Wednesday, May 11, 2011

a little backstory on pakoštane
or what happened to pakoštane: part 1

we decided on pakoštane, because z used to spend his summers painting on the coast before the war and he remembered it as a little fishing village with beautiful old stone houses.

it’s a bit different now.

in less than 20 years the beautiful old buildings that once gave this town, like most other towns dotting the croatian coast, such incredible character have fallen into disrepair. given that that the charm and character of these stone houses is what originally drew western european tourists and their money to the croatian coast, why, we asked our hosts, have they been so tragically neglected?

 and the answer is: greed. of course.
the buildings, the beautiful historical charming buildings are crumbling because of greed. yeah, so what’s new…  in many cases, the ownership of these properties has become diluted between the many descendants of the descendants of the original owners – none of whom can agree with each other on whether the buildings should be kept or sold, and if sold, for how much. most of the buildings are not on the market since one or more of the joint owners will not consent to sell, and those buildings that do finally end up on the market are offered for such ridiculously high prices that they sit unsold year after year.

so amidst the continuing disagreement and greed, the buildings, the charm and the history of pakoštane is crumbling.

(and if it ain't crumbling it's a kladionica (betting joint) or disco bar. sigh.)