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  06.05.2019, 08:22h

The Ethnographic Collection at the watermills at the Skradinski buk and Roški slap waterfalls was declared a cultural asset

The Ethnographic Collection of the Krka National Park, located at the Skradinski buk and Roški slap waterfalls, was declared a cultural asset by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia on the 5th of March 2019.

The collection consists of 190 objects, divided into several thematic units: items commonly found in a room, dishes, grain measures, personal hygiene items, implements for processing raw materials for the production of textiles, fabrics, agricultural machinery, wooden wagon rigs and donkey equipment, and blacksmithing tools and products.

“The objects in this ethnographic collection were gathered mostly through purchase and the donations by inhabitants of the surrounding villages, while some of them were found in abandoned houses. The inventory, albeit modest, presents how the population lived and worked along the Krka River to the end of the 1970s. Therefore, this collection of local significance has deserved enrollment into the Register of Cultural Property of the Republic of Croatia”,  as is stated in the official declaration.

It is on the List of Protected Cultural Assets under number Z-7303. The ethnographic collection of the Krka National Park is located at two of the most visited sites in the Park: part is located in a restored watermill (Šosterina mlinica) at the Roški slap waterfall, and part at the watermills at Skradinski buk waterfall.

Six of the seven waterfalls in the Krka National Park have watermills and water columns for washing, indicating the ancient presence of humans in this area, and the ways in which water power was used. During the turbulent history of the region, the watermills were often demolished and rebuilt, and the present buildings were built at the end of the 19th century. As testimonies to rural architecture and the economic past, today they bear a cultural and historical meaning, and because of the manner of their usage and their vernacular design, they are considered ethnological and ethnographic monuments.

The Krka National Park has treated them in a correspondingly appropriate manner. First, several watermills at Skradinski buk waterfall were restored, and given a new role as a museum and visitor center. The so-called “friars’ watermill”, meaning the watermill of the Franciscan monastery at Visovac, and the watermill of the Šoster family from Miljevci have been restored at Roški slap waterfall. In the latter watermill, above the grindstones, the house has been equipped with all the traditional furniture and accessories related to the hearth, mixing and baking breads, cooking food, and sitting and dining. There is also a barn or granary with three partitions, in which the miller prepared the grain, which included three kinds of flour: barley, wheat, and corn. The miller’s room was also equipped with all the necessary items: a bed, a table with chairs, a small chest for food storage, a cupboard (for dishes), a washbasin, a mirror...

The watermills are open to visitors and always elicit admiration and delight. In them you will meet millers, blacksmiths, and weavers, who will convey their knowledge to you, along with their love for the tradition and the life of people along the river. The many traditional objects that can be seen include a sumpreš, a metal iron with a triangular foot and openings for the heated embers, a sukanac, a thick winter blanket made of white wool with red and black stripes arranged regularly along its length, a samar, a wooden saddle for a donkey, a baba, a hand bellows for a smithy fire, and a zobnica, a dark colored bag with woven parallel stripes of yellow, green, and white.