Origin of the name Matulji
The first written record of the name Matulji dates back to the mid-17th century. It derived from the family name of Matulja, originally recorded as Matuglia. The present form, Matulji (which is the plural of the name Matulja), was first recorded at the beginning of the 19th century as the name of a small village in the lower parts of the Frlanija area. Just like Matulji, many other villages across the Kastav area are eponymously named (Brajan, Frlan, Pobar, Slavić for example).
Municipality of Matulji
The Municipality of Matulji was constituted as a local self-government on the 10th of April 1993. Before that, it was a part of the Municipality of Opatija. Matulji’s triangular coat of arms is characterised by three blue fields, each one showing a golden bell – symbol of the zvončari bell-ringers, traditional carnival figures of the area.
Local people and places
According to the 2001 census, the area of the Municipality of Matulji has 10,544 inhabitants with an average population density of 59.73 inhabitants per km² and includes: Matulji (streets: Antončićeva ulica, Cesta 43. istarske divizije, Cesta dalmatinskih brigada, Cesta Dušana Mavra, Cesta Osojnaki, Cesta Šime Juričića, Frlanska cesta, Gaj, Jankovićeva cesta, Jugova rebar, Kastavska cesta, Kružni put, Kvarnerska cesta, Marinčićeva ulica, Mavričićev put, Mihotićev prolaz, Nazorova ulica, Osojnaki, Partizanski put, Perasov put, Pionirska ulica, Popovićev put, Put Brdo, Put Luskino, Put Matka Mandića, Put Mileve Sušanj, Put Perinovo, Put Pubovo, Put Puhari, Put Rubeševo, Put Stanka Luksetića, Put Uroša Radeta, Put za Buč, Put za Trinajstići, Put Živica, Ruhčev put, Slavići, Stubište Mate Balote, Šetalište Drage Gervaisa, Šmogorska cesta, Trg Maršala Tita, Trtni, Ulica Antona Dubrovića, part of Matuljska cesta), Mihotići, Mihelići, Brdce, Bregi, Brešca, Jurdani, Jušići (streets: Jušići, Put Draga, Ulica Pešćinica, Ulica Rupnjak), Kućeli, Lipa, Male Mune, Mali Brgud, Mučići, Pasjak, Pemani, Rukavac, Rupa, Ružići, Šapjane, Veli Brgud, Vele Mune, Zaluki, Zvoneća and Žejane.
Location and traffic connections of the Municipality of Matulji
Matulji is conveniently situated in the hinterland of the Opatija Riviera, in the northern part of the County of Primorje-Gorski kotar, close to two busy border crossings with Slovenia. This is the point where the continental part of Central Europe meets the Adriatic Sea. An ancient traffic route passes across the area of Matulji in a north-west to south-east direction, and today this is one of the most important roads into the area. Matulji is an important traffic junction: the Rijeka-Matulji-Rupa state road leads north to Ljubljana in Slovenia and Trieste in Italy, while the roads to the east lead to Rijeka and further to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. South from Matulji are Opatija, Lovran and, further into Istria, Labin and Pula, and the route through Učka Tunnel connects this area straight to central and northern Istria.
Climate and geomorphological resources
The Matulji area is characterised by a Mediterranean climate influenced by the nearby mountains, which results in abundant precipitation and occasional breakthroughs of cold air. The dominant wind, locally known as the tramontana, blows throughout the year from 5 to 8 in the morning and then in the evening from 9 to 11. The bedrock in most of the area consists of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite. The hills and mountain ridges are made of limestone, the valleys of dolomite. The valley that stretches from Veli Brgud to Rupae and Šapjane is separated by a higher plateau with peaks 700 to 900 metres high. The northern part of the relief is characterised by higher ground reaching elevations of up to 700 metres above sea-level. The area is dominated by two mountain ridges stretching in a north-west to south-east direction. Between these lies a valley with the villages of Vodice, Mune and Žejane. The Matulji area is also distinguished for its great number of caves, pits, groundwater streams and other karst features. Some pits have a depth of more than 100 metres and have not been fully researched yet.
Hydrogeography, biogeography and pedology
The Matulji area lies predominantly on water-permeable carbonate rocks, and to a lesser extent on water-impermeable clastic rocks (flysch). Local water sources show periodic activity and are very abundant during heavy rains. The dominant types of soil include red karst soils on limestone bedrock, sand soils on dolomite, brown soils and lithosols.
The importance of natural heritage in the structure of local relief is reflected in the fact that most of the Matulji area is covered with forests and forest soils. A natural attraction, the Breški dol sinkhole, has been recommended for protection as a botanical reserve because of its vegetation zones: over a relatively small area, we can find here several different plant communities whose distribution in the sinkhole depends on natural factors. The Nad Zasten pit near the village of Mune has been recommended for protection as a nature monument because it is the type locality (locus typicus) for a cave beetle.