What is a City? Urban sociologists would say that a City is a state of mind, at the same time geopolitical and ecological concentration unit of people, but also the natural abode of civilized human. It is formed on that place which is comfortable to human for living. Could happen in a place that at first glance is not so comfortable, like Dubai or Doha, but with the great natural resources. In a modern way of life we could live in one country, and work in another. Thanks to a very fast transport and electronic communication, all of Europe could become a city. What is city then? A lot of streets, houses, hospitals etc. One sentences could describe it well; It is a place where human live. Is all of this enough without spirit, love, life? Simple, without life and love the lot of possibilities and establishment will not satisfy us.
30 years ago, one nun from Italy, named Elvira, noticed that problem. With lot of pain and hard work she opened the first house where she taught women and men about love and how to love through work and prayer. Many others recognized the Mother Elvira teachings and her houses have started opening in Europe, America and Africa. Community, which emerged because of one seemingly little nun, was named CENACOLO. Place where they don't study logarithms or Newton's law but, they study another thing; Their own life.
We can show you sea, forests, cultural-historical sites, but now, we can offer to you an opportunity to visit Cenacolo and see, feel and experience love and the good spirit of people and community. The city where we will take you is as well a city as a state of mind and at the same time without geographical concentration. Its neighbourhood covers area from Florida to Europe. Its citizens are from all around the World. The City's main product is: CONSCIENCE! With what richness this city has been built on? Not money, but on richness of Mother Elvira faith and prayer, the city named Cenacolo.
Living castle - Cenacolo (cca 4 h)
After departure from Zagreb passengers will be informed about the itinerary and history of Cenacolo. On the road to Kirzevci and 4 km after Vrbovec we come upon the castle Lovrecina Grad. The castle was built by Gregorians (a Croatian noble family originating from Križevci County) as first mentioned in year 1540, and serve in the battle against the Turks. During the Peasant's Revolt in year 1775 it was damaged. The castle originally had three wings, with cylindrical towers at the corners and today there are only two towers left. In the 19th century the castle was restored in the spirit of neo-baroque.
Since 1956, it served as the convent of the Sisters of Mercy, and since 1999 there is situated the main center of the Cenacolo Community in Croatia. Here is situated so called „Men's house“, as well as several families with their children. So called Women's house is in near proximity (approx 5 km).
A visit to Cenacolo is surprisingly uplifting experience. It's a place which works on building a spirit and self-worth, fighting against our weaknesses. The current inhabitants of the castle are the people who were hit by problems, the most common being gambling, alcohol, drugs but as well depression. The specificity of the Cenacolo is that members do not take medicine but through prayer, work and companionship they are trying to reach their aim. They believe that the solution to the problem of addiction is to fight its source, rather than combating addiction itself.
Also, the question arises, whether the inhabitants of this castle are hospitable, and whether it is possible that life here works without physical protection, police, parents and psychologists? The answer to both questions is yes, and just that fact, that people who have not managed to function well, despite the money, the support of parents and friends, are managing well in a community without that support. The experience will not leave you indifferent.
Mother Elvira, the founder of the community Cenacolo
Handmade decorative items
Elvira: 'No, I do not understand, how we did it!'
Approximate flow of the trip:
-Bus ride from Zagreb to Vrbovec
-On arrival, presentation of the history of the castle as well as screening of the film about the development of Cenacolo.
-A presentation on the work of community in Croatia.
-A tour through a small farm and presentation of life in the community; (an ordinary day in community).
Photo exhibition, brief testimony and exhibition of the decorative and other objects made in the community (up to 60 min).
Return to Zagreb (45 min).
The price is from 10 to 50 euros per person for adults, depending on the number of passengers. Included are all sightseeing, guiding and transport to town of Lovrecina and back. For groups, it is possible to do special arrangements.