Customs and legends

The story of the Jankovic family

The presence of the Croatian-Hungarian noble family Jankovic in Slavonia began in the second half of the 18th century, when lord Antun Jankovic bought Pakrac, Daruvar and Sirač in order to be able to perform various political duties. Apart from founding Daruvar, the area of ​​his activity as well as his contribution to the improvement of the economically backward Slavonian region were large. In 1772, Maria Theresia awarded him the title of count. As his only descendant died early, his estates are inherited by his brother Ivan's family.

His nephew Isidor had a special influence on the development of Lipik. As in the first half of the 19th century more and more analyses of the healing water were performed, doctors and travel writers became more interested in it. Lord Isidor began to invest more intensively in bathing facilities and the park. In 1820s, he built a bathing building with three baths: the General Bath, the Cardak Bath and the Small Bath.

Due to the great importance of horse breeding at the old manors, as an economically important business, but also a social prestige, lord Isidor initiated the breeding of Lipizzaners on the noble estate Izidorovac near Lipik.

Lipik especially keeps the memory of Count Isidor who strongly contributed to its development, but the memory of Countess Jelka is also alive. According to some records, it is believed that Isidor’s sister, lady Jelka, loved to stay in Lipik. From generation to generation, stories were passed on. She loved to walk through the Lipik park and rest on the stone bench that still bears her name. In addition to the bench, the Countess had other favourite places in the park, among which stands out Jelka's hill. All visitors who decide to walk through the park can walk along Jelka's path and with the help of an interactive program, learn a lot of interesting things about Lipik, but also about the countess herself.

Apart from the above, the traces of the Jankovic family lead us to some other places. In the village of Gaj, not far from Lipik, there is the parish church of St. Katarina and the parish vicarage which is believed to have been built by Isidor Jankovic. It is assumed that the entire area around the church and the parish court in Gaj belonged to the Jankovic family and according to some records, Isidor himself founded the auction of animals on the feast of St. Antun the Great.

However, it could be said that the favourite place of lord Isidor Jankovic was the family court in his native Stražeman, where he and all his brothers and sisters were born. The place is located about 50 km from Lipik. It is decorated with the baroque parish church of St. Michael from the end of the 18th century, where was found the last resting place of Count Isidor and his family.

Bench of Countess Jelka

In front of the Marble Baths there is the only stone bench in the Lipik park - Jelka's bench. It is named after the young Countess lady Jelka Jankovic, who liked to rest on the mentioned bench during long walks in the park.

An interesting folk legend is attached to Jelka's bench, which still tickles the imagination of passers-by. According to this legend, Countess Jelka lost a precious ring near the bench, which was never found later. Who knows, maybe a lost ring is waiting for you somewhere!

Countess Jelka's bench is part of Jelka's path that follows the favourite locations where the young countess stopped during walks in the Lipik park.

Votive chapel in Frutaria

In Industrial street in Lipik there are production facilities and a modern refrigerator for storing fruits and vegetables owned by the company Frutaria ltd, At the entrance to their premises is a votive chapel built in honour of the Blessed Virgin the Mother of God.

Frutaria is engaged in the cultivation and processing of fruits and vegetables, and the story of the chapel they built dates back several years when severe floods were recorded in the area of Lipik. Given the newly built cold store and the crops that were in it, the owners of Frutaria vowed to the Mother of God that they would build her a votive chapel if the rain did not destroy their crop and flood the refrigerator. Although the rain flooded all the surrounding areas, the area around Frutaria remained preserved and dry.

To give thanks and as a fulfilment of their promises, a votive chapel was built.

Auction of animals in Gaj

In the rural settlement of Gaj and nearby places, the local population has a long tradition of agriculture and livestock. For centuries people have lived off yields and crops from the land. And over the years, they have developed an unusual tradition on the feast of St. Antun the Great.

In the area of the parish church of St. Catherine the Martyr in Gaj, believers gather for Holy Mass on January 17th every year. After the end of the Holy Mass, in front of the church is held an auction of domestic animals. Believers donate their animals which are then sold at auction. In this way, they offer their gift so that the next year will be fruitful and profitable for them as well.