The Ruins of the Brestovac Sanatorium and the Story of Its Love

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Outdoor Croatia Holiday

After serving as a military hospital and a tuberculosis complex, this building was demolished. Urban researchers and paintball enthusiasts are now the only visitors to the site. The Sljemenska Road (Sljemenska cesta in Croatian) is just a few miles away from this forgotten ruin in the forests around Mount Medvednica.

Milivoj Deman, a local doctor, and Ljerka ram, a Croatian actress, fell in love at this location. In his hometown, he was well-known as a doctor and a playwright, while she was a well-known actress and singer.

As children, Deman and ram had known each other, but after he went to medical school, they lost contact. In the theater, Deman saw ram and immediately fell in love with her. In the meantime, she married Aleksander Isakovic, president of the First Croatian Savings Bank.

Brestovac Sanatorium
Author: Joel Webb – Flickr @60584010@N00

However, Deman’s feelings remained, and when Isakovic went missing after being accused of embezzlement, Deman offered to take in both ram and her son. Despite the fact that they were never able to get married, they formed a family.

However, their joy was short-lived. Toward the end of the 19th century, the love of his life succumbed to tuberculosis, an extremely serious illness. There were a lot of deaths in the city at the time because of this terrible disease.

Author: Joel Webb – Flickr @60584010@N00

Ljerka ram and others in need were given priority by Milivoj Deman, who set out to construct a tuberculosis hospital. Work on his new clinic was approved by the city’s founders.

It was in 1909 that he built what is now known as the Sanatorium Brestovac on the slopes of Mount Medvednica, just outside the city. It was thought that a forest in the mountains would be ideal for patients to relax and recuperate.

Author: Joel Webb – Flickr @60584010@N00

First in line for admission was ram. Patients at the Sanatorium Brestovac were able to eat well and breathe in clean, fresh air while receiving treatment.

Sanatorium Brestovac became the first tuberculosis treatment facility in the region after Deman decided to devote all of his time to finding a cure for the disease. It also became one of Europe’s best over time.

Author: Joel Webb – Flickr @60584010@N00

Unfortunately, Ljerka ram was taken from Deman in November 1913 at the age of 39, even though his sanitorium was one of the world’s best institutions.

The Sanatorium Brestovac served as a military hospital during both World Wars. It became increasingly unappealing for patients to stay in the hospital following the end of the war.

The complex became less popular as tuberculosis treatment progressed, and the building began to decline.

Author: Joel Webb – Flickr @60584010@N00

In 1968, the sanatorium was closed for good because of the deteriorating state of the building and the development of better medical treatments. The building gradually degenerated into ruins over the following years, as nature began to take control of it.

The abandoned sanatorium now sits in the middle of a forest, in a state of decay. Even though it is deserted, it is frequently visited by curious residents and is a popular location for paintballers.

Amidst its imminent demise, there are still patches of paint on the walls, and the windows appear to be in good condition. Showers, benches, and a reception area give visitors an idea of what life was like here at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Joel Webb took all of the photographs. See more of the places he’s been by visiting his Flickr account.

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