Project Description

Miljenko and Dobrila

A legend from the second half of the 17th century tells of the tragic love of two young people from Kaštel Lukšić. A daughter, Dobrila, was born to the noble Vitturi family, and a son Miljenko to the Rušinić family. The two fell in love, but their relationship was forbidden due to hostilities between their families. From the moment their parents learned of their love, Dobrila was under strict supervision, while Miljenko was sent to Venice by his parents. Dobrila’s father arranged for her to be married to an older noble from Trogir. Miljenko learned about this, arrived at the very moment that the bride and groom were saying their vows, and stopped the wedding. In order to punish her for the shame that she had brought him, Dobrila’s father sent her to a convent in Trogir and, to keep Miljenko from finding her, he ordered the boy’s death. However, Miljenko disguised himself as a friar and the plan failed. In attempting to find Dobrila, Miljenko came into conflict with the law and was sentenced to prison in Visovac. There he met a nurse and, through her, sent messages to Dobrila and planned his escape. When the two ran off, Dobrila’s parents were forced to give in, and they sent a message that the two return to Kaštel Lukšić so that they could be married. After the wedding was held in August 1690, Dobrila’s father, unable to come to terms with the fact that his daughter had married Miljenko, killed his new son-in-law on the bridge before the castle. Dobrila lost her mind, fell into the river, and died soon afterwards. Her final wish was to be buried together with Miljenko in the Chapel of St. John in Kaštel Lukšić opposite the castle. The inscription “Peace to the lovers” stands forever on their grave, while both castles, of the Vitturi and Rušinić families, still stand in Kaštel today. The fate of the two young lovers has inspired novels, an opera and a theatre play.