Travel

18th Century Castle Ruin in Slavonia to Become a 5-Star Hotel

By 5 October 2017

Janković castle in Suhopolje is going through a serious transformation process.

Once a stunning estate that belonged to the noble Janković dynasty, the 18th century castle has spent dozens of years in a state of decay. Not anymore, though – the gorgeous piece of architecture is currently undergoing renovation works that will transform it into a 5-star hotel, reports Lokalni on October 5, 2017.

The castle was built in the middle of the 18th century as a home for the Janković, along with an adjacent chapel that was used as a family mausoleum. The place later housed various inhabitants: it served as a home for children who lost their parents in World War II, then temporarily became a dormitory for seasonal workers from Bosnia. The company PIK Suhopolje ran its offices in the castle for a while, and the building also used to house a school. It burned down twice, ending up in a state of complete disarray by the 90s.

Suhopolje municipality first sold the castle and the adjoining gardens to an entrepreneur from Istria. The new owner rebuilt the entrance, but later gave up on planned investments. Virovitica-Podravina County repurchased the building in 2012 for 1.7 million kuna; a similar amount of 1.5 million kuna was invested in documentation for the renovation project. It might sound like a large amount, but the county will soon see the fruits of the invested funds.

"New job opportunities will be created, and Suhopolje is on its way to become one of the most attractive destinations on the cultural tourism map. The project will help improve the management of cultural heritage, secure economic development and provide employment for the local population", stated Kristijan Toplak from the PR department of Virovitica-Podravina County.

The future function of the former castle makes perfect sense, considering the fact the county currently disposes of 300 beds only. The number of tourists is growing, and the area could very well use the new accommodation facilities that are about to open in Suhopolje.

Renovation works started in May 2017, and the reconstruction should be completed two years from now. The project is worth around 40 million kuna, with 33 million provided by EU funds. As the local authorities stated, it was 'the last train to renovation'.

Janković castle will thus house a 5-star hotel with 15 rooms and a Centre for visitors. It won't be just a tourist destination, though, as the project has an interesting educational note: high school and college students specialising in hospitality and tourism will work as the hotel staff as part of their professional training. Receptionists, chefs, cleaning staff, management… all job positions will be occupied by students mentored by experts in their respective fields. The main goal of this initiative is to inspire the young citizens to stay in their homeland, but also to provide them with outstanding skills they will need in the job market one day. According to Jutarnji, this unusual employing policy will lead to the accommodation prices being significantly lower than in other facilities in the 5-star category – as low as 50 euro per night!

The county doesn't plan to sell the new object to the highest bidder once it's up and running, as they claim they're perfectly capable of running the hotel themselves in order to provide the region with a valuable new destination, and do their part to create a hopeful future for the youth in Slavonia.

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