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Help Restore Orebić’s Monument of Love

CroatiaA monument situated in the southern Dalmatian town of Orebić, which tells a story of love beyond social boundaries and life itself, is being threatened with destruction, but a crowdfunding campaigned launched this week hopes that enough money will be raised to save it…

Just over $50,000 is needed to restore the Mimbelli monument and mausoleum, which has an interesting story behind it as the Association for Orebić explains.

It starts in Orebić on the south-west point of the Pelješac peninsula in southern Dalmatia. The town was founded by a noble family of sea captains in 1584, and ever since it was home to sea captains and seafarers. Purchased by the Dubrovnik Republic in the 14 century it was a town of wealth and prosperity. It was a town of culture and of public contributions where everything that was of any importance (school, municipality, water supply system and much more) was built by donations of local inhabitants – captain families.

One of the greatest families, the one that helped the poor and donated the building where Orebić municipality resides today is the Mimbelli family, better said their last descendant Baldo Mimbelli.

Baldo Mimbelli was son of Antonio Mimbelli, one of the five Mimbelli sons who lived and worked in Russia. He traded grain and transported it to all parts of the world on his ships. One day father Antonio brought home a Russian governess with her daughter to teach and raise his children. His son Baldo fell hopelessly in love with the governess’s daughter. But it was a forbidden love as he was a nobleman and she was only a governesses’ daughter. Antonio and his wife forbade Baldo to act on his emotions and merry the Russian girl as she was of a lower class and different faith. Baldo swore to his parents that he will never love again, and that the Mimbelli will extinct. And so it was.
Baldo never married. He lived a life of solitude in Trieste and visited Orebić from time to time.

Near the end of his life he commissioned a monument to be built-in the family mausoleum in Orebić. He commissioned it from a famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Rendić.

The monument tells a story of love that is beyond social boundaries and beyond life itself. It is a marble statue of a girl who fell asleep whilst holding a jug of water. The water is spilt, as it is the life of the great Mimbelli family when its last descendant died. But the girl, the love, still stands the test of time rising proudly above the Pelješac channel, greeting all the passengers who pass, reminding us that true love never dies, that those who love live forever in the hearts of the people who they touched.

On his death-bed Baldo asked that he and his parents be buried in the family mausoleum in Orebić. As they died in Italy they were transported in lead sarcophagi to Orebić. People of Orebić transported them to the Monastery on the hill. They pulled the sarcophagi for three days and three nights along the forest up to the hill of the Franciscan monastery where they lie to this day.

Baldo obliged the citizens of Orebić and their descendants from all over the world to take care of this monument and this mausoleum. That was the last wish of the man who was the greatest benefactor this town has ever had.

To help with the campaign you can find out more here.

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