Home is where and what you make it, and nowhere is this more true than at the extraordinary Blaca monastery on Brac Island, which I was fortunate enough to see on a recent visit to Croatia.
Literally hewn out of the rock face, the Blaca monastery is a masterpiece of architectural hutzpah, but even more extraordinary is the interior.
When the priests decided to make this place home, they didn’t hold back on creature comforts.
Despite the somewhat unpromising start of a granite dwelling, the inside became an aladdin’s cave of domesticity. The kitchen boasts a fireside hearth and copious cooking Appliances including one of the first pressure cookers! The bedrooms and sitting rooms are furnished with handsome antique furniture. Even more surprising is the armory that helped protect the monastery from sea borne invaders.
But my favourite two pieces are the grand piano, carried by hand for eight hours from the sea over the mountains to its resting place in the priests sitting room, and the magnificent telescope, through which the priests discovered three new stars.
The decorative detail belies the surroundings and every room holds a surprise, none more so than the exquisite chapel.
The monastery at Blaca is proof, if ever you needed it, that There is No Place Like Home.