Dubrovnik landscapes are outlined in a ring of saints who successfully kept watch for centuries over the city. Most of the people of Dubrovnik are grateful to them, which they show with regular ceremonies. Some, however, are ignored. Such is Orsula: a place with an empty name, although no doubt crucial in the Dubrovnik area. We were warned through his profject of this by Andro Vidak, a Dubrovnik entrepreneur for whom destiny requires that he situates his dream there.
The importance of ORSULA is in the fact that it was the only land access to Dubrovnik until the arrival of Napoleon's empire in the early 19th century. Sv. Orsula (Ursula), protector of girls, and a ravine 200 meters deep, with breaks in the sea, is connected with the place from which they threw disgraced and discarded Dubrovnik girls. We can assume that the thugs among influential gentlemen were not great advocates of Sv. ORSULA, but we'll let the historians answer the crucial question of the Dubrovnik calendar of saints where the patron of female cleanliness has faded along with other ancillary questions such as why the problem is pushed out of public consciousness, why none of the victims were not impose at least as a local heroine, etc.
We will not deal with either the most recent Croatian history, the transition, but only to invoke it as a framework for better understanding of the story, as is the case with the previous frame of the saints. If anything has marked the transition of Croatia, it is the unbelievable looting of public goods. Much of the goods belong to a few people. When it comes to matching some large companies, they use marketing to call it this or that empire, but when it comes to seizing exceptional physical property, called it a dream of this or that.
Andro Vidak develops his little dream of the revitalization of the forgotten historical value of ORSULA. His project is not realized by snatching others, but with hard and honest work he returns to the landscape what belonged to us all.
Orsula is a smaller sloping terrace on the southeastern tip of Srđa. Above it is the top of Žarkovica, and in the abyss below, it is the sea with Lokrum. This place was chosen by Andro Vidak for his business. For years, he says, he was walking the hills with his dog, looking for a piece of space which large capital has not noticed or that was not given to a foreign investor to „save" us. Had no money and no one's financial support. He chose Orsulu, not knowing what the administrative and business aspects of finding sites for the finalization of the project means. Four years it took him to arrange paperwork, a further two for his efforts to become visible enough to be able to illustrate the contours of sleep. Within the park Orsula, as it was called, situated on the lookout which is privately owned, he recently initiated the first activities of cultural tourism.
The first year he spent in resolving legal-property issues, and for months he waited for confirmation that the land is not mined. Then, in the site which was derelicted for hundreds of years he invested hundreds of hours, not counting on the help of others, friends and occasional employed workers. When would clear the thick bushes that would grow after who knows what fire, he would find garbage, stoves, construction waste.
"The whole of Croatia will grow into the weeds next to the administration, and sometimes I think that its job is just to share the reward itself. More than once in four years I was told there the case is so complicated that not even someone much stronger would easily resolve it. Or, e, my boy, there is so much in the thistle which needs to be renewed, so why would you pick this? It would kill the biggest optimist, but it could not kill me, "said Vidak, trying to reduce criticism to a minimum.
"It was difficult, but interesting: every meter of cleaned space has brought a new discovery. Beneath the layers of half a meter that we dug up some stairs, then you literally start digging with your nails, you can hardly wait for a new day to continue", he says.
"When I came to the ruins of the church, where there was a rusty car hood, I did not know if this is luck or misfortune. I informed Conservation Institute, and they did not even have it recorded in the list of monuments. They were pretty skeptical that there was anything I could do concerning the complicated procedure. The procedure followed: Geodetic shot that the architect took of the existing situation, based on that I got permission for an archaeological survey, whose results we have put in a historical context. " The church, according Vidak, was built by the will Dubrovnik womanTolle del Silvestrou from 1348 . In it people were buried until approximately 1430, it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1667. and restored, and lost its function after the destruction in the Russian-Montenegrin attack in the early 19th Century:
"All the above was necessary that we start restoring the building. It is the only thing paid by the state, all others were paid by himself, with partial assistance of property owners."
After they cleared the terrace space with the church, they grabbed the part of the old caravan route, which is not seen due to the vegetation. They removed from it separated rocks and used them to build boundaries, retaining walls and terraces and ensured it as a part of the new fence. Thus, the path itself is excellent value which partially restored its function, and the park Orsula at the bottom ensures romantic pedestrian access from the City.
When asked how he dealt with interior design, Vidak replied: "If you love nature, she herself says that you need. You follow the contour line that you set as a border, and the olives call for you to free it from the thorn rid ... It just goes. I've never been happier in my life , and I worked in the rain and snow, I was helped by my friends and my children and Marin and Đivo were often here. "
The result is a tame space with a number of simple paths with benches, an amphitheater and a small terrace with a church. As I was taking pictures of Orsula for about fifteen minutes at sunset, silhouette of a young couple stood motionless as a bronze statue. Behind them is a city with afaint pulsating light. On the other side was darkness, so I could well experience an impressive description of the way through ORSULA by Ivan Kukuljevića Sakcin from 1856, of which Andro Vidak spoke wildly, from the head.
We continued to talk along a small kiosk along the main road, which on the upper side was enriched by a park. It was a little disturbed by mosquitoes, and even more by tourists hungry for basic information. We ask him if it is always like this. He confirms. He says he proposed that the tourism authorities in collaboration with him add an info desk, but they have not shown interest in cooperation.
Park Orsula enters a new phase. During the day it should be a excursion place resort with a magnificent vista point, and in the evening a place with musical and theatrical performances. As it will be developed, it is difficult to say because it depends on many issues, some of them, such as atmospheric conditions, are outside of human influence. However, Dubrovnik sees it without division of positive values. Informally for weeks the positive information about ORSULA has been spreading, which these days has continued in the local media. Although it is a private project, all say it is important to yield the general interest. This is the opposite of bad spatial policy according to which Dubrovnik came into disrepute in Croatia and beyond.
While the evening lights glow, which cover in gold the landscape from Cavtat to Šipan, one cannot think of any argument against Vidaković's claims that it is a beautiful view over the Adriatic Sea, with 270 degrees of pure fantasy.