Cultural and historical heritage of the Park
By a grant awarded by Emperor Leopold I in 1699, Prince Eugene of Savoy came to
own the Belje Manor, which included the grounds of the modern-day Kopački Rit. In
the vicinity, in Bilje, this famous Prince and general built a hunting palace.
Not far from this palace, there is the Tikveš castle compound, which comprises
country houses built in the 19th century by members of the Teschen branch of the
Habsburg family. The compound sits right at the heart of Baranja, surrounded by
forests and gardens. Historically, the castle was known all over Europe and
worldwide as a hunting retreat, but one that was reserved for aristocrats and guests
of the Court.
Photographs shot at Kopački Rit by Archduchess Isabella, which show the typical
marshland motifs, were published in many famous magazines of that time.
Archduke Albrecht Franz established the Albertina Biological Station in the area in
After World War II, the area of Kopački Rit was governed by “Belje” National Estate,
after which it was managed by Hunting & Forest Management Estate “Jelen” in the
1960s. In 1967, by virtue of a proclamation of the Parliament of the Republic of
Croatia, Kopački Rit became a Managed Nature Reserve. After the Homeland War,
in 1997, by virtue of a Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the
Public Institution Nature Park Kopački Rit took over management of park grounds. In
other words, the area has been systematically protected for more than 50 years and
a public institution designed especially to that end has been operating for more than
20 years now.