KRK, an island in the Kvarner Archipelago, the largest island of the Adriatic Sea; area 409 sq km (38 km lenght, width up to 20 km); population 16,402. North of the narrow part at the line Vrbnik - Punat spreads the lower, forested, more fertile and populated part of the island. The higher, southern part, is predominantly bare, interspersed with thick forests. The Baska Cove cuts through the limestone plain, ending in the Gulf of Baska. The highest peak of the island, Obzova (569 m), lies in the southern karst region. The rocky, steep and predominantly bare north-western coast is neither developed nor easily accessible, and represents a danger when the bora blows. The south-western and south-eastern coasts are well developed. The mild maritime influence is more prominent in the west and southwest of the coastline. The mean temperature in January is 5.6 °C, and in July 24.1°C; the annual rainfall exceeds 1,000 mm. Two small lakes (Lake Omisalj - or Jezero - in the north, and Ponikve Lake in the centre of the island) represent a source for fresh water supply of the nearby settlements. Forests account for 30.9 % of the total island's area; the Mediterranean forest of holm oak is limited to the south-western, sheltered coastal region. Limestone plains are predominantly rocky. Apart from Dobrinj, all other towns (Krk, Baska, Malinska, Njivice, Punat) lie on the coast. Chief occupations are farming, wine production, fruit growing, fishery, hunting and livestock breeding. The major industries include petrochemicals, textiles, shipbuilding, tourism (tourist centres and the tourist resort Haludovo) and boating (marina in Punat). Krk has good traffic connections with the mainland - Krk Bridge, connecting the mainland main road (M2) with the main road (M29) on the island from the north of Baska; ferry connections include Valbiska - Merag (Cres), Baska - Lopar (Rab); the airport Rijeka is near Omisalj. A regional road runs from Silo and Klimno to Sv. Vid Moholjica. There is also an oil terminal on Krk (Omisalj).

The continuity of settlement on the island of Krk dates back to the Neolithic (caves along the Baska Cove, Vrbnik Cove), continues over the Bronze and Iron Ages (hill-forts, tumuli near Malinska, Gabonjin, Dobrinj, Vrbnik, Baska) up to the present. The oldest known inhabitants of the island were the Liburnians. In the Roman time there was a settlement called Curicum in the place of the present town of Krk. In AD 49 a sea battle between the Caesar's and Pompey's fleets took place off Krk. In the Middle Ages Krk acknowledged the rule of the Byzantine Empire, then of Venice (since 1000), the Croatian rulers (in the second half of the 11th century), then again Venice (up to 1358) which granted, by virtue of a contract, the rule over the island to the dukes of Krk, later known as the Frankopans. In the 13th and 14th centuries the Frankopans were one of the most powerful Croatian noble families. In 1358 they recognized the supreme rule of the Croato-Hungarian kings. The last member of the Krk line of the Frankopans put the island under the protection of Venice (1480). Thus Krk, the last of the Croatian islands, became annexed to the Venetian Dalmatia, within which it remained up to 1797, sharing after that the fate with the -other parts of Dalmatia and Istria.

In the past, Krk was a prominent centre of the Glagolitic literacy (the oldest preserved Glagolitic monument of Krk is the 11th-century inscription from the former Benedictine abbey of St. Lawrence in the town of Krk). Pope Innocent IV allowed in his letter to the Benedictines of Omisalj in 1252 Slavic Glagolitic liturgy; this letter, together with the letter addressed to the bishop of Senj in 1248, is considered to be an act of the Pope with which he legalized the Slavic liturgy. Among the numerous Glagolitic monuments originating from Krk, there is the Baska Tablet from Jurandvor near Baska, then the Statute of Vrbnik (1388) and the Missal of Vrbnik from 1642, ornamented with miniatures. The Glagolitic script was used on the island of Krk up to the first decades of the 19th century. - Several important monuments bear witness to the gradual development of architecture - from the early Christian (the ruins of the original cathedral of the town of Krk) and the early Croatian Period (St. Donatus near Punat, St. Krsevan near Glavotok), through the early Romanesque (St. Vitus near Dobrinj, St. Lucy in Jurandvor, St. John in Baska) and the late Romanesque (Virgin Mary in Omisalj, the cathedral and church of St. Quirinus in the town of Krk), to the Gothic style (St. Francis in the town of Krk, the church on Kosljun, the chapel of the Frankopans in the cathedral of Krk, the patrician houses in Krk). The island of Krk is particularly interesting from the ethnographical point of view (folk tradition, costumes, cottage industry, the archaic chakavian dialect, songs and tunes).

*Source: Web site of Croatian National Tourist Board