The film industry in the promotion of Croatian cultural heritage

Two strong earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 and 5.0 according to the Richter scale that hit Zagreb on 22 March 2020 caused damage to numerous buildings that represent protected cultural property within the historical urban area of the city of Zagreb, and left unintended consequences on the cultural property as well, Palača Pongratz, located at Visoka ulica. While on the one hand the reconstruction of this state residence, preceded by the damage recording using a spherical camera, is underway, the shots from the residence captured by the television camera unexpectedly increased their value.

Not many people know that this residence, located in Palača Pongratz, in its modern history, other than protocol events and representatives of other countries, has also hosted the film industry several times, which in the architecture and interior of the State Residence in Visoka recognized the perfect location, whose shots, other than attracting attention, bear witness to the time and contribute to the development and promotion of Croatian culture.

Thanks to the joint production of the company Drugi plan d.o.o. and Croatian Radio and Television, in the second half of 2019, a part of the scenes of the third season of the television series “The Paper” (original title: “Novine”) was filmed in Visoka, and the shots from the central parlor of Palača Pongratz went to more than 190 countries and became available to millions of users of the streaming platform “Netflix”. The recommendation to allow the use of the residence in Visoka for the filming of the series The Paper, as an important project for the development of Croatian culture, was also given by the Ministry of Culture and Media with the explanation: “The entry of the Croatian series into the demanding American and world market is a great global success of the entire domestic audiovisual industry and an exceptional promotion of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian cultural identity through the projection of the series in the original version in Croatian,” therefore the Office of the Prime Minister, the line Ministry and Državne nekretnine d.o.o. were happy to support this valuable audiovisual project.

The authenticity of the location was also crucial for the director Vinko Brešan when in his feature film from 2018 called “What a Country!” (original title: “Koja je ovo država!”), the presidential office of Palača Pongratz at Visoka ulica hosted the roles of the president, prime minister and other characters.

The first television series was filmed in the State Residence in Visoka back in 1974, and Palača Pongratz hosted the film stars of that time during the screen adaptation of one of the most famous and significant literary works of the 19th century, Kovačić’s novel “U registraturi“. Thus, Palača Pongratz contributed to its even greater popularization to this day and became part of the Croatian film anthology.

Palača Pongratz along with the Royal Garden, apart from Croatian, is also a part of European historical and cultural value and as such represents a symbol of European cultural heritage. Therefore, the project of comprehensive structural reconstruction, which is being prepared and which will certainly be one of the most important projects of the Company in the forthcoming period, represents an exceptional value with which the Company ensures the continued protection and preservation of the value of cultural heritage for the use, promotion of the country and education of future generations.

Published 20. August 2020.