Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

The Borelli house in Sv Filip Jakov

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This blog proved to be a great place to meat very interesting folks! Few months back, when writing about the cave in Vrana, I got an email from Mrs. Vesna Borelli who was interested in finding more on the hundred years old graffiti in the cave that were done by her ancestors who owned the village in the past.
So, we decided to meet in Sv Filip Jakov when she comes over.

Mrs. Borelli showing us a painting of Sv. Filip Jakov in her house

The Borelli house is one of those places with special history and special connection to the place where it stands. As kids, we often imagined what was behind the big walls and who lived there. Years later, when I had a chance to meet the late Mr. Igor Borelli and his sister Zoe, the house was much more beautiful that we were able to picture it. It is a beautiful piece of “turn of the century” architecture with amazing arboretum as a garden. Now, when we look at the buildings from our “fin de siècle”, we can only say that we have nothing to show to our children but amazingly ugly, yet colorful concrete monsters. Educated noblemen from 19th century are still proving superior to “nouveau riche” powered only by greed…

Classic beauty!

The meeting with Vesna was quite pleasant and we discussed so many things! It is funny that my ancestors were working the lands of her ancestors and, if we had met about 80 to 100 years ago, I would be most likely her servant. But things changed lot in the past 60 years… However, Borelli family is still respected and I keep hearing only great things about them from the older generations that still remember Vesna’s grandfather and father.

The house now is pretty much stripped from most of the antiques that once used to be here and only several paintings (very artistic family!) and family photos still remain. Everything valuable is in the museums.The value of the house is in what it stands for: beautiful piece of architecture and family deeply connected with this region. The first Borelli to arrive from Bologna was Bartolomeo, governor general (Captain of the Fort) in Knin, and father of Franjo (Francesco) who in 1752 got the fief of Vrana and who was the mastermind of the Prosika Kanal.

The garden

The garden has a special value.

It was started back in 1902/03. by Alfonsu Borelliju, then the owner of the house. It was designed in baroque style popular with Italian architects at the same period. Many exotic plants are still there: abies pinsapo /Abies pinsapo Boiis/, grecian fir /Abies cephalonica Laudon/, atlas cedar /Cedrus atlantica/ and numerous more.

The classical details

Borelli house, with it’s garden, is one of the most important examples of traditional architecture in the region. It can also be a great place for art classes or even cooking classes and it looks picture perfect for small, classy weddings!

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