CASTLE - NAŠICE
Manor House Museum of the Countess Composer
Nasice must be doing something right. A pleasant town on the main road from Varadin (see Varazdin Baroque City) and the railroad between the capital of Zagreb and the eastern city of Osijek (see Osijek on the Drava), in the province of Slavonia. Našice (pronounced Na-shi-tse) suffered significant damage during the Croatian “Homeland War” of 1991, but has done a lot to recover. In the last few years the town, first mentioned in historic records as early as 1229, has won awards for the best city park, best museum and a few other bests, for which they are rightfully proud, so either the fix is in or they’re doing something right.
In the heart of Nasice on green park grounds is the very pretty 19th Century baronial mansion, once owned by the noble Pejacevic family, known as the Pejacevic Castle. The manor house was first built in 1811, then renovated in 1864 with an added more ornate faux-Baroque façade, additional decoration and two corner towers during the grand époque age of European nobility. The Pajacevics originally came from Bulgaria and named as counts by Kaiser Leopold I in 1696. The Pajacevics moved around a bit with one branch of the family purchasing the large estate around Nasice in 1734. The family produced a couple of important Croatian political figures, but the person most connected with the house is Croatia’s first woman composer, Dora Pejacevic. She was born in Budapest in 1885, where her father Count Teodor Pejacevic married the Hungarian Countess Lilla Vay de Vaya, a prominent pianist who started her daughter with early piano lessons. Dora Pejacevic, a child prodigy, began composing when she was 12 years old. She lived only a portion of her life in Nasice, studying in Zagreb and she died from childbirth complications in Munich in 1923 and is buried in the local cemetery.
One of the curiosities of the house is that it had no kitchen, meals were prepared in the servants house and carried to the mansion by an electrical rail dumbwaiter through an underground tunnel. Most of the rooms of the mansion are taken up today by the local Ethnographic and Historical Museum of Našice, with displays of historic periods from prehistoric up to the Second World War. The life of the nobility is represented by the remaining photos and mementos of the Pejacevic family. A more modest Croatian lifestyle is represented in what is called the "Peasant Room" set up as the interior of a typical three-room rural home. A weaving and spinning exhibit is quite colourful, and a collection of paintings by Croatian artists. The piano where the countess composer worked still resides in the upper salon under her portrait, as a rugged bust of the old count who watches in permanent regard. After World War II, during the Yugoslavia socialist era (see Marshal Tito Birth House), the "castle" came into public hands and the museum was opened in 1994. The surrounding park is in the English garden style, with a swan shaped pond and another smaller mansion built in 1901.
Fero Vino Winery
If wine touring through central Croatia (see Wine Hotel Vinarija) check out the local winery of Fero Vino, whose logo you'll see about town. The Fero Vino Vineyards wine cellar in Fericanci was first built in 1962 but the old equipment from the socialist era was acquired in 1995 and a modern boutique winery began operating under the the name of Feravino Fericanci. The cellar is located next to the main road of Podravska Magistrata, 6 miles west of Nasice in the center of Fericanci, worth a stop.
If you want to stay in Nasice, the Park Hotel is just next to the castle grounds, the restaurant serves daily brunches and weekend family buffets, with an outdoor patio and has an automated gambling casino, which seems quite popular throughout Croatia. © Bargain Travel Europe
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