Even though the historic data on the castle and its owners are very scarce, according to the testimonies of people, who worked for the counts, experts managed to reconstruct a part of the story. It is, therefore, known today that the manorial estate in Suhopolje at the end of the 18th century was purchased from the Imperial Chamber by Count Ivan Nepomuk Janković. The exact year is not known. Ivan Janković purchased an already fully formed estate with a series of housing, governance and farm buildings the construction of which was completed in 1775. The estate was mostly of economic importance and the Count himself allegedly did not spent much time there. However, he had an impressive classicist church built that then formed the town of Suhopolje. In 1816, it was consecrated to St. Therese and, a year later, Ivan Janković was buried there and several years thereafter his wife Therese, born Püchler, was buried there, too. Ivan was inherited by his son Stjepan and in the second half of the 19th century the new heir was Count Elemir. He proposed to a Hungarian noble woman but, having seen the space in which they lived, she rejected him. She said that this was only a field. In order to please his wife-to-be, the young count, had other buildings built within the castle estate beside the already existing building. The park was planted at that time as well with mature tree seedlings in order to be as lush as possible.

According to oral tradition, the family also had a menagerie, i.e. hunting grounds on Odboj in Bjeljevina. There Count Elemir asked his father Aladar to permit him to get married to Ilka, the administrator’s daughter. Aladar gave his permission only after he had him whipped in front of everybody.

Even though Elemir was very much in love with Ilka at the beginning, he later humiliated her because of her origin. However, Ilka was vindictive. After during a meal he once intentionally soiled her wonderful white lace blouse with spinach, she forbade him to enter her chambers for a month. The Countess died in 1907 and, in her honour, Elemir had a chapel and a tomb built. They had two sons. One was Andrija, while the other died after falling from a window.

While Elemir was serious and polite, his son Andrija had quite a different temper. He was whimsical and loved to have fun. The rumour has it that he used to leave his hat at home in order to deceive his wife and would then flee through a window and hurry to his mistress. With a young woman, Irena, he even had a child so that one of the servants in the castle had to marry her in order to save the Count’s honour.

Count Elemir was of excellent health. In winter, he used to roll naked in the snow and then lie in bed. He died in 1917 and the estate was inherited by his son Andrija, who used to spend more time on his estates in Hungary.

After the nationalisation in 1918, Count Andrija left Suhopolje and the castle was inhabited by the administrator of the Janković estate. During its rich history, the castle, apart from the owner, changed also its purpose. After World War I, Russian refugees used to be housed there, while from 1943 to 1960 it was turned into a children’s home for war orphans. From 1964 to 1973, it served as a kindergarten, a primary school and as flats.

The Janković Noble Family

In the Slavonia area, two noble families of the same last name had their estates there: the Janković’s from Daruvar and the Janković’s from Bribir and Voćin.

At the end of the 18th century, the Voćin noble estate became the property of the Janković noble family of Bribir (Jankovich de Pribért).

The Janković family of Bribir and Voćin (Jankovich de Pribérd et Vuchin) was an eminent Croatian and Hungarian noble family. With the Charter of King Ferdinand III of 20 February 1642, their noble status was confirmed, the grant of arms was renewed and the grant to different properties since 1262 recognised.

The estate of the Janković family produced wheat, corn, wine, firewood and timber. In Rezovačke Krčevine, there were approximately thirty acres of vineyards cultivated. Elemir pl. Janković in Suhopolje and Aladar Count Janković in Cabuna were known also for their horse breeding. The stables are the oldest ones in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy right after the stable of the Cistercite Abbey in Elöszállás in the Székesféhervár County, established at the beginning of the 17th century. For more than twenty years, Aladar was the president of the horse breeding committee of the Virovitica County.

Moreover, the estates in Suhopolje and Cabuna had major forest surfaces. In 1894, they were in the group of 5,000-10,000 acres when it comes to forests. The Gradina and Lukač estates possessed 1,000-5,000 acres of forests. Lumbering and turning forest surfaces into cleared areas, arable land and meadows significantly increased in the second half of the 19th century, bringing major profit to its owners.

At the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century, the estates on the territory of the Virovitica County modernised hunting and fenced the hunting grounds with feeding grounds and troughs for game. Count Elemir Janković in Suhopolje had the most advanced hunting ground and a separate menagerie. In 1907, the hunting ground covered approximately 80 acres and was fenced.

At the end of the 19th century, the Janković family branched into three bloodlines: Elemir Janković (Jankovics – Bészán) from Suhopolje; Gejza Géza Janković from Lukač (son of Josip and Matilda) and Aladar Janković from Cabuna.

Today, the majority of the descendants of the Janković family of Bribir and Voćin live in Hungary.

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