Kvarner newsletter / no 3

Novi Vinodolski 
720th anniversary of the Vinodol Law

The celebration of the Day of Novi Vinodolski at the beginning of January also marked the 720th anniversary of the Vinodol Law – the oldest text of the Croatian medieval common law, whose individual parts have been integrated since 1990 in the Constitution of the modern Republic of Croatia.

On the 6th of January 1288, in Novi Vinodolski (then called Novi Grad), the oldest text of the Croatian medieval common law was written in the old Croatian Glagolitic alphabet and in the Čakavian dialect. On that day, the Duke of Krk Leonardo met the representatives of the nine Vinodol municipalities that existed at the time: Novi, Bribir, Ledenice, Hreljin, Bakar, Grobnik and Trsat. The Law was written by a nine-member commission, who signed the document in the name of their municipalities and with the duke as the feudal lord.
In 1225, through a donation of the Croatian–Hungarian King Andrew (Andrija) II, Vinodol went under the rule of the authorities from Krk. However, free peasants did not want to become serfs, which led to many conflicts that were eventually settled by this Law. Although its main scope was to protect feudal lords, the Vinodol Law is remembered as a document that includes many ideas that were new at the time from various fields of law – administrative, criminal and trial law – which makes it an extraordinarily valuable document of Croatian common law.
The celebration of this great anniversary in Novi Vinodolski, which included a survey of the town’s history, was also a celebration of 130 years of tourism in this town, which is becoming ever more recognised as a high-quality holiday resort in Kvarner.
This occasion was also used to remind people of the recently completed series of investments that included the renovation of the town’s infrastructure, maintenance of the parks, promenades and squares, and improvements to the attractiveness of existing accommodation facilities in Novi Vinodolski.