Visoko – The Visoko Manor, once home to Slovenian author, politician and Ljubljana mayor Ivan Tavčar (1851-1923), is being renovated with plans to set up a rehabilitation centre and secure tourist accommodation to revive the local economy and enable higher-quality tourist services in the region around the town of Škofja Loka, north-west.
The municipality of Gorenja Vas – Poljane started renovating the 17th century Visoko Manor with the hlep of state funding ten years ago.
The ground floor has already been turned into a wedding hall, a museum and a bar, and works on the manor’s basement are also underway.
The commercial premises will be renovated this year, including the roof, facade as well as windows and doors in a EUR 450,000 investment, with the Culture Ministry contributing EUR 190,000.
The next step will be to breathe new life into the Tavčar homestead by setting up a rehabilitation centre for patients recovering from heart or vascular surgery.
This is to be done in cooperation with Medicor, a centre for cardiovascular diseases led by cardiologist Metka Zorc.
Zorc has already played a part in bringing Tavčar’s heritage back to Visoko; as one of the author’s descendants, she lead the renovation of Tavčar’s tomb and the cemetery’s chapel in 2016. What is more, Tavčar’s son was a doctor and a pioneer of internal medicine.
In addition to an outpatient clinic, plans are underway to provide rooms with around 50 beds for patients and tourists. The municipality has applied for a grant of EUR 1.5 million to complete this part of the project.
Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti visited the Visoko Manor today, saying that he was pleased the renovation was progressing as planned.
He said that over the past two years, government funding had focussed on public cultural infrastructure across Slovenia, which had previously been overlooked.
Mayor Milan Čadež hopes to continue restoration efforts by building a wooden bridge across the river Poljanska Sora to allow direct access to the estate of Ivan Tavčar.
Tavčar is most known for The Visoko Chronicle (Visoška Kronika), a 1919 historical novel centring around two generations of Visoko estate owners.
Its themes – the Thirty Years War, witch hunts and the persecution of Protestants – culminate in the formation of Slovenian national identity, which was going through a decisive phase as Tavčar was writing the novel. Tavčar was also a politician in the Provincial Assembly, a lawyer, and the mayor of Ljubljana between 1912 and 1921.