The home of a famous Croatian governor became our CIG ‘home’

June’s CIG course, held in a magnificent Croatian manor, could not have come at a better time. A welcome breather from coronavirus.

After two months of lockdown and hearing the ‘stay home’ mantra every day, seeing information about a CIG course was an unspeakable pleasure. Moreover, it was exciting to learn that the location would be Novi Dvori, the manorial estate of the most famous Croatian Ban, Josip Jelačić von Bužim, in a town near the Croatian capital, Zagreb.

Novi Dvori represents a valuable monument of cultural and historical heritage and a unique example of the preservation of the entire economic manorial complex. It consists of a manor house, a park, a chapel, the tomb of the Jelačić family, residential and farm buildings, and a forest. The round ‘Vršilnica’ (threshing barn) is the only such farm building remaining in Croatia, and dates from the 17th century. It was completely renovated and has been turned into a multimedia centre. The former three-storey granary was also renovated and turned into a gallery, later a museum.

In this wonderful environment, breathing literally full lungs of air in the open space, we adopted and mastered the techniques of interpreting cultural and natural heritage through countless excellently designed, useful and applicable exercises. Our 'orchestra', which consisted of like-minded people of different ages and professions, was dynamically, cheerfully, but at the same time professionally, 'conducted' by our trainer, Ivana Zrilić. It was Ivana's first CIG course as a trainer. If she had not told us herself, we would not have felt or noticed it, even for a moment.

We all knew at least something about Novi Dvori, but we all found out a lot of new things during the course. And the most important is not only new facts, but also the possibilities and ways to incorporate new knowledge into phenomena, how to turn them into experiences, how to provoke participants’ emotions, how to provide deeper meanings and finally encourage respect for their heritage.

Although the course was held over weekends, we were happy to come to the site with a wonder of what new knowledge, exercises, discoveries, and surprises waited there for us. We felt like we were at home. Novi Dvori became our new home during the five-day course. We felt like a family. One hardworking family where everyone works. And then the results come. Thanks to that, ideas for some new interpretive walks have opened.

We were delighted how many possibilities there are to interpret interestingly, interactively and with appropriate emotions not only the tangible heritage of the site – manor house, chapel, family tomb, farm buildings, trees along the beautiful valley, wild onions growing all around – but also intangible heritage as well, through people who once lived there and their personalities. And not only the heritage of Novi Dvori, but all the other heritage in Croatia. And there is an abundance of it, not only in Croatia, but in the entire world, too. That is why all of us who have adopted new knowledge and techniques of interpretation, no matter in which corner of the world we live, have such a delightful task ahead of us – to present and interpret our heritage in this way.

Marina Krivošić has been a certified tourist guide for Zagreb city and Zagreb County since 2009 and works as a freelance tourist guide in Croatia. She completed the course for IE Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) in June 2020. Marina can be contacted at:

To cite this article:
Krivošić, Marina (2020) 'The home of a famous Croatian governor became our CIG ‘home’'. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 3-2020,13.
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