvonimir Barisin / CROPIX