Delnice is a quiet little town in Gorski Kotar, in the mountains near the sea, and full of surprises waiting to be shown to visitors.
Jelena Holenko Pirc (Lynx and Fox) and the STEP RI Science and Technology Park at the University of Rijeka, have designed a new, creative tour called “Live the Story of Delnice”. It was a part of the EU project ATLAS Interreg Italy – Croatia. The tour was created to reveal the valuable and diverse heritage of this town and the region of Gorski Kotar, both during the high tourist season in Croatia and outside of that period of the year.
The Hunting Lodge restaurant’s terrace in Delnice, which offers a fantastic view of the town, is an ideal starting point for the “Live the Story of Delnice” tour.
Take a deep breath of fresh air and inhale the aroma of medicinal herbs with which Jelena Holenko Pirc introduces you to the story of her town. Taste the well-known mountain herb liqueur and listen to what connects Jelena the most to her hometown. On the way to the centre of Delnice, Jelena will take you on a pleasant, relaxing stroll through the Park Forest Japlenški vrh, where you might get surprised by many things.
It may be a close encounter with a fallow deer that reside in enclosures in the forest, perhaps a Love Trail where you can read love verses, leave a message in a mailbox, hear the story of an unhappy Strawberry, and encounter many more surprises among the centuries-old trees.
The town park is a favorite place for residents of all ages, especially the young ones. It hides numerous stories that you cannot find easily on your own. Firstly, Jelena will take you to the time of the Kingdom of SHS and reveal why the social cream of the time came here for some enjoyment, and why the habit did not last. The reason is in one of the many monuments in the park, and Jelena will tell you its story!
She will then introduce you to the legacy of Grga Marjanović, an academic painter and professor who has left a deep mark with his works and also influenced future generations. The park houses his atelier with many works by this animalist, including the famous bear drawing, awarded at the First Meeting of European Animal Painters in Paris. In his honour, the citizens organise art colonies and gatherings in the park.
As a stroll through Delnice in the fresh mountain air is sure to whet your appetite, on this tour Jelena has in store something quite special. Since this dish is traditionally prepared for Easter, this tour will be a rare opportunity to taste the traditional culinary delicacy of Gorski Kotar – the “Mountain Stuffing” or, as locals call it “stomach.”
Along with yet another herb liqueur, you will taste it at the legendary Café Center, where you can also see an exhibition of paintings by local artists. The place also offers accommodation and accompanying facilities. In the center of Delnice, there are many houses along the main road, but one yard hides something truly special. Take a peek with Jelena at “Popović Mill,” a mill owned by the Mihelčić family who had returned from America a hundred years ago, and decided to invest money in the first electric mill in this region! Its fascinating mechanism, designed in Budapest, has been in operation since 1925.
The descendants of the Mihelčić family will show you, among other things, how this small factory works. Jelena will take you even further into the past of her hometown with a visit to the “Rački House,” the oldest house in Delnice and a cultural monument. Heritage keepers from the “Prepelin’c Ethno Association” and Delnice residents filled three rooms of this small house with objects from the everyday life of the 18th century. Each of them evokes the diligence and resourcefulness of the town’s people, as well as a series of customs that were interwoven in their lives, like some that Jelena will demonstrate by turning you into the main actors of at least one Delnice story!
“Live the Story of Delnice” tour comes to the inevitable end with a return to the culinary past. A guide on this inspiring journey is the owner and head chef of the “Kauzlarić Inn”, Boris Kauzlarić. As a true lover of culinary tradition, his desire is to revive the old recipes and restore the tradition of the mountain inns, taverns and boarding houses, where seasonal and locally available foods were used in preparing dishes. Make an extra hole in your belt and get ready for the ultimate culinary surprises and a story in which each plate is a delicious link to Delnice’s tradition and customs.
To find out more about the walking tour or to book your place, just visit Lynx and Fox FB page or write to [email protected].