On June 13, 2019, the renovated birthplace of Petar Preradović was officially opened to the public.
Preradović’s house was built in 1775 and has been renovated several times by far. The last major renovation was in 1968 when the house became home to one of the first museums dedicated to a writer. After 50 years of atmospheric influence, the time has come for a new thorough renovation, but also for the creation of a new contemporary cultural and tourist attraction inspired by the poet’s life and work.
Thanks to the European Union and the funds from the Interreg Cross-border Co-operation Program Hungary-Croatia, within the project “Preradović & Csokonai”, the Municipality of Pitomača has renovated and adapted the birthplace of Petar Preradović in Grabrovnica, which has become a modern interpretation center. With the help of these projects, the Municipality restored and reconstructed the roof, installed new carpentry, restored the facade and installations (mechanical – heating and cooling and electrical installations – electrical network, IT network, fire alarm and video surveillance). The basement and attic have not been used for the purpose of exhibits before, but with this project they have been restored and prepared for exhibits, too. Part of the external environment has also been arranged: parking, access lanes, fencing, as well as several pieces of multimedia equipment.
At the entrance (hall) of the renovated House there is a multimedia exhibit “Virtual Reality” where one can see and go through a 3D reconstruction of the birthplace of Petar Preradović. The view is from a low perspective (the height of a child) so that the visitor can enjoy this time as well as so that the visitor can put himself in the shoes of a child of 7-10 years. From the entrance you enter a room with an info desk and a gift shop with LED LCD 24’’ “multitouch” screen that offers information about the tourist offer of the Municipality of Pitomača and its surroundings.
The first exhibition room gives an insight into the earliest days, childhood and early school days of Petar Preradović by providing information about the characteristics of his homeland (which he will leave). The purpose of this room is to show characteristics of the homeland in the time in which Preradović lived, with an emphasis on the characteristics of life at that time at the political and linguistic border (the border of military reserve and everyday rural life, the border between the multi-ethnic Slavic and monarchy Austrian population, the border between Croatian and German languages). Visitors begin to “get to know” Preradović as a poet (and writing with a goose feather as an interactive element in the composition accompanied by scents and sounds achieves engagement and multisensory effect).
The second exhibition room presents visitors with the “military paths” of Petar Preradović, which are imbued with constant “slippages” into the written word and with the exploration of language and poetic expression through meeting and socializing with Croatian Illyrians.
The third exhibition room is entirely creative in character because it is dedicated to Preradović’s poetry. Flowers, Herbs and Seedlings (as the poet himself divided his poems in the Seedlings collection) are the basis for interpreting Preradović’s work. Each of these three segments shows the characteristics of Preradović’s poetic motives (romantic love, homeland, language, national pride …) arising from his attitude and thinking about life and the world. Interactive content such as completing a poem, jointly composing verses or quizzes about poetic interpretations can further engage and entertain the visitors.
The basement space (entitled Encounters) is, as the title itself says, an encounter between the visitor and Petar Preradović in a holographic form, but perhaps also of the visitor and his own consciousness and views that are the same or different from the poet’s. The ways in which these encounters are accomplished are by means of questions (predetermined) that visitors can choose from and receive answers from the “living” poet by means of a direct quote from his poetry, autobiography, letters or answers that make up the interpretation of the poems.
The attic is the place where the content of others about Preradović is presented. It consists of fine arts, music, theory and other written works that talk about or present Preradović and his work. It also presents Preradović’s family and heirs as well as a homage to the first museum exhibit from 1968 and the people who created it. It is a place where a visitor can enjoy audio-visual records of Grabrovnica and the poet, listen to compositions based on Preradović’s poems, and browse through his poetic collections.
We also suggest all visitors to watch the feature documentary “I, Preradović” which lasts about 20 minutes.
What we offer here is a different approach based on multimedia content animation with expert guidance to meet all visitor requirements.
You can visit the Petar Preradović Interpretation Center from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Visiting is also possible outside of business hours, but with a mandatory advance notice.
Organized group visits can be arranged through following contacts:
phone: 033 8987 117, 098 978 1230
More about the Petar Preradović Interpretation Center itself can be found at: http://www.preradovic.eu/ and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/petarpreradovic200/