Local authorities buying up historic buildings in Croatia.
A special team of experts had been searching for months for the owners of the Janković Manor in Kapela Dvor near Virovitica. The dilapidated manor covered with graffiti was far removed from a seat of a noble family from the 1880s. And not only that, it had also been mortgaged – since 1941. However, Virovitica-Podravina County saw a good business opportunity, it found the owners and offered them 80,000 kuna. And they said “yes”, reports Vecernji List on October 16, 2015.
The new owner then turned towards European funds and, in cooperation with its Hungarian neighbours, turned the 80,000 kuna investment into a 10 million kuna budget. The manor will soon open its doors as a hotel with 18 rooms, a restaurant, and a cycling centre. Since 2012, the county has bought two more manors, in Cabuna and Suhopolje. “If someone wants to sell a castle or a manor, of course, for a reasonable amount of money, they should let us know”, county prefect Tomislav Tolušić said. There are about a dozen such historically significant buildings in the area, and more than 1,300 castles and manors in the whole of Croatia. Unfortunately, many of them are ruins and with many there are also ownership issues. “The manor was mortgaged. We did not have to pay anything, but it took us many months to solve the problems”, Tolušić said.
Janković Castle in Suhopolje is a cultural monument for the mid-18th century, with over 3,500 square metres of indoor area and 7.5 hectares of parkland. The owners were asking for eight million kuna, but finally settled for a million and a half. Currently, the county is looking for possible opportunities to get aid from EU structural funds, in order to obtain the money necessary for opening of the only museum of intangible heritage in Croatia. The project is worth eight million euros. “We want to encourage other parts of Croatia to engage in the restoration of castles and manors as well”, said Josip Mikolčić, assistant director of the county Tourist Office.
Castle in Cabuna was owned by a local school. The county did not allowed it to sell it to someone else, but has rather bought it itself. It was completely destroyed in the 1960s, with only the outer walls and internal partition walls remaining. It has a building permit for the first hospice in continental Croatia co-financed from EU funds. The total cost of the project will be 43 million kuna.