The remains of the old church of St Mavro lie on the top of the hill, to the south of Vrbnik, still covered in the landscape of low plants and dry walls. This locality is very important for understanding the emergence of Vrbnik as according to old local legends, this is the place of origin of the village as we know it today. The traces of the construction material of antique production, scattered around the drywalls and ground in the immediate vicinity of the church, indicate that the area was inhabited in the first century a.d. Since the Middle Ages there is a legend that the old aristocratic family Frankopan had their castle precisely at this site. Older authors do not rule out the possibility that the church of St Mavro was the first parish church in the time preceding the emergence of Vrbnik at the today’s site, before the today’s Vrbnik was populated and the church of St Mary dedicated.
Although written documents do not mention when the church emerged exactly, on the basis of construction and architectural elements it may be dated into the Romanesque period, i.e. 12th – 13th century. From the architectural point of view, this is a smaller single-nave sacral edifice of medium dimensions, with protruding semi-circular apse.
The walls are made of regular dressed stones laid into regular layers. There is a difference in construction between the north and the south church wall, the latter being made of smaller dressed stones, indicating an adaptation of an older, perhaps even antique structure.