The Kavanjin Mansion

The house of the Kavanjin family, the Split nobility who gradually moved to Sutivan was built from 1690 to 1705. Today the complex doesn’t have its original form because it underwent subsequent extensions when it was put to use in tourism in the 1970s. The original construction consists of the main building with the façade facing the waterfront and its internal passage to a big garden – park in the eastern side of the complex. It is assumed that beneath the garden lay the remains of Villa Rustica, ancient Roman rural homestead.  The farming part of the Kavanjin summer house lies north of the narrow road and today it, as well as the summer house’s cobblestone courtyard, is used as a stage for the performances during the Sutivan Summer Festival. One of the modern symbols of Sutivan, the Latin inscription OSTIVM NON HOSTIVM (the gates are open only to friends) is engraved in the southern doorpost of the summer house. Jerolim Kavanjin  is one of the greatest Croatian baroque poets who wrote the most extensive epic poem in Croatian literature with 32724 verses  “Bogatstvo i uboštvo” (Riches and Poverty) in his Sutivan summer house. This religious – philosophy epic is written in the ijekavian – ikavian shtokavian dialect and attempts to understand life and dual nature of human beings – the human and the divine. The once opulent interior of the summer house with its collection of arms is nowadays kept in the City Museum of Split.