The Praškoci Haramiyas Society
Historical and archaeological exploration of Fort Čanjevo, located in the municipality of Visoko, on the Kalnik highlands (Kalničko gorje), has been underway since 2003. The fortress was entirely overgrown in thick woods and bush and was damaged extensively as a result of many years of quarrying, erosion and works being carried out at a new quarry. At the initiative of the municipality of Visoko, and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Croatian Conservation Institute launched extensive works with the aim of exploring the fortress, preserving the structure and carrying out its restoration. Nine campaigns have already been carried out and the outlines of the fortress are emerging from the earth, revealing its buried secrets.
During the many years of work on the fortress, a group of the local inhabitants and experts engaged in the restoration of the fortress decided to establish an association that would research and popularise this fortress and its history. The association was named "The Praškoci's Haramiyas" (Haramiyas = Guardsmen), after the former owner of the fortress and his soldiers. For its first project the association decided to undertake the manufacture of the clothing and equipment of the people who defended and attacked Čanjevo. Life at Fort Čanjevo could in this fashion best be demonstrated to the curious, while members of the association would be motivated to research in minute detail the history of the edifice.
Fort Čanjevo was in its heyday in the second half of the 16th century, and the uniforms and equipment have been manufactured specifically based on our current knowledge of that period. As the project, besides its entertainment aspect, has an educational side, the uniforms and equipment are manufactured strictly following the models of the original articles, depictions and prints that illustrate life as it might have been in Kalnik around the year 1590.
The first "review" of the Praškoci Haramiyas was held on October 14th of 2006 accompanied by an occasional program, so called "Battle for Čanjevo". 8 complete uniforms were prepared for the first year, worn by the members of the society. Some two hundred visitors were present at the event, arriving of their own accord, without a media campaign or announcements. That success has encouraged us to continue the effort and further develop the entire project of "living history" and the exploration of Fort Čanjevo. Since then, Praškoci Haramiyas are active participants at many similar events in Croatia and abroad.
And so the entire "Fort Čanjevo" project, through the many years of dedication of all its activists, is gradually acquiring its intended framework. And that is the preservation of Croatia's cultural heritage and cultural enlightenment in general, which is, as can be seen from the above-detailed, the mutual goal of the Ministry of Culture and of Croatia's citizens.