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Janković Castle in Suhopolje will enchant you at first sight

Janković Castle is a restored castle located in the municipality of Suhopolje, in Virovitica-Podravina County, not far from the town of Virovitica. This weekend we had the opportunity to visit the castle, the park around it and the restaurant and cafe next to the castle because we were invited to celebrate a diamond feast (60th wedding anniversary!) held at the Park restaurant.

Janković Castle
Janković Castle

The first thing we noticed when we drove to the entrance to the park were the city parking lots where there were only a few cars. We of course liked it because we knew where to park in case there was no space in the park next to the restaurant. However, we decided to try our luck, so we drove into the park and to several parking spaces in front of the restaurant. We were lucky because we arrived a little earlier so we managed to catch a spot quite close to the restaurant.

Parking near the restaurant
Parking near the restaurant

We decided to take a walk in the park around the castle

After we parked, a friend and I decided to take a walk in the park considering that the celebrants and a good part of the guests still hadn’t come, and we really didn’t feel like sitting in a cafe – especially because we noticed that the trails in the park were beautifuly decorated and ideal for walking. The park (park) around the castle covers 7.99 ha. The promenade, which is easiest to describe as two circles with a few extra alleys, is paved with concrete tiles, and the two main lanes are wide enough to be used by cars, while side lanes are pedestrian-only and set to frame the park or intersect green areas. 

The park itself was built in a free landscape style and represents a cultural heritage from our earlier garden art. In addition to domestic tree species that can be found elsewhere in the Republic of Croatia, the park includes many introduced species either as solitaires or groups, such as: black walnut, gymnocladus, plane trees, ginkgo biloba, red beech, magnolia and others. Currently, the park is in its most beautiful edition since April has come, when all the plants wake up, so the park is completely green. This fact especially delighted our eyes otherwise accustomed to the gray city scenes as we were able to rest them completely here looking at the green paradise that appeared before our eyes.

Park around Janković Castle
Park around Janković Castle

While walking around the plants, we noticed that every few meters in front of us there are boards with various information related to Suhopolje and Virovitica-Podravina County. Although this park seems like a place you can come just to relax, we realized that it also offers educational content in a very unobtrusive way. Of course, we stopped next to (almost) everyone and read what was written on them. Thus, we learned that Virovitica-Podravina County includes 13 counties, including Suhopolje, where we celebrate today.

In addition, one of the interesting boards was the one with some information about the first Lipizzaner horses in Croatia. (All animal lovers will stop to read what is written here, we have no doubt about that!) The first Lipizzaner horses came to us back in 1700 in the Terezovac stud farm (as this area used to be called) to Count Janković, after whom is Janković Castle named. Count Janković was the first to start breeding them, and since then these beautiful animals have become part of the Slavonian tradition and the pride of Croats, so they often appear at folklore festivals, equestrian competitions and other events.

Lipizzaner horses
Lipizzaner horses

We were soon invited to join the celebration at the Park Restaurant

As we read about the Lipizzaners we heard someone calling us saying that the celebrants had arrived. We quickly turned around and headed for the restaurant. On the way to the restaurant on the right there is a small playground for children with a tree house, the construction of a house with a slide, several swings and seesaws, and what caught our attention – a trampoline for jumping!

If you are wondering if we dared to jump – the answer is of course yes, but not while it was still a full day and while all the guests were here…

Children's playground next to the Park restaurant - Janković Castle
Children's playground next to the Park restaurant

Part of the restaurant is designed as a glass terrace and the room behind is a slightly larger capacity and is located right in the building. The cafe is located next to the restaurant, so during our party there were people who just came to drink coffee, and they could choose between sitting on the terrace or in the interior of the cafe. Given the beautiful spring day, most guests chose the terrace. We entered the glass terrace area where we were greeted by connected tables with white tablecloths and plates. We immediately thought that whiteness would not last long…

As soon as we entered, we said hello to the celebratory couple – 60 years of marriage seems to us an incredible achievement. We’re not sure we’ve heard of a lot of people who have managed to stay together for so long and still experience a celebration like this. Since the other guests, apart from our parents, were mostly older people, we knew that what we were waiting for, before we decided to walk to Janković Castle again, was actually food. First on the menu was homemade noodle soup that we ate in minutes. Then came to the table what we had been waiting for – platters with meat, potatoes and salads. It is not enough to say that we overeat…

Janković Castle

After taking a few minutes off from a hearty meal, we decided it would be wise to get up and take a walk as this would help us stop feeling heaviness in our stomachs. I know what you’re going to think – “So why did you overeat in the first place?” – Well, because we don’t eat like this every day and we had to try everything that was on offer! And we didn’t have to pay for anything ourselves…

Considering that the Janković castle is only a few meters away from the restaurant, we quickly reached it. Of course, we first headed to the entrance itself because we were drawn to the rooftop in this part of the castle that looks like it came out of some Disney movie. Today, the castle has actually been converted into a Visitor Center, and within it there is a multimedia exhibition space that combines tourist, natural, cultural, artistic, tangible and intangible sights and heritage of this area. It is also possible to stay in the castle as it contains 15 4-star double rooms, 5D cinema with 20 seats on the ground floor of the west wing, restaurant with about 50 seats in the west wing, multimedia room on the ground floor of the west wing, outdoor restaurant for 40 people (part of the restaurant), an exhibition space in the hallways and a creative laboratory. Also, the castle is a suitable place for team buliding, given that the offer includes a conference room that can accommodate about 40 people.

Janković Castle 3
Janković Castle

We actually found all this information on the internet and read it on some of the boards around the castle because we couldn’t actually get inside considering we were invited to a celebration that only took a few hours and no one rented rooms in the castle. Still, what we could do was tour the entire castle from the outside and see what it looks like. We have to admit that the back is no less beautifully decorated than the front. In addition, from the back we noticed a large area where it would be ideal to organize a wedding. We thought that wedding photos in a place like this would be really beautiful – even more if the bride was in a gorgeous crinoline… it would really be a scene from a Disney movie!

The back side of Janković Castle
The back side of Janković Castle

Now enough guests of the cafe have left and the darkness is slowly starting to fall, so we concluded that it was the right time for the trampoline!

We think that you are never too old to have fun, so if the road ever takes you to Janković Castle, except for it, the park and the restaurant – try the trampoline.

Your CTC Team, A. M.

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