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Original scientific paper


Ambroz Tudor ; Konzervatorski odjel u Splitu

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Full text: english pdf 7.658 Kb

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The ground plan of the Lucić Villa in Hvar shows that the perimeter of the building was inherited from an earlier garden. But the lower parts of the northern wall show a structure different to that of the other walls, suggesting the existing of a perimeter wall even before Lucić built his villa. The southern wall of the garden also shows differences in structure, as well as a number of traces of the joining of walls, possibly of older apertures and a number of pigeon holes of unclear purpo- se, which suggests a confirmation of the hypothesis that there was a building there before the operations of Lucić. Not far from the Lucić complex, fifty or so metres to the NE, there were up to the 1950s visible walls, most probably of a Roman villa rustica. This is a site that is today almost entirely devastated but once provided a great many finds, urns, lamps, tegulae, pillars, amphorae and among other things the inscription CIL III, 3091. The existence of older wall structures at the complex, and the undoubted one-time existence of a villa rustica some ten metres to the NE, suggests that the villa was built on the site of a Roman period villa, which would tend to confirm that the heritage of antiquity was truly a precedent for the construction of the villa of Renaissance poet, translator of Ovid, Hanibal Lucić. In a will of 1584 together with a codicil of 1590 Julija Lucić, the daughter in law and general heir to the assets of Lucić, left the villa to the Jesuits or to two priests, should the Jesuits not arrive in Hvar. The oldest visitation of the complex that was carried out on January 20, 1603, by vicar General Andria Nembri says that the garden was at that time lea- sed to Abbot Delfin, and to two priests, the Bishop’s nephew Juraj Cedulin, who was then studying in Perugia, and Peregrin Gariboldi, then in Rome to do with his canonicate. In a visitation of 1630 Morari found at the villa the priest Ivan Mekjanić, who had been installed by the beneficiary of the complex Federico Grisogono, nephew of Bishop Cedulin. In the words of Mekjanić, Grisogono was a youth of 24 who had never lived in Hvar. In 1654 Bishop Vicenzo Milani decided to organise the bishopric’s seminary in the complex, and ordered an inscription to be carved on the gate of the complex to the effect.
The earliest news from the 19th century derives from the session of the local authority during the period of French rule, on February 15, 1809, when the cha- irman Alvis Bučić moved the proposition that the gardens of the Lucić complex should be turned into the city cemetery. However, the impoverishment of the war years spared the gardens from being turned into a municipal facility of this kind; instead of paying a rental to the bishopric, on February 16, 1812 the government was asked to release the area of the one-time Augustinian monastery of St Nic- holas for use as a new cemetery. During the 19th century the villa was let out to many private persons, and from 1933 on it was the farm of the Hvar hotels of the time, to the horror of conservator L. Karaman, concerning which Vladimir Nazor wrote a poetic epistle. During the 1950s it was restored under the guidance of C. Fisković and D. Domančić. As well as the gate in the central part of the north wall of the garden, often thought to be the only entrance into the complex, Lucić’s villa has two more entrances, via which the inner areas of
the complex could be accessed from the street. The walled up door is visible in the NW corner of the complex, at the spot where the northern and western walls meet, and also alongside the SW corner of the main house of the complex. Comparing the location of the walled-up doors with the Morari description of the complex of 1630, it can be assumed that the original Lucić conception was placing the closed garden into flat area that had a raised paved walkway around all four walls of the garden, placed on sub-walls, arched over with a pergola on small stone pillars. The central walk was there above all to enable access
to the well, the centre of the garden, certainly vaulted with a pergola on stone pillars. The original communication was established diagonally, and not perpendicularly across the middle of the garden, which is the case today. Thus the door in the central part of the northern wall of the complex and the door in the southern wall of the gar- den, from which the staircase went on to the southern wall of the complex were made subsequently and do not belong to the original organisation of the complex. According to Morari the garden was planted with citrus trees. The garden then was much more closed and medieval than could be guessed from its current situation, and Lucić, in the retention of the medieval conception of the garden was not isolated; indeed, from an analysis of the literary sources it can be concluded that it stayed that way until the early 17th century.
The Lucić garden with its walls that from the parterre provided a view only of the sky and the peaks of the surrounding hills, with the well in the centre, mar- ked with its two tailed mermaids known from the early Middle Ages, was shaped like the space itself: closed and symbolic.


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