Cellar of the Spahi

The cellar of the Spahi, or the Spanish cellar, is one of the most impressive facilities in Pakrac and its surroundings. It consists of two wings, i.e., it was built in the shape of a key. The frontage of the first wing is facing Strossmayer street, while its second wing is cut into a hill and is located under the building of the Croatian home (Hrvatski dom).

Throughout history, there have been multiple theories about when it was made. The oldest rendition is the one saying it is a building built in the Middle Ages in which a mint was located (in the middle of the 13th century). Even though nowadays most historians have discarded this theory, I think that it is still not entirely impossible and that it should be researched in more detail. Nowadays, the prevailing opinion is that it was originally the storage of the Pakrac estate which was built for that purpose in the 18th century. The facility consists of a basement area and two floors, and it was possible to enter the upper part of the facility with a wagon. Wine in oak barrels was kept in the basement, and some of them are still there. The other yield from the estate was on the first floor and the attic (cereals, fruit, vegetables). Above the front entrance on the frontage framed with trimmed stone lintels and door posts, there is an emblem that used to be interpreted as the mint emblem, and in the more recent time, the prevailing opinion is that it was the emblem of the Janković family. Unfortunately, the emblem was only partially kept, the upper part is missing so it is difficult to say whether it represents a crane from the Janković family emblem that is holding a stone ball in its leg. Even if it is, it is still unclear why there are clearly presented anvil and hammer or an axe at the bottom.

Since this impressive facility is accompanied by interesting legends, I believe that, in the end, it would also be very interesting for the visitors. The cellar of the Spahi, tied to the first mint in Croatia where Slavonian banovac was minted between 1256 and 1260, is a place where visitors can see how Banovac was minted live, the coin also being the original souvenir of the City of Pakrac.
Many myths and legends have been told about the cellar of the Spahi, and old Pakrac citizens were talking about a secret passage that leads from its underground to Čaklovac fort or the parish church. Further research should finally reveal the true purpose and age of this facility.

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