Kvarner newsletter / no 36

On the trail of the traditional handicrafts
Following the route of old mills and blacksmiths

Exploring some of Kvarner's picturesque landscapes, following the rivers in the Gorski kotar area, you might come across an old mill. Some of these ancient structures have now been refurbished and are open to the public.

In the past, the Kvarner region was home to many mills, many of which no longer exist. However, the good news is that some of them are being renovated as part of the historical heritage of the local area. One such watermill, locally known as the Gašpar's Mill, is located in the village of Martinovo selo in the municipality of Jelenje in the Grobnik area. The mill is more than 330 years old and is the only one of the 27 ancient mills on Rječina River that has been opened to the public; in addition, it is the place where local people can buy corn and wheat flour. The story about the village is closely related to the mills that used to flourish on the river of Rječina.

Gašpar's Mill, Martinovo selo, Jelenje, GrobnikAnother tourist attraction is located in the village of Dražice, not far from the Gašpar's Mill – it is the old blacksmith's workshop, one of the three that used to exist there. The workshop is 90 years old and is still used to produce various iron items. Over time, the workshop was transformed into a small museum with many items on display, which is why people visit it not only to buy some iron item, but also as a tourist attraction.

Apart from the River Rječina, many mills were in the past located in the Gorski kotar area. The main and the oldest street in Delnice, the Supilo Street, is home to the unique Popović's Mill, which used electricity and is today one of the cultural and tourist sites in the town. The building dates back to 1924; the parts for the mill were transported here all the way from Budapest, and – which is most important – have been preserved in their original form right up to the present day. The mill used to work without interruption until 1960, and three years ago it was renovated and opened to the public. Since then, it was visited by many individual tourists and groups of visitors. Apart from its original purpose, the property can today be hired as an attractive venue for hosting meetings, team building programmes, promotions and celebrations, because it has a capacity of 50 seats. In the summertime, its spacious courtyard provides additional space for the visitors.