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The history of the Zrinski and the Frankopan

11. December 2019. by slrastoke

The Zrinski and the Frankopan are the most important Croatian noble families whose lives and work embody the ‘Nobilitas obligat’ proverb (privilege entails responsibility) in the best possible way. This is precisely the obligation that was nurtured towards their subjects and the people leaving them on their own in the first defence lines before the Ottoman conquerors taking them to death because of the rebellion against the Austro-Hungarian centralism and absolutism in the 17th century. Their families connected also by marriage, and Slunj and the surrounding areas were ruled by the Frankopan, whose estates were just on the line of the Ottoman invasions. Particularly important was Franjo Frankopan Slunjski (1536-1572), who did not desert or leave his people and towns, not even when the surface of free Croatia was reduced to, as the name says, ‘reliquiae reliquiarum’ (rests of the remnants). This was a man whose courage cannot be described in words and during whose life the Ottoman conquerors did not manage to capture Slunj. These noble warriors never stopped being the educators and literary man. In the moments before being beheaded in the surroundings of Vienna in 1671, because of conspiracy against the emperor, the last significant male members of the Zrinski and Frankopan lineage sent their last final farewell that became a work of literature. Petar Zrinski wrote a death note to his wife Katarina Frankopan, which was translated that same year into several world languages, while Fran Krsto Frankopan said goodbye to his wife with the saying: “Navik on živi ki zgine pošteno” (The one who dies honestly lives forever).