Brestovac was the first specialized sanatorium for lung diseases in this part of Europe. Except the hospital, sanatorium included a library, cinema and outhouses such as creamery, bakery and pig farm.
Construction of the sanatorium was indicated by a doctor, writer and a publicist Milivoj Dežman. The motive for initiation of construction was his enormous love for a local beauty and actress Ljerka Šram.
Ljerka and Milivoj knew each other from the early childhood since they were born and raised at the same neighbourhood. When Milivoj was sent to a noble convict they haven't seen each other for a quite a while. As years have gone by, Ljerka grew up to be a very beautiful young women. When he saw her performing in a play he was enchanted by her beauty. He than said to one of his friends: "This one or no one."
After that encounter, they used to see each other more often, but he was too afraid to confess her his feelings. When he moved to Wienna to study medicine he wrote to her every day. At first she replied regularly, but the letters stopped when Ljerka got involved with an officer Aleksandar Isaković. In 1897. Milivoj returned to Zagreb after finishing college and at one point they finally started a relationship. They never got married and people were slandering Milivoj because Ljerka had a son with another man. He never minded and took care of Saša like he was his own son.
When Ljerka got sick of tuberculosis, Milivoj decided to do anything that was in his power to save her so he used all of his political and economical influence to open the sanatorium. Unfortunately, only four years after the opening of Brestovac, Ljerka has died in his hands.
During the Second World War the hospital served as sanctuary for solders and place where over 200 people were killed when opposite sides collated.
After that, among people, Brestovac was often called a "ghost hospital" because of the many people who have died there (both patients and not). Of course, nobody can claim a thing like that ... Still, I cannot say that is a peachy and charming place to visit. I most definitely haven't felt very pleasant there and have no urge to visit it again any time soon. On the other side, I'm happy to have made this little research about the place and a lovely love story behind it. After all, no matter how valuable or not the certain building is, in the end, only people and their lives are those who become immortal through the memories and the love they shared on this world.