CROWN - Croatian World Network -
Votive chapel of gifts at Mary's Trsat sanctuary near Rijeka
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic
Published on 11/4/2009
The votive chapel at Trstat sanctuary near the city of Rijeka has been constructed by Peter Kružić, a legendary Croatian defender from the16th century. It is dedicated to the protector of seamen, Saint Nicholas. The sanctuary has been visited by late Pope John II during his Apostolic visit to Rijeka in 2003, on the photo with Ivan Devčić, the Rijeka archbishop.

Gifts from Croatian seamen Mary's Trsat, part1

Trsat fortress with the nearby Franciscan sanctuary dedicated to St. Mary


The most significant sanctuary in Kvarner dedicated to Mary, and the oldest in Croatia, bases its history on the transfer of the Nazareth House from the Holy Land on 10 May 1291 to Trsat, in the Trsat Plains, and from here to Loreto, Italy, on 10 December 1294.
Mary’s Trsat has become, at the international level, the most recognized Croatian sanctuary in the triangle Nazareth-Trsat-Loreto. 

At the place where the Nazareth House existed, and later disappeared, the Frankopan princes of Krk erected the church, which became the oldest Frankopan endowment and pilgrimage location...

In 1367, Pope Blessed Urban V gave the inconsolable Croatian pilgrims a painting of the Mother of God with baby Jesus.

In the presence of a delegation of the Croatian Parliament, and based on a decision made by the Vatican Chapter, the painting was crowned with two crowns in 1715; the first such example recorded outside of Italy. In 1930, Pope Pius XI honoured the Trsat Church with the title of small basilica (basilica minor). In its more than 700 year long history, the sanctuary has received numerous letters and indulgences from various Popes; recently, Pope John Paul II made his pilgrimage to the sanctuary.


Pope John Paul II visited the Trsat sanctuary in 2003.

Croatian Nazareth
Queen of the Adriatic

It is primarily a family sanctuary, known as the Croatian Nazareth. Everyday visitors are individuals, married couples, parents with children, and young couples. They come to Our Lady of Trsat in search of grace, perseverance, faith, and conciliation in hope and in prayer for the resolution of problems, for the forgiveness of sins, and for the realization of desires and expectations. Pope John Paul II also visited the Trsat sanctuary in 2003 in celebration and honour of the sacredness of family, under the motto “Family - the path of the Church and the people”.

Trsat is also a sanctuary dedicated to Mary by seamen, the sanctuary of the Queen of the Adriatic - Star of the Sea. It is a destination for many seamen and their families, where they give thanks to Our Lady for "protecting, defending and bringing them home" in their inscriptions and prayers and thanks.

Mary's Trsat is visited by followers from all parts of Croatia, particularly residents of the coastal areas, mountains, foothills, islands – boduli, Lika, Istria... they come individually or in pilgrimage groups. Other visitors to the sanctuary include pilgrims from Slovenia, the Italian province Friuli- Giulia, and many foreigners and Croats from Europe, America, Australia...


In 2003 late Pope Paul II knelt and prayed in front of the Mother Mary of Trsat.

A detail from the Franciscan monastery at Trsat.

Chapel of  Votive Gifts, Trsat

A place for prayer.

An excerpt from the Holy Mass in Croatian on the left, and in Croatian Church Slavonic, using Croatian Glagolitic Script.

Mother of Letnica from Kosovo, a gift by descendants of Dubrovnik merchants.

Please to the next page below.

Gifts from Croatian seamen Mary's Trsat, part 2

The statue of cardinal Alojzije Stepinac at Trsat

Pope John Paul II in Rijeka during his Apostolic visit to Croatia in 2003. On that occasion he visited the Trsat sanctuary. On his right is Dr. Ivan Devčić, Archbishop of Rijeka. On the far right of the photo Dr. Mile Bogović, bishop of Gospić-Senj.

Votive candle of the Salopek family, 3m high, weighing almost one ton, placed in honour of the Apostolic visit of Pope Paul II to the Trsat Sanctuary.

Stepping stones built in 1531 by Petar Kružić (16th century), a famous defender of the Klis fortress near Split. After the fall of Klis in 1537 Kruzic was decapitated by the Turks. His sister Jelena had to pay 100 gold coins for his head, which was buried in the Franciscan Monastery of Trsat, Rijeka. We know these details from a manuscript preserved from that time, written in the Croatian Glagolitic Script.


Cloister open from 7:00 - 20:00
Store with paintings, candles and souvenirs open from 8:00-12:00 and from 15:00-19:00
Publications on the sanctuary: a range of numerous and valuable publications, we highly recommend the authors:
Father Bonaventura Duda, Father Emanuel Hošak, Radmila Matejčić, Vanja Vinković, Marijan Bradanović...
CD of the sanctuary: author Vanja Vinković
Bulletin: Mary’s Trsat (four times a year- in May, August, September and December)

The Church is open daily from 6:30 - 19:30
Mass is held Monday to Friday at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 19:00;
Sundays and holidays at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30 and 19:00
Confession is held from 7:00-12:00 and from 15:00-19:30
Visits and sightseeing of the treasury by appointment

Franciscan monastery
tel. 051/452 900

City of Rijeka Tourism Association
tel. 051/335 882,


Each Saturday from May to late fall there are organized pilgrimages:

Franciscan youth (FRAMA)
10 May - Day of Our Lady of Trsat, Mother’s Day
Karlovac pilgrimage
Seamen’s pilgrimage (second half of May)

the votive pilgrimage of Grobnišćica

pilgrimage of Novi Zagreb

14 August, night pilgrimage
15 August - Feast of the Assumption, there is also a large fair at Trsat
pilgrimage of Bistrica
Pilgrimage of the faithful from the Bakar Bay inland

September 8 September-Nativity of the Virgin Mary
pilgrimage of the Poreč-Pula diocese
pilgrimage of the Zagreb Diocese

pilgrimage of the Krk Diocese

Rijeka pilgrimage - Thanksgiving

How to get to the sanctuary: Trsat stairs, bus, city bus routes 1 and 1A, automobile from centre of Rijeka or from Rijeka bypass

On the Feast of the Assumption, 15 August, Trsat is closed to automobiles.


Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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