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A deserted location becomes a tourist attraction

A deserted location becomes a tourist attraction
The dessert Višnjica, in the borough of Sopje, not far from Slatina, is the national winner for the European destination of excellence- EDEN 2010/2011.

Up until five years ago, it was an uncared for and devastated complex of buildings, the centre of a failed agricultural company with a herd of Arabic horses. Today it is one of the most beautiful Slavonian tourist destinations. As an organized form of living accommodation in the 18th and 19th centuries, as part of Austro-Hungary, the ‘deserts’ became heritage of Slavonia and this part of Europe. The ‘desert’ is a spacious agricultural land that is not cultivated, but serves for breeding and the feeding of cattle. Višnjica is the first desert in Slavonia that is being completely remodelled and into which more than 5 million euros has been invested. When it is completely finished it will have nine theme gardens: The Stribor Forest, The Garden of Good Neighbours, The Celtic Garden and others. Višnjica desert, along with accommodation units, has a small congress hall , offers authentic Slavonian cuisine, a horse herd of around seventy horses, a breeding place for deer, mouflons and medicinal plants. The hosts organize one day trips to the nature park Papuk and the river Drava, then a riding school, rides with four wheelers and bicycles, paintballing, various workshops and other activities according to the season.

The desert Višnjica was first mentioned in the middle of the 19th century as an agricultural good. At the time of economic and demographic growth it was governed by two noble families, the German family Schaumburg-Lippe, most famous for starting the first production of champagne on Croatian land in Slatina and the noble family of Count Drašković (Ivan Drašković), which built one of the most developed estates of its kind in Slavonia. Thanks to these owners Višnjica continued to develop, and so in the beginning of the 20th century becomes a settlement with 200 inhabitants and with its facilities represents a prototype of sustainable development. Višnjica was one of the richest and most developed locations in this part of Slavonia. As part of the estate, there was a local primary school, a grocery shop, a small ER and various social and cultural facilities (cinema and theatre performances) as well as some sports facilities. It is an interesting fact that electric energy needed for the factory and private households at that time, was produced from recycled power sources. Also built was a hard liquor factory that worked up until the 60`s of the last century.

The second part of the 20th century was marked by a significant migration of the population. At the beginning of 2005, Višnjica estate was taken over by a private owner, whose goal was to save and revitalize the unique horse herd of Arabic horses in this part of Europe.

The project EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) was launched in 2005 and is based on national competitions that result in choosing the tourist destination of excellence for each country with a main goal to attract attention to valuables, diversity and common landmarks of European tourist destinations and then bring together the awarded ones. The awarded areas are mostly less known European destinations, located in 27 member countries and candidate countries.

The Tourist Board of Virovitica-Podravina County.
www.tzvpz.hr

Pustara Višnjica
www.visnjica.hr
 
 

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