Kvarner newsletter / no 49

Veprinac near Opatija
New attractive arts venue – the Varuna gallery

This year, the small medieval hilltop town of Veprinac, located on the slopes of Mount Učka above Opatija, offers visitors a new attraction: the Varuna art gallery, which aims to present various works by local artists every month.

A performance of the artist from Rijeka Tajči Čekada with an intriguing title „Post Mortem High Fashion“ marked the opening of the new Varuna art gallery in the small town of Veprinac above Opatija in January. The gallery is located in the very heart of the historic centre of Veprinac, next to the Town Gate, on a spot that cannot be missed during a visit to this town. The Varuna gallery will certainly attract many visitors, and its founders – leaders of the association of the same name – intend to change the exhibition nearly every month. It is planned to present works by young artists from the region and beyond. In February, the gallery will host an exhibition by a young original artist from Rijeka, Ivo Matošić. At the end of summer, in September, it is planned to organise the first Veprinac Ex Tempore exhibition.
Veprinac is located on the slopes of Mount Učka, at an elevation of 500 metres above Opatija, which in the past was an excellent defensive location. This was the reason for building the fort and then the town here, which was first officially mentioned in 1374.
To modern visitors, Veprinac is interesting for its preserved architecture, sacred buildings and medieval atmosphere. The town is visually dominated by the parish church of St. Mark, built in 1572, which together with the campanile (built in 1680), a small graveyard, and the remains of the former fortification is located on an elevated plateau. Outside the town walls there is the ancient town loggia and the small gothic church of St. Anne (1442). The baroque small church of St. Helen is located by the road that leads to Učka Nature Park.
Today only the town gate with three arches is what remains of the former fortification. A wide stone-paved path leads through the gate up the stone stairs to the highest point of the town and the parish church with campanile.
The patron saint of Veprinac is St. Mark. Every year in April there is a feast dedicated to this saint. This year the celebration will take place on 28 and 29 April.