Villa Tripalo*****Guests review
Villa Tripalo is a Secessionist building dating back to the 1920s, situated in a quiet corner less than 100 metres from the main square (Pijaca) in Sinj, occupying a site covering more than 4,000 m². Restoration work on the villa began in 2007, following conservation and restoration research, with the primary aim of reproducing the original appearance of the villa as far as possible, both externally and internally, during the renovation work. With the help of builders and restorers licensed by the Ministry of Culture, the villa has been restored and transformed into a building worthy of visitors to Dalmatia of refined taste. The villa is a memorial to the Croatian politician Ante Miko Tripalo, the leader of the “Croatian Spring” movement, whose bust stands at the entrance.
Villa Tripalo is a protected cultural monument (ruling no. 17/3-1997, dated 8 August 1997, issued by the Conservation Institute for Dalmatia in Split and entered in the Registry of Immoveable Cultural Monuments of the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Split, reg. no. 1430). It has the status of a cultural good.
The spacious park is walled, and the entrance to the house is on the north side, through a gateway fitted with original, wrought iron gates. The roof has been restored to its original condition and the façade renewed according to the original, in terms of both the colour and quality of the plaster used, and the decorations. The east porch has a typical double-winged staircase and two balconies with decorative concrete balustrades. These balustrades and the glazed veranda on the south-west side of the building give the villa its country house character.
The interior has been decorated throughout with geometric patterns and motifs from the plant world, which were rediscovered during restoration work, and implemented in order to reconstruct the original appearance of the rooms as far as possible.
Villa Tripalo is characterised by period woodwork, particularly the external and internal door-frames, with brass features, decorative carvings and panels in the Secessionist style. The wrought iron features of the house are also all original, including the outer gates and basement window grilles. The villa has been furnished with period pieces and top quality Baroque and Empire style furniture, finished with carefully chosen textiles. The final touch is given by the carefully selected period tableware and light fixtures. Works of art by eminent Croatian painters and sculptors add a special value to the house.
Villa Tripalo is a two-storey building consisting of a basement and raised ground floor. Each floor covers 175 m². The original aspect of the house meant it was built around a central corridor running from east to west, linking the porch on the east side with the glazed veranda on the west side. There are three well-appointed rooms to the north and south of the corridor. Today, each has its own dressing-room and bathroom. The living area occupies the most favourable, southwest section of the house.
Distinguished visitors to this Secessionist villa can enjoy the additional benefits of modern times, such as air-conditioning in all rooms, satellite TV in the salon and bedrooms, a home cinema, coffee machines and other equipment and technical specifications. The kitchen and study are fully equipped.
The sauna, gym, massage room and billiard room are located in the basement, along with the all-important wine cellar, which occupies what used to be a secret room in the cellar. There is a restored decorative arbour in the north section, once used to house small animals, while the original single-storey outbuilding, formerly used to store garden tools, has been transformed into a comfortable guest house and swimming pool, with all modern conveniences.
Not many people know about the Dalmatian hinterland, and there is a lot of prejudice. For centuries, it was considered unimportant, though it deserves to be presented in all its glory, from the valuable heritage which witnesses to the dramatic historical events which took place here, to the majestic diversity of its unspoilt landscapes. The mountains are a great place for cycling, rock-climbing, hiking and walking; the fast-flowing rivers are ideal for rafting, canoeing and kayaking; the lakes are suitable for rowing, and the fields and woods a perfect place for horse-riding.
The Dalmatian hinterland is a paradise for hedonists, whether those who love nature, activity and seeing the sights, or those who enjoy good food. The arambašići of Sinj and the knights’ tournament known as the Sinj Alka are on the UNESCO list of protected Croatian intangible heritage. Local fare includes meat and vegetables roasted in the oven under a baking dome, Dalmatian prosciutto, cheeses, pies, the inevitable wine and, from the rivers and lakes, frogs, trout, crayfish and other delicacies to make life sweeter.