Miljenko and Dobrila

Miljenko and Dobrila

In Kaštel Lukšić in the second half of 17th century aristocratic Vitturi family have had a daughter Dobrila, and Adalberto Rušinić a son Miljenko. Fair looking boy and gentle girl fell deeply in love. Quarrel between their fathers over feudal rights regarding peasants, forced lovers to meet se­cretly. Maid Antica facilitated their secret meetings. Eventually, their parents found about their affair and Dobrila was put under strict supervision of her mother contessa Marija. Miljenko was, on lawyer Doroteo's suggestion, sent to dodge's service in Venice. Soo n after that Dobrila's father conte Radoslav, out of sheer spite, arranged marriage of his daughter to Družimir, an elderly nobleman from Trogir.

Dobrila's aunt, contessa Demetrija had her doubts regarding nature and righteousness of such a marriage. Miljenko in Venice was informed about that by a soldier from Lukšić. He arrived in Kaštel Lukšić on the day of wedding. A the very moment of exchanging wows at the local church, in front of consternated priest don Mavro and the wedding guests, he had forcefully stopped the wedding. Vengeful Dobrila's father, conte Radoslav decides to confine his daughter in the nunnery of St. NIkola at Trogir. Miljenko met their boat at the port in Trogir, wielding his sword and causing upheaval in attempt to stop it. The  magistrate, with his father conte Adalberto's con­sent, exiled Miljenko to a Franciscan monastery on the islet of Visovac on the Krka River, not far from Šibenik. He met there a peasant woman Božica, who was onetime Dobrila's wet nurse. She conveyed his message to his lover at the convent in Trogir. She tricked mother superior Gertruda and escaped skillfully, but Miljenko was not at the arranged place near Trogir.

Dobrila wandered alone through a stormy night, and in the morning she was captured by brigands. After suffering fear defenseless girl accepts dangerous offer of highway robbers to lead her to the Visovac monastery to Miljenko. In the meantime Miljenko disguised as amonk, because Dobrila 's father conte Radoslav hired brigands to assassinate him. Dobrila thought that he was ordained and disappointed lost every hope that she would wed Miljenko secretly at Visovac. When he learned of his daughter's flight, conte Radoslav's tyrannical paternal pride was hurt. He used cunningness to avoid family shame and offered a reconciliatory hand to ever good-hearted Miljenko's father conte Adalbert. Now reconciled parents sent three emissaries to Visovac to cajole disobedient lovers and bring them to Kaštel Lukšić for a ceremonial wedding. The lovers from Kaštela agreed to the parents' offer and went home. But the very next summer night in August around year 1690 after magnificent wedding and feasting, Dobrila's father conte Radoslav possessed by uncontainable hatred and desire for revenge, shot his son in law dead with a flintlock pistol on bridge in front of his castle at the Brce Square in Kaštel Lukšić.

He couldn't cope with the fact that Miljenko won and that he would take his Dobrila as his wife to her new home in the castle of the Rušinić family. A few months later desperate Dobrila crushed by grief lost her mind, got sick and died. Her last wish was to be buried in the same grave with Miljenko in the little church of St. Ivan at Rušinac where on the gravestone is written: "Pokoj ljubovnikom" (Peace to the lovers).

Beside the grave in Kaštel Lukšić still stands the authentic Dobrila's castle Vitturi from 15th -16th century, Miljenko's castle Rušinić from the15th century and the old church from 1530 where they were married.

A novel, drama and an opera were written about this legend.