September 28, 2021
Lopud 1483 is more than an island escape
Croatia’s Dalmatian shoreline is dotted with islands that form one of the most beautiful areas of the Adriatic coast—reached by boat from Dubrovnik, sleepy Lopud 1483 - a tiny, car-free island with quiet villages. With historical ruins and a population of under 300 - is in many ways little changed since medieval times.
It is here you will find Lopud 1483, a meticulously restored 15th-century fortified Franciscan monastery founded in 1483 that has been resuscitated from near-total dereliction. In fact, this heritage site has been so sensitively resurrected that it seems to magically transport you back to the time when the monks’ reverence for nature, art and learning was the monastery’s raison d’être.
Perched on the island’s northernmost tip overlooking Lopud bay, the monastery complex—topped by a Renaissance church spire—is interspersed with medicinal and spiritual gardens, all enveloped within the rampart walls of the fortress.
Ravaged by a devastating earthquake in 1667, by 1822 the monastery was abandoned. In 1997, collector, activist, and philanthropist Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza set about restoring the Lopud monastery, launching a 20-year preservation project. Such is the care that was taken when reviving this heritage site that the extraordinary five-bedroomed private retreat seamlessly brings history to life with tranquility and low-key sophistication.
“This is a place with a very special energy, an oasis of monastic calm, cloaked in the kind of magic that only holy islands emanate” —Tatler magazine
Sympathetically restored to retain as much of the original fabric as possible, Lopud 1483 combines original stonework, restored plasterwork, restructured wooden beams, historic Renaissance and Baroque antiques from the Thyssen-Bornemisza family collection, handmade minimalist furniture by Italian designer Paola Lenti and astounding contemporary artworks from the TBA21 Collection. Behind these cloistered walls, the result is a wonderful meeting of history and contemporary culture.
Outside, the extensive terraced gardens have been beautifully restored and replanted with over 80 historically accurate medicinal plant species. You are invited to walk barefoot through the fragrant Sacred Garden located between the monastery and the fortifications so you can “experience rather than consume” its restorative power.
Lopud 1483 is so much more than an island escape. It is a place where history, art and botanical exploration unite to stimulate the senses, ignite learning and acknowledge the value of culture. Even better, this place of healing gives you the exceptional opportunity to live among the Thyssen-Bornemisza family’s private art collection, one of the greatest in the world.
To stay in this exceptional home and experience the magic of history for yourself, contact In Residence by Pieter Brundyn.
‘This 15th-century monastery surrounded by soulful Renaissance gardens on an Adriatic island has been revived as an art-world hideaway with a bespoke private art collection compiled by three generations of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family’