The city of Cazin is preparing for an ambitious reconstruction project of the castle of Lothar von Berks, which is located in the complex of the national monument Old Town Ostrožac, and is currently in a state of ruin. The necessary funds were provided by the Government of the Una-Sana Canton and the City of Cazin, which together allocated 2.3 million BAM for this purpose, excluding VAT. This project represents an important step in the restoration of the cultural heritage of the city of Cazin and the Bosnian Krajina.
The castle of Lothar von Berks, which was built back in the 19th century, is one of the most famous historical monuments in the region. However, over time the castle has lost its former glory and significant investments are needed to restore it to its original state.
Director of the Public Enterprise Center for Culture and Tourism Cazin, Ermin Beganović, pointed out to Fena that the amount involved is more than 2.3 million BAM. This is the estimated value of the works without VAT, which means that the total value of the works is even higher.
He specifies that the concrete works will be carried out on the castle of Lothar von Berks, for which the main project was completed in the past period, with allocated funds of almost 80,000 BAM. On the basis of that project, the Federal Ministry of Spatial Planning issued a building permit, while the public procurement should refer to infrastructural works at the castle, which include the renovation of the roof and mezzanine structures on the building.
“We also have complete project documentation for the castle, as well as an issued building permit. In the meantime, the Center for Culture and Tourism, together with the City of Cazin, provided a new 100,000 BAM for the preparation of project and technical documentation for other parts of the National Monument Old Town Ostrožac, and I think that within ten days the Center for Culture and Tourism will announce the public procurement of project and technical documentation which is a prerequisite for us to be able to start with the reconstruction of other parts of this significant cultural and historical complex,” emphasized Beganović.
It is a project of great importance for the City of Cazin and its residents. The reconstruction of the castle of Lothar von Berks will provide new opportunities for cultural events and manifestations, as well as the creation of new jobs in the tourism sector. It is expected that the completion of the works will attract a greater number of visitors and tourists to this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The city of Cazin has recognized the importance of preserving cultural heritage and investing in the development of tourism as one of the key factors for improving the local economy. The Lothar von Berks castle reconstruction project is just one of the many steps that the City of Cazin plans to take in order to achieve the stated goals.
Speaking about the procedure, Beganović underlines that it is such that the public procurement lasts until January 5, after which the selection of the most favorable bidder is started, who will then be introduced to the works. He emphasizes that there are four licensed companies for this type of work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he hopes that some of them will be interested in this type of work, which until now has not been of that value.
“After that, all the conditions will be defined by the contract, when it comes to the duration of the works on the restoration of this national monument. It is also important to emphasize that other funds are planned, such as funds of the Government of FBiH in the amount of 2.5 million BAM for the City of Cazin. And those funds refer to the reconstruction of the castle of Lothar von Berks, and I believe that after this initial one, we can also expect the second phase of the reconstruction of the castle,” says Beganović.
Through the joint efforts of the Government of the Una-Sana Canton, the City of Cazin and the local community, it is expected that the reconstruction of the castle of Lothar von Berks will be completed as soon as possible and that it will contribute to the development of tourism and the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants of Cazin.
Lothar von Berks, a knight of the Order of Malta, restored the old town of Ostrožac and built his castle in it, built in the neo-Gothic style, in which he moved with his family in 1902. The Berks originate from England, and as Roman Catholics they fled from the British Isles to the European mainland to the province of Brabant – in today’s Netherlands.
He was born in 1850 in Sunja. Following in the footsteps of his father Martin von Berks, he entered the ranks of the Imperial-Royal Army and became an Imperial Knight. In that role, he participated in the Austro-Hungarian campaign in Bosnia. He held a number of positions in the annexed Bosnia. He was the chief of police in the city of Sarajevo and was declared an honorary citizen of the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1888. He is also one of the founders of the first mountaineering society of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he was also the district chief in Bihać and the mayor of Brčko.