ZAGREB, April 13 (Hina) – The Ministry of Culture has granted HRK 150,000 (€20,000) to Papuk Nature Park for archaeological excavations in the court chapel and vestry in the Ruzica Grad citadel, one of the largest preserved medieval fortified towns in Croatia, the ministry announced last week.
“Considering the overall condition of this cultural good, we are planning multi-annual research, restoration, partial reconstruction, site revitalisation, as well as putting parts of the town to use,” Papuk Nature Park director Alen Jurenac said.
He added that the main goal was to ensure systematic care for Ruzica Grad, creating a comprehensive strategy for saving the site from further decay and establishing a clear set of criteria for its protection and conservation.
Ruzica Grad is located on the north-east slopes of Mount Papuk, above Duzluk village and near Orahovica town. It was first mentioned in writing in 1357 as a royal estate.
“The final goal is to stop the rapid decay of the site, finish archaeological excavations, design a sustainable programme for the restoration of the complex, repair the most serious structural damage, and prepare documentation for its permanent presentation as a multi-layered piece of historical architecture, adding content to it and putting it to use as an attraction in cultural tourism,” Jurenec said.
He added that the court chapel and the vestry were among the most valuable spaces in the Ruzica Grad citadel and that it made sense to reconstruct them and give them a new purpose. The court chapel is the largest one located in medieval burgs in Croatia.
A conservation study with a restoration programme for the Ruzica Grad site was drawn up in 2019.