Not only do rivers have their own cradles, but they are usually forgotten or they are far from the eyes of the public. With particular joy we have corrected this injustice working on the concept of the ‘Birth House of the River Kupa’ visitor’s centre, demonstrating once again the job of interpreting natural heritage which in Croatia is still in its infancy.
We are especially glad that the ‘Birth House of the Kupa’, opened in 2015, is now located in the uninhabited hamlet of Gornji Kupari, which in some way also meant the return of life to this deserted part of Croatia. We approached the Kupa playfully coming out from the house with an educational trail through the countryside, as such a beauty deserves. We didn’t forget its residents either – from the plants and butterflies to the graylings, dippers and – the Gorani – as the local people are known.
The ‘Birth House of the River Kupa’s’ visitor’s centre celebrates, presents the natural and cultural skills of the region along the source of the River Kupa and also provides education about the importance of their preservation. The centre is located now in the uninhabited hamlet of Gornji Kupari, in a two-storey typical mountain style house right next to the Kupa. Inside the centre a souvenir shop is also planned, and in the attic there is an education hall with an exhibition of the butterflies that live in the surroundings. A short walk from the centre leads to the green source itself, whilst we have provided the opportunity for some pleasant, fun and safe exploration and recreation with the set out ‘Valley of the River Kupa’ educational trail.
The source of the River Kupa is one of the widest and deepest Croatian springs and still presents an unresolved mystery of the karst landscape. It rises in the heart of the Risnjak National Park which is the natural habitat of three large wild animals: the bear, wolf and lynx, and it is also the home of an incredible diversity of plants. In the centre of the permanent exhibition of the ‘Birth House of the River Kupa’ stands an inventive interpretation exhibit – ‘The Trunk of the River Kupa’. The blue coloured trunk symbolises the River Kupa, whilst entertaining interpretive illustrations colourfully depict the characteristics of the river and its inhabitants.
The realisation of the ‘Birth House of the River Kupa’ project began in 2014 and the visitor’s centre opened in 2015. In the realisation we were responsible for the museological coordination of production, the development of the textual and visual content.
Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection
Public institution Risnjak National Park
Stela Štimac Trajkovski
Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir
Zagorka Gligora Zeman
Authors of photographs