Workshops with children helped to develop a new interpretive trail to Hreljin Fortress (Image: Iva Silla)

Bakar Tourism Board joins Interpret Europe as an institutional member – a logical step having organised three Interpret Europe courses. 

For years, Bakar Tourism Board has been an inspiring example of a destination management organisation that turns to heritage interpretation. This spring, they decided to underline this by joining Interpret Europe as an institutional member. Isn’t this a great opportunity to mention their most recent interpretive projects?

Revived water spigots – A step towards a more sustainable life through interpretation

It is not well known that Bakar that lies on fresh water. There are eight forgotten old water spigots around the old town. Bakar Tourism Board found a chance to start the renovation of these public fountains through interpretation. They created an interpretive area, with small panels next to each spigot. The residents filled their glasses in a ceremonial opening of the first renovated spigot on Earth Day. Tourists and locals can now find  refreshment while exploring the hilly old town, and they are invited to reuse their water bottles. Interpretive panels share the story about the city’s water-related heritage and raise awareness of the importance of clean drinking water.   

Alley in the woods – A playful take on forgotten history

The municipal area of the city of Bakar contains a forest trail that leads to the medieval fortress of Hreljin. It has been deserted for centuries, and the general public knows very little of its history. This was recently changed. Local school children explored the area through participative workshops and crafted a gamified trail that allows people to discover the history of the town. Experts and interpretive writers prepared the panels and, through storytelling, the narrow trail became The Alley of the Greats. Panels offer quirky stories about some of the historical owners of the fortress. There’s a hidden quest, too: each of the panels contains a challenging riddle. All of a sudden, a trail that longed for footsteps, became a favorite nature getaway for local families as they re-embraced their valuable heritage. 

The first CIW in the Croatian language

In May, Bakar Tourism Board decided it was time to refresh their interpretive skills, and organised an IE Certified Interpretive Writer (CIW) training course. It is not the very first one of that in the country, but it is the first one deivered in Croatian language. After the increased popularity of IE’s Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) course in Croatia, could this be a start of a new friendship? The country already has three trainers that offer interpretive writing courses, and judging by the participants of the first course, a lot of talent ready to be certified. Bakar has proven to be a perfect setting, as it has already developed many projects that include interpretive writing, from interpretive trails to self-guided brochures. The course participants were experienced interpreters, incredibly supportive, and collaborative. The demanding tempo of the training only sparked their creativity. They showed a great understanding of the course content, while sticking to their unique writing styles. 

These are the interpretive news stories from Bakar just from this spring. If you visit Bakar, feel free to stop by the tourism office – they will be delighted to meet fellow Interpret Europe members and share some suggestions on interpretive experiences in their area. 

Iva Silla is an IE CIG and CIW trainer. She collaborates with Bakar Tourism Board on interpretive projects and is the author of Secret Zagreb activities ( and the Croatia Underrated podcast (  Contact her at: iva@questoftale

To cite this article: Silla, Iva (2024) ‘Interpretive news from Bakar, Croatia‘in Interpret Europe Newsletter 2-2024, pg.16.
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