A traditional country retreat in Banfi, Međimurje.
Two cottages in their own hill-side park with adjacent forest.
The second building is a re-built version of the original wine house built in 1855. These lands were once all vineyards and this cottage was built for the people who worked them. The original wine basement remains, the upper section has been rebuilt to a good standard. It remains a wine house (No WC etc) but is well appointed and has a small rear sun terrace. More details are available further down this page.
The main room is on the middle level and is of good size. Everything here reflects the "countryside retreat" nature of how the property was used. There are a lot of natural wood finishes including the panelled ceiling and parquet floor. Natural light is good due to adequate window sizes, heating is via large traditional wood burning stoves, hot water is from an electric boiler. The location means a total absence of traffic noise, the same is true in terms of natures, they are out of sight!
Croatian tradition of having a summer kitchen and diner next to the exterior terrace (located off to the right in this photo). The decor of brick, white walls, ceramic tiled flooring, all with a wine making theme giving it that particularly Croatian rural ambience.
There are a number of smaller rooms and spaces including this one, it would seem remiss if a wine making operation such as this was would not have a dedicated 'tasting' room. Located on the middle level it is connected to a small central hallways which gives access to the main living room, entrance doorway and bathroom.
As is the case throughout the building, the walls and ceiling are in excellent shape, devoid of cracks or dampness. The floor is laid with heavy ceramic tiles - so don't drop your wine glass!
The property is difficult to label in that it includes two bedrooms, a bathroom and a sub-basement fitted out as a living space therefore it cannot be regarded as a typical weekend house where such features are normally absent. However, the kitchen is undeveloped as would be expected of a house designed for temporary accommodation. There is adequate space for a good sized kitchen to be installed, water, drainage and power are all ready and waiting. This photo and the following picture (below) are of the same space where a modern kitchen could be installed if desired.
View of the other end of the kitchen space.
There are two bedrooms in the under-roof space, they are near identical so we need show only one. The ceiling is wood panelled and insulated against the cold and heat. They are small but each has sufficient space for a little storage and a double bed. The size of the bedrooms re-state the "one foot in each camp" nature of this cottage, is it a weekend retreat or a small house? Frankly, it's both.
The inclusion of a bath tub and fully tiled bathroom takes us away, once again, from the holiday house feel and firmly into the 'proper house' category. As with most things here, it is small and very rural/rustic in its decor yet fully functional.
Moving over now to the other building, located about 40 metres away, it sits on the site of the original wine house erected over 160 years ago. The vaulted brick-arch rood/ceiling is still in use to this day (Photo available if required). There is no bathroom so we have no difficulty in describing it as a traditional wine house. However it has been nicely fitted out and decorated as part of its expansion and now features this large 'do everything' room. Diner, kitchen, bedroom, party room... you name it. The owners tells us that many a loud party was held here thus leaving the main house in peace and quiet.
The rear of the second building has a separate room, about half the size of that shown above, it is currently used as a store. (Photo available if required). As the image shows, this is no barn, it has been built recently and done properly in modern brick with weather facade, tiled and insulated roof, new electrics and water. The rear covered porch/terrace faces south-west which takes advantage of the long warm summers of the region.
The wine storage room located at the lower level of the second building is both large and in excellent condition. In view of the fact that the vineyards have now gone and have been replaced by park land, this space offers an excellent opportunity to further develop this building into a self-contained home/rental/weekend house. The original vaulted brick room lays behind the large wooden doors.
This property is mostly about the outside areas. Approached via a fully asphalted country lane, the entrance gates give an immediate feel for the whole property. The chimney of the main house can be seen to the right of the image, the second building is located immediately to the right. The camera position is marked 'X' on the aerial picture below, this view looks toward land plot number 1582. The other plots, 1583, 1584 and 1585 lay over the crest of the hill.
Using the same camera position, the two land plots located on the other side of the lane (plots 1608 and 1609) are now grassed park land. Once vineyards, they can be used for any agricultural purpose you wish ... or left just as they are. Together they cover nearly 12,000m2.
Viewed from the terrace of the main house, looking out in a south-easterly direction, most of what you see is part of this property. The fenced area lays within plot number 1583 but does not enclose it all. Most of the forest, as far back as the mid-ground of the image us also part of this property.
This property's beauty lay in both its traditional approach to country living and the feeling of being in a well cared for park. Everywhere there are views, long and short, to warm the heart.
Aerial view of the entire property. House No.61 is the older, smaller building, number 62 is the main house. 'Banfi' is the name of the parish and the name of the lane running through the middle of the property. 1584 and 1585 are almost entirely forested giving over 11,600 square metres of woodland. 1582 and 1583 together cover 3,580m2 of grassland. As mentioned previously, 1608 and 1609 cover over 12,000m2 of grassland.