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Croatian town Lipik needs help to rebuild Kursalon
By Ivan Pušćenik | Published  06/29/2010 | Bilingual , Tourism , Friends In Action , Environment , Culture And Arts | Unrated
A call for help


Lipik in 1989, view to Kursalon

Lipik in 1989, view to Kursalon

 
Apel za pomoć

U jesen 1991. u jeku najžešćih srpskih napada na Vukovar još jedan hrvatski gradić doživio je identičnu sudbinu. Lipik je u svega par mjeseci potpuno uništen i spaljen, stanovništvo protjerano a jedan dio Lipika jedno kratko vrijeme bio je i okupiran. Lipik je i prvi oslobođen hrvatski grad u Domovinskom ratu.

Puno puta dosada pokazalo se koliko snažna može biti međunarodna inicijativa u rješavanju lokalnih problema, štoviše presudna. Naprimjer, Dječji dom Lipik vjerojatno nikada nebi bio obnovljen da nije bilo inicijative  britanskog pukovnika Mark Cooka, nakon čega su se uključili svi od hrvatske vlade, međunarodnih i domaćih donatora pa do ponosne hrvatske dijaspore.

Drugi slučaj međunarodne pomoći Lipiku vidljiv je u slučaju povratka konja 2007. godine. I prije konačnog povratka lipicanaca nekoliko puta takav ishod je bio blizu realizacije, ali svaki put je negdje zapelo. Ovaj put hrvatska strana je imala podršku cijele međunarodne zajednice, istaknutih pojedinaca i institucija, te je stvorena klima kako je povratak konja jedino ispravno rješenje i to baš tada u tom trenutku, a ne za godinu-dvije.

Prije rata Lipik je bio perjanica kontinentalnog turizma bivše države. 1937. godine bilježi drugo mjesto po broju noćenja u cijeloj ondašnjoj državi, odmah iza Opatije. Lipik je bio poznat kao lječilišno mjesto, ali i mjesto odmora, rekreacije i provoda. Uz konje lipicance, lječilišnu bolnicu (ljekovitu vodu) i Dječji dom, zadnji neobnovljeni simbol Lipika ostaje Zdravstveno rekreacijski centar Lipik (ZRC), tvrtka u čijem su vlasništvu hotelski kapaciteti i turistički objekti Kursalon i Wandelbahn nužni za budućnost Lipika.

Kursalon je izgrađen 1893. godine, riječ je o neorenesansnoj kavani, zapravo replici bečkog Kursalona. Kursalon je bio središte društvenog i kulturnog života Lipika, a sadržavao je koncertne i plesne dvorane, kino dvoranu, restorane, piano bar, kasino…

Wandelbahn je bilo natkriveno šetalište izgrađeno iste godine kao i Kursalon koje je služilo za šetnje, druženja i ispijanje ljekovite mineralne vode. Tijekom godina pod svodovima Wandelbahna otvorene su trgovine, kuglana, restoran, diskoteka pa je u noćnim satima bio središte provoda posjetitelja i turista iz šire regije.

Nažalost, poslijeratna obnova Kursalona, Wandelbahna i hotela nikako da uzme zamah. Nakon nekoliko neuspješnih pokušaja prodaje domaćim i stranim investitorima stječe se dojam da ne postoji politička volja da se ZRC Lipik obnovi, stoga upućujemo ovaj apel za pomoć svim ljudima dobre volje da potpisivanjem peticije dignu svoj glas za konačno rješavanje pitanja budućnosti Lipika.

Najmanje što možete učiniti je potpisati peticiju i/ili ostaviti svoj komentar ili riječ  podrške, ali ako netko od vas negdje u svijetu zna nekoga u hrvatskoj vladi ili nadležnom Ministarstvu turizma ja bih vas zamolio da ovoga trenutka uzmete telefon, nazovite i recite koju pozitivnu riječ u korist što bržeg i povoljnijeg rješavanja naše budućnosti!

 
A call for help

In fall 1991 during the hardest Serbian attacks on Vukovar another Croatian town shared the same fate. Within only a few months Lipik was totally destroyed, buildings in the town were burned down, the inhabitants were banished and one part of Lipik was even occupied for a short period of time. Nevertheless, Lipik was the first Croatian town that was freed from the alien force during the Croatian War of Independence.

When it comes to finding a solution to local problems, so far many times the international initiative appeared to be a very strong, yet critical factor. The orphanage in Lipik for example probably would have never been rebuilt if there had not been the British colonel Mark Cook. After he took the initiative everyone, starting from the Croatian government, the international and national donators up to the Croatian Diaspora, got involved.

The return of the Lipizzaner horses in 2007 is another case where things would not have happened without the international help. Many times before the final return of the horses, Lipik was close to carry out this situation on its own, but there was always something that intervened. This time the Croatian side had the support of the whole international community, important individuals and institutions, and the decision was made that the return of the horses is the only right solution exactly at that time and in that moment and not in a year or two.

Before the Second World War, Lipik was the plume of the continental tourism in former Yugoslavia. In 1937 it had the second highest rate in overnight stays at a hotel in, at that time, Yugoslavia- right after Opatija. Lipik was famous as a health resort, but also as a place for vacation, relaxation and entertainment. Besides the Lipizzaner horses, the hospital for special medical rehabilitation (healthful water) and the orphanage, the last, and yet not rebuilt symbol of Lipik is the ZRC (health and recreation center in Lipik). This company owns the hotel complex and the tourist objects Kursalon and Wandelbahn that are essential for the future of Lipik.

The Kursalon, a cafe built in the neo-Renaissance style, that was constructed in 1893 is actually a replication of the Vienna Kursalon. It was the central point of the social and cultural life in Lipik and had a concert and a dance hall, a movie theater, restaurants, a piano bar, a casino and much more.

The Wandelbahn was a roofed promenade that was built in the same year as the Kursalon. It was used for taking walks, to socialize and drink the healthful water. As time passed by, shops, a bowling alley, a restaurant and a disco were opened under the arches of the Wandelbahn and so it became even during the night hours the center of entertainment for visitors and tourists who came from the surroundings.

Unfortunately, the reconstruction of the Kursalon, the Wandelbahn and the hotel has not been realized yet. After a few failed attempts to sell the ZRC to national and international investors, the impression came up that there is no political will to rebuild the ZRC in Lipik. Therefore this call for help goes to all people with a good will who want to raise their voice by signing the petition and show that it is of urgent need for the future of Lipik to solve different problems.

The least thing you can do is to sign the petition and/ or leave a comment or a word of support.
However, if anyone of you anywhere out there in the world knows anyone in the Croatian government or the competent Ministry of Tourism, I would like to ask you to take the phone right now, call and say something positive so that a fast and beneficial solution can be found for the future of Lipik, namely the future of us who live in this town!



The Lipik Kursalon destroyed and burned in 1991 during the Serbian aggression on Croatia

An attempt to preserve the remains of Kursalon, and start its renovation.

Mato Čačić, Nenad Bach, Antun Haramija, Stjepan Horvat, Ivan Pušćenik and Frank Westerman.
Looking at Kursalon that was destroyed in Serbian aggression 1991.

 
Poštovane građanke i građani Republike Hrvatske, predstavnici vlasti, crkveni autoriteti, članovi udruga, političkih stranaka, sindikata i hrvatske dijaspore!

Udruga Lijepa naša Požeško-slavonska grana organizira potpisivanje peticije građana pod motom: "Samo živi ljudi pokreću mrtve projekte - zajedno za Lipik biser kontinentalnog turizma". Potpisivanjem peticije dobili ste priliku da javno podignete svoj glas protivljenja postojećim katastrofalnim stanjem lipičkog ZRC-a i stoljetnog perivoja.

ZAŠTO BAŠ SADA?

Zato što je propao i šesti natječaj za obnovu ZRC-a, agoniji se se nazire kraj, a „investitor“  iz 2001. se više i ne spominje, i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što smo duboko zakoračili u punoljetnost gluposti i nebrige, 19 godina je prošlo a srce Lipika izgleda kao da nismo niti izašli iz ratne 1991., i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što su toplice Lipik jedne od najstarijih u ovom dijelu Europe izgrađene još  u doba Austro-ugarske monarhije, preživjele dva svjetska rata, uništene od strane neprijateljske JNA i jedine u vlastitoj hrvatskoj državi nisu obnovljene, i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što su toplice Lipik hrvatska tradicija koja se ne smije zaboraviti i zanemariti.

Zato što svjetski turizam počiva na brandu i tradiciji.

Lipik ima i brand i tradiciju, a u Hrvatskoj državi prepušten je zaboravu, dok neke nove toplice nastaju na kukuruzištima, i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što smo dužni podići svoj glas i pokazati da u ovoj zemlji gospodarski kriminal ima ime i prezime, stoga ovim putem pozivamo državno odvjetništvo da pronađe i javno obznani krivca za neuspjelu investiciju obnove ZRC-a u razdoblju 2001. - 2003. godine., i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što je barokni zaštićeni perivoj postao mjesto opasno po život građana, a posebno djece. Nekadašnji ponos parkovne arhitekture danas podsjeća na scene iz horor filmova, i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što su hrvatski branitelji dali svoje živote da bi ovaj kraj oslobodili i omogućili svojoj djeci lijepu budućnost u Lipiku, a danas iz Lipika mladi odlaze jer ne vide perspektivu, nemaju se gdje zaposliti, a ZRC nosi 200 novih radnih mjesta, i zato nema opravdanja!

Zato što želimo, baš  kao i peticijom za povratak naših lipicanaca iz Srbije, pokazati da smo svjesni građani koji ulaze u srž problema i ne prihvaćaju „ne“ kao konačan odgovor!

Jer za postojeće stanje nema opravdanja!

Stoga ovom peticijom od Vlade Republike Hrvatske i svih nadležnih ministara tražimo:

  • Hitno rješavanje postojećeg stanja i raspisivanje novog natječaja koji bi pogodovao potencijalnim investitorima kako bi se što prije rekonstruirali postojeći objekti, izgradili novi i obnovio perivoj! Za nas bi najpoštenije i najbolje rješenje bilo da  država prepusti park i objekte Gradu Lipiku na upravljanje!
  • Pronalaženje i javno objavljivanje tijeka ukradenog novca i svih onih koji su svojim propustima i neodgovornošću zaslužni za postojeće katastrofalno stanje u kojem se nalaze ZRC i perivoj!

Članovi udruge Lijepa naša, Požeško-slavonska grana

 
Dear citizens of the Republic of Croatia, representatives of the government, church authorities, city initiatives, members of associations, political partys, the syndikat and the Croatian diaspora!

The association Lijepa naša from the County of Požega-Slavonia is organizing a petition under the motto "Only people who are alive can mobilize dead projects - together for the town of Lipik, the pearl of the continental tourism." By signing this petition you get the opportunity to publicly raise your voice and show that you are unsatisfied with the disastrous condition of the ZRC and the centuries-old park in Lipik.

BUT WHY JUST NOW?

Because even the sixth bidding for rebuilding the ZRC failed, it seems like the agony will never end, and no-one even mentions the “investor” from 2001 anymore, and there is apsolutely no justification for this!

Because we have spent way too many years living in absurdity and neglect, 19 years have passed and to this day the heart of Lipik looks like we are still living in 1991, and there is absolutely no justification for this!

Because the thermal bath in Lipik is one of the oldes thermal baths in this part of Europe. It was built during the Austrian-hungarian monarchy, it survived two world wars, was destroyed by the enemy Yugoslav army (JNA) and it is the state of Croatia that is not able to rebuild and restore the thermal bath after a war in the own state, and there is absolutely no justification for this!

Because the thermal bath in Lipik is the Croatian tradition and must not be forgotton or neglected.

Because the world tourism starts with brands and tradition and Lipik has a brand an a tradition, but the state of Croatia forgot about this little town, and instead of rebuilding the thermal bath in Lipik, new thermal baths are being build on cornfields somewhere else, and there is absolutely no justification for this!

Because we rae obliged to raise our voice and show that the economic crime has a name in this country. Therefore we would like to use this opportunity to ask the public prosecution department to find and publicly declare the one who is guilty for the failed investition of the money that was supposed to be used for the restoration of the ZRC from 2001 until 2003, and there is absolutely no justification for this!

Because the baroque and protected park became a dangerous place for the citizens, especially for the children. The erstwhile pride of the arquitecture in the park nowdays only reminds us of scenes from a horror movie, and there is absolutely no justification for this!

Because the Croatian defenders lost their lifes in order to free this region and make it possible for their children to have a nice future in Lipik, but nowdays the youth is leaving a Lipik because they have no perspective, they can not find a job and the ZRC could have 200 new jobs, and there is absolutely no justification for this!

Because we want to show, just like we did with the petition for the return of the lippizaner horses from Serbia that we are aware citizens who research into a problem and who do not accept a “no” as the final answer!

Because there is absolutely no justification for the existing situation!

Therefore we use this petition to ask the government of the Republic of Croatia and all competent ministries to:

  • Urgently solve the existing situation and to start a new bidding round that is going to favor potential investors so that the existing objects can be reconstructed promptly, new objects build and the park rebuild. For us the best and fairest solution would be if the state gives Lipik the control over the park and tourist objects in the town. 
  • Find and publicly proclaim the chronological process of the stolen money and everyone who is responsible for the disastrous condition of the ZRC and park in Lipik because of their neglect and irresponsibility.

The members of the association
Lijepa naša, Požega-Slavonia branch

Translated from Croatian by Nada Milemdi, Graz, Austria


Stjepan Horvat, former mayor of Lipik, Nenad Bach, Ivan Pušćenik and Goran Pušćenik, in discussion in the town of Lipik.

Lipik's mayor Antun Haramija and Nenad Bach.


Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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