identity brochure


identity brochure

About us
ASSOCIATION FOR REBUILDING/RESTORATION AND REVITALIZATION OF STOJAN JANKOVIC CASTLE – BRIDGES’ (official English name; shortened ‘BRIDGES’, or “Drustvo za obnovu i revitalizaciju Kule Stojana Jankovica – Mostovi” (official Croatian name) was founded in 2006 with the main purpose to help and accelerate the rebuilding and the revitalization of the Jankovic Castle
The Association has been officially established in y. 2006, but unofficially started in 2003, when the first ambitious Project was proposed.
In accordance with the objectives of the Association BRIDGES – defined in detail by its Statute (and apparent from the Association’s name) – the efforts of its members and all four owners of the Jankovic Castle, who are also the members, have been concentrated in two main directions:
a) The activities concerned with the physical rebuilding of the Jankovic Castle, and
b) the revitalization activities in or about the Castle, in order to help both the Castle and its local surroundings:

1. Background and Vision
Bukovica and Ravni Kotari region in the Zadar’s hinterland has for many centuries been a crossroad for different civilizations and religions which have originated a unique and vibrant diversity. These influences have led to bonds between the communities, to the fertile intercultural mixing but also to tensions and hostilities that sometimes explode in military clashes as have happened in the recent war. Many sites and monuments are examples of such cultural interaction. Some of these were badly affected by war-related actions.
The Association BRIDGES, apart from its primary and most urgent goal of physical rebuilding, restoration and revitalization of the destroyed Jankovic Castle, also wants to launch the actions that will raise the awareness of cultural diversity in the Western Balkans, build confidence and support to local education and development of the region. The actions can provide a tangible contribution bringing great benefits to the communities and encouraging the access to sites of great historic and symbolic value promoting the stabilisation of the region. We, as a society should start portraying heritage as a shared historical but also modern societal value. It encourages the building of bridges between various ethnic and religious communities, hence fostering reconciliation, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in the region.
Our vision is to go beyond the restoration of historic buildings and sites but to place heritage at the heart of the rehabilitation process, aiming in the long term to revitalise the social and economic fabric of communities. The cliché that “built heritage is a barrier to progress” has been successfully overcome, by demonstrating its key role in spatial planning and sustainable development, balancing the protection and new role devoted to heritage, improving the quality of life for the long-term benefit of local inhabitants. In this specific case, for a region in the closest proximity to the Adriatic coast, a tourism oriented activities are especially emphasized in our endeavours.

2. Physical restoration of the Jankovic Castle
As an exceptional historic first-category monument of culture heavily damaged in the last war, the Ministry of Culture is repairing the Castle from the 2002, but with rather limited yearly funds. In the 2008. the Association ‘BRIDGES’ has been granted the duty (and right) to organize all steps in the reconstruction/repair works in the Castle. They included the formation of the Priority list of most urgent works (within Budget limits), to organize the process and finally to choose the most favorable/optimal architects, builder and the professional supervision of work quality – all licensed to work on heritage/art objects. The Ministry’s Conservation Department in Zadar, is conducting the conservatory supervision. Hence, we ensured that all works have been performed at the highest professional standards.
Although the funds granted by the Ministry of Culture were regularly considerably lower than it had been proposed, in the last two years the Association ‘BRIDGES’ managed to carry out a rather ambitious rebuilding plans thanks to an additional donation to the Association from the Government at the end of 2008 .
With increased funds, and owing to the very careful and rational elaboration of the priority list of works, a strict control of amounts and cost of every item, by the control of the execution of contracted works, and also owing to the deduction we managed to negotiate from the building contractor the restoration of the Castle accelerated enormously in the last 3 years..
Up to the end of 2010 the basic rebuilding/restoration of the number of buildings, referred to as ‘old house’, ‘great hall’, ‘new wing’, ‘tower building’ and ‘storehouse’ were covered under new roofs, the buildings’ walls were repaired and reinforced, and almost all the outer wooden doors and windows of all these buildings were executed. Furthermore, in 2010 the stairway leading to the upper and lower levels of the fort (which was burnt in the war) was also reconstructed. Last but not the least, in 2010 a considerable part of the infrastructure – sewage ducts, water and power supply – were reconstructed.
The outer walls and entrances were also repaired: In 2009 the extensive repairs done to the eastern high outer wall and the reconstruction of the fallen arch surmounting the main gate. The badly damaged main entrance gate to the complex was reconstructed, In 2010 the south wall of the complex was also repaired, the missing parts of the wall around the main gate were put in, and the gate itself (which had disappeared in the war) was reconstructed based to the photos taken in 1914 and 1960. Thus was the closing of the outer wall of the complex finally completed.
Those were the crucial steps and the precondition for proceeding towards bringing these facilities to fulfilling the functions planned for 2011-12: to return and exhibit the ethnographic collection in the spacious “Ancient kitchen” and to organize and equip the Great hall as an exhibition venue – the Proposal offered for 2011 Tourism Cares Grant.
These rather successful achievements bring us closer to the re-opening the Jankovic Castle to visitors, to visiting tours and to the realization of the Castle’s potential to become not only a tourist destination but also a promoter of the tourism of this region in general.
With this aim in view the Association is planning a number of new projects, among the first being the workshop “Economic value of heritage as a spur to tourism-based industry” which will be held on the premises of the Castle. This paves the way to a new long-term perspective which is to show how a cultural monument, if properly evaluated and adequately presented, can be used for both the promotion of social cohesion and economic growth.

3. Revitalization activities in the Jankovic Castle
The members of the Association ‘BRIDGES’ carried out numerous preparatory works for field actions, was a co-organizer of a number of activities, and in most events members of ‘BRIDGES’ were also among the speakers. More particularly:
Activities within Jankovic Castle since 2005:
– Commemoration of the 100th birthday of Vladan Desnica, Jankovic Castle, 17. Sept. 2005 (held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia). This event actually marked the restarting activities in, at the time, still heavily damaged Castle with just one building under the roof.
International Work Youth Camps –summer 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Youth from, Belgium, France, Australia… cleared all the ruble from the damaged buildings of the Castle
Cultural-scientific gatherings “Desnica’s Encounters” (‘Desnicini susreti’) – held partly in Jankovic Castle in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (2011 in preparation)
– Summer schools ‘Cultural heritage: research, protection and revitalization works held in the Castle in 2007, 2008,, 2009 and 2010.
– Field-work of the Department of Ethnology, Zagreb University (acquiring data in villages Islam Grcki, Islam Latinski, Kasic); a separate book with results printed in 2010
– Filming of the part of the Japanese documentary-animated film: ‘Stojan Jankovic – Hero of the Border’ (Prof. Ishao Koshimura, from Zokei University, Tokyo, Japan)
– Fair of NGOs of the region in the Jankovic Castle (over 20 NGOs participated, exchanging experiences and networking.
Several Projects took place partly in the Castle, in particular:
Mostovi (Bridges) – since 2003 – on (with numerous-sub-projects)
InterReg III (Zagreb University-Padua University)
EU EIHDR Project: Old Castle – New Bridges , Center for Peace Studies and partners (2009- 20010)
EU EIHDR Project: Old Castle – More Bridges , Center for Peace Studies and partners (2010 – 2010)
Discussions about long term revitalization of the Jankovic Castle:
Many prominent figures from education, science, culture, politics visited Castle to discuss possibilities of its revitalization, including the President of the Republic of Croatia Mr. Stjepan Mesic, dean of the University of Zadar, vice-dean of the University of Zagreb, etc
Activities aimed at helping the local community
Fom the beginning the Association has been assisting the process of return of displaced person, and helping persons newly returned to the village to effectively materialize their lawful rights and to protect their belongings, by finding out for them the right persons they should address or contact etc.
Furthermore, the activities conducted in the Castle helped in speeding the repairment of basic infrastructure of the village Islam Grcki like electricity lines and, extremely important, the de-mining of the surroundings.
Association’s website,, contains, along with the activities of the Association, a high-quality visual material related to the Jankovic Castle as well as a series of texts (in Croatian, English, French and Italian) about the Castle, the personalities connected with the Castle, cultural heritage of the region Ravni Kotari, etc
Much more details about all these activities and future plans can be found in the Jankovic Castle brochure, presented separately.

BRIDGES has among its members a number of experts from academia circles (more than 15 members with PhD,, dipl. ing., MD and other titles), which are multidisciplinary, from technical, natural, medical and biomedical sciences to social sciences, humanities and arts. As professionals, some BRIDGES members have been participating in several scientific EU projects from FP6 and FP7, as well as serving as EU experts-evaluators in Brussels for FP6 and FP7 Proposals. Hence, BRIDGES members can competently participate in designing and implementing a number of research activities and projects in the Jankovic Castle, especially those with emphasis on sustainable development, then in all projects/research that require access to the art/history objects from Collections or Archives of either Jankovic Castle or writer Vladan Desnica, etc. BRIDGES also has an extensive knowledge on local and regional circumstances, which is helpful in defining local-specific research, educational or development projects.
Association Bridges has also around 40 members from the villages around Castle (Islam Grcki, Kašic….), as well as members from several foreign countries.

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