Historical buildings

Estate life has marked Croatian history since Renaissance times. Villas along the Adriatic and mansions in continental Croatia were the centres of culture, arts and political life. Estates included villas, gardens, outbuildings, gardens, orchards and arable lands, as well as meadows, pastures, and groves. The life on the Trsteno estate has been of both a residential and economic nature. Ten facilities have been built there: Renaissance villa, restored and rebuilt in the Baroque era following the serious earthquake of 1667; pavilion (gloriette, belvedere) next to the villa; chapel; fountain; aqueduct; olive mill ; the storage next to the mill; bread oven; shed; outbuilding. There is a grain mill to the north from the aqueduct, outside the Arboretum. All the facilities inside the Arboretum have been preserved as a protected building area to the present date. The villa, other buildings and the garden originally had Renaissance features. After the 1667 earthquake, which destroyed Dubrovnik as well, alterations in the spirit of the Baroque were made.

The villa was partly rebuilt then, whereas Renaissance garden was enlarged and arranged in the Baroque manner, with a distinguished central walking path, at the end of which a grand fountain with a cave was set. To the east of the pavillion, a summer kitchen with a bread oven was built, and the space was enlarged by outbuildings.

The Gučetić (Gozze) summer villa

The decision to build a summer villa on his own cultivated property in Trsteno was made in 1484 by Ivan Marinov Gučetić. The construction of the summer villa is evidenced by an inscription in Latin that was built into the front of the summer villa in 1502 and which in Croatian translation reads:

I am pride of my neighbours, but even more so do I pride myself on the waters, healthy climate and the work of the noble landlord. Traveller, there you have certain traces of human labour, where skilful art has perfected wild nature.

This original summer villa was destroyed in an earthquake in 1667 and a new one was built on its remains as a simple one-storey house of modest architectural equipment and classic layout which settled on the Dalmatian coast forming a typological group with a characteristic central space and four side rooms (quattro stanze, un salon).

The summer villa stands out from the multitude of land estate buildings in the Republic of Dubrovnik precisely because of the relatively spacious garden, it is visible from all sides and is in direct and unobstructed contact with nature, garden, olive groves and forests, and open views of the sea and the Elaphite Islands. In the first phase of the construction of the summer residence, an axis was established that determines the direction of the aqueduct, and passes through the middle of the house and ends with a pavilion (lookout, gloriette) perpendicular to the main promenade. Such an organization of space was maintained in the following centuries when there were significant changes in construction. The Gothic-Renaissance summer villa has carved fragments in secondary use carved by Korčula masters Bartul and Frano Karlić - profiled window arches, parts of saws, lion's heads, pillars and capitals.

South of the summer villa, at the end of the promenade, there is a pavilion (t, gloriette). Low, four-sided corner columns and eight-sided columns carry a hipped roof on a wooden structure. It offers a magnificent view of the sea and the Elaphite Islands. North-west of the summer residence is a rectangular vaulted chapel dedicated to St. Jerome built in the 16th century. The altar made of stucco as well as the stucco decoration on the side walls date to the middle of the 18th century.

The mill has been preserved from the early period, while Drvarica was designed by Vito Bassegli Gozze at the beginning of the 20th century when a stone road to the sea and the port decorated with statues, stone fragments and an inscription was built

Neptune's fountain

Neptune's fountain, erected in 1736, is unique not only in the territory of the Republic of Dubrovnik but also in the entire Croatian coast. The abundance of water enabled the enterprising Gučetić family to use a monumental aqueduct to direct water from a stream on the east side of the estate for the needs of a fountain, which is composed of an artificially shaped cave (grotto), a statue of the god Neptune in the middle, two nymphs splashing water from the sides, an equestrian sculpture and dolphins meandering in the water of a shallow pool. Hidden in the thicket the Fountain gives the land estate an additional creative and aesthetic dimension.