The Croatian city of Vrbnik on the island of Krk has decided to do something about the bikini-clad tourists that have become a common sight in the city’s historic section. City officials have made Vrbnik the first city in the Adriatic region to establish a “chaste zone.”
The new ordinance means that in the city’s historic district, signs will be posted requesting that tourists cover up and leave the bikinis and swimsuits for the beach, as such attire is “inappropriate for an area that is full of sacred places.”
Vrbnik, where Cardinal Josip Bozanic of Zagreb was born, has been a traditionally Catholic stronghold in the region.
The decision by city officials was made after a recommendation by the Diocese of Krk’s vicar general, Msgr. Ivan Kordic, who said there was a need to set up “chaste zones” throughout the Adriatic region of Croatia, which is a popular summer tourist destination. Msgr. Kordic’s recommendation sparked intense debates among those in favor and those opposed to the idea.
One city official told the Croatian daily Jutarnji list that the ordinance was “not a question of prohibitions, but rather a call for the courtesy, decorum and elegance that are appropriate for an historic city district where many sacred buildings are located.”