Kvarner newsletter / no 5

Kastav
International Amateur Theatre Festival

Kastav, the venue of so many attractive and well-attended cultural events, such as the Kastav Summer of Culture (Kastafsko kulturno leto) or the Guitar Festival, will host the festival of theatre amateurs from Croatia and abroad at the end of May.

From the 24th to the 27th of May, Kastav will host the Festival of Croatian Theatre Amateurs, which has been organised since 1960, and, simultaneously, the Adriatic 2008 International Amateur Theatre Festival. Both events will present the best amateur theatre achievements from Croatia and abroad in all genres – from popular and classical to experimental theatre. The International Amateur Theatre Festival is organised by the Croatian Cultural Parliament, which has become the Croatian Centre of International Amateur Theatre Association in 2004. After four successful years in Kastav, this festival will move to another town. 
With its architecturally unique, walled old town and its attractive, very popular cultural events such as the Kastav Summer of Culture (Kastafsko kulturno leto), the Guitar Festival, various exhibitions and theatre performances, Kastav continues to attract ever more visitors from Croatia and abroad. Located near the harbour town of Rijeka and boasting a rich cultural heritage, this town is filled with history that can be told from each of its churches, ancient buildings, houses and narrow lanes. The most prominent buildings in the town are the Castle (Kaštel) and the Church of St. Helen (Crkva sv. Jelene Križarice), the patron saint of Kastav. On her feast day, the 22nd of May, Kastav hosts not only the religious feast but also various exhibitions and cultural events whose aim is to remind the people of Kastav and their guests of the town’s most glorious history. This history is reflected in the town's unique architectural heritage with its dominating town walls and nine towers. The belfry on the hilltop can easily be seen from various spots around Kvarner bay. Kastav used to be an important political and administrative centre, which is attested to by the Law of the Town of Kastav from the year 1400, a historical document including the list of all contemporary laws. The first primary school in Kastav was founded as early as 1770. And all the cultural events and fairs that take place today in Kastav are based around its traditional crafts and customs.