A fairy tale journey through Vojvodina fields
Author: Jelena Stefanović
If you thought that fairy tales were reserved only for those who have blue blood - then you were wrong. Fairy tales, just a century or two ago were reserved for the members of the Dunđerski family, which two of the three castles that we visited belonged to. Of course, when you start this trip you should exclude the expectation that you will see something like Disney's castles. Here you will see modest but very lovely buildings that narrate us the life of the rich people of the 19th and 20th century.
Their lives were very interesting and exciting, so while listening to the tour guide, I wished for the story not to end.
At the beginning of the fairy-tale journey, first we saw kastel Ecka (kastel-castle, Hungarian), the former luxury-hunting house, which opened two hundred years ago. Over 300 elite guests were present on the opening. The castle maintained its luxurious feel, mostly because it is privatized and not neglected, unlike some other castles in Vojvodina. Today, it operates as a hotel where every lover of hedonism and peace can enjoy.
Beside the castle there is an old church whose tower is visible from the beautiful garden of the castle and,thus, it completes the fairy-tale feel of the area.
Also, there is an interesting story related to the stay of the famous Franz Ferdinand just in this place, for hunting, but this story will be better told by the tour guides.
The castle, built to exceed the beauty of the royal one, was our second destination. That is Fantast castle, located in the infinite Vojvodina fields, surrounded by the natural shade of its gardens. Bogdan Dunđerski erected this building of peaceful white colour. Although there is no official evidence, it is said that it was made according to his idea and the inspiration he got from traveling across Europe. However, it must be added, that his best friend, the great Serbian painter, Uros Predic was a big help to him.
I was impressed also by the small chapel, the fascinating view from the top of the tower of the castle, the tranquility of the park with a view of the castle, the former salons, but also by a small stable where I had the opportunity to enjoy horse riding for a while. Unfortunately, today's stable is not even close to what it used to be. They say, when Bogdan was alive, this stable counted 1400 racehorses. But in the end, it is definitely nice to see these noble animals and spend some time with them. Ladies who still believe in fairy tales can find at least a castle and a horse in Fantast, only the prince stays to be found. J
As I said, we had the chance to visit the small chapel, which was also built by Bogdan Dunđerski. Unfortunately, the chapel was robbed in the past and a lot of artwork by Uros Predic disappeared, but what's left is enough to catch the attention of art lovers.
By the way, the chapel serves as the final resting place of Bogdan Dunđerski, and except him someone else was supposed to be buried there; an interesting story that the curators will tell you.
Another interesting corner of this building is the former swimming pool, which is now empty, and it looks like the remains of some ancient ruins.
We went on the road to the next destination, very satisfied with the visit of this former castle, and today's small hotel and restaurant.
The last fairytale location on the excursion was Dunđerski Castle in Kulpin. This elegant unique castle, which has served a lot to filmmakers from Serbia, unfortunately is in bad condition. However, to my travel companions and me, its conditions was neither bothersome nor spoiled the experience. Sometimes trips should be a kind of warning: to get us to know what kind of treasure we have and to guard good things from oblivion and decay.
The curator took us for a walk through an exciting story of history of this castle and his owners, but also through the rooms where we could see furniture from the 20th century.
Although I did not have the expectation that this could be interesting to me, I was very pleased with the visit at the Museum of Agriculture, which is located in the former auxiliary building of this castle. The curator, in a convenient and exciting way, explained us the meaning of the exhibits, but also their symbolism, which, in fact, lies in the importance of agriculture to the Dunđerski family.
Beautiful Vojvodina is the real fertile area for agriculture, it is enough to say that there is joke that if you throw a button in her ground - something will sprout. Dunđerski were the lucky ones because their fields were in Vojvodina.
Finally, with heads still in the clouds where the fairy tales were, we moved to a pleasant lunch in the shade of a Vojvodina salaš (former farmhouse, converted into an authentic ethnic restaurant). The travel companions were cheerfully exchanging impressions, the sounds of knocking glasses full of quality wine, the laughter, but also the sounds of satisfaction at the first bite of extraordinary tasty food sounded/ filled the place. Pleasure was in the air and calm smiles on our lips. Can we ask for more from one Sunday?
Program for this excursion: https://www.serbianadventures.com/en/adventure/view/126/castles-of-vojvodina-and-salas-country-retreat-dep-from-belgrade