Zagreb 3 – city squares

All Saints Day, 1 November 2018 – a walk to the centre, including King Tomislav and Nikola Subic Zrinski Squares.

King Tomislav himself.
Nikola Subic Zrinski Square.

I walked from Sopot to the centre for the first time, taking the straightest route past the Gradski City Park (details on Zagreb 1), over the fast flowing River Sava, and past the National and University Library (which was closed due to the National Holiday, and is where they are holding The First International Conference on Green Libraries very soon).

Gradski Park, Zagreb.
River Sava, Zagreb.
A vista of skyscrapers, Zagreb.
What a contrast between the old style red rooves and the new turquoise vertical swimming pool type!
National and University Library of Zagreb.

I discovered the bus routes end point and underground Garaza shopping centre (also mostly closed) out of which you emerge in the King Tomislav Square (trg kralja Tomislava) by the Glavini railway station (Kolodov). This brought me to a whole other side of Zagreb I had not yet seen – national monuments resembling Vienna but less overtly grand, more comfortable somehow.

Glavini Railway Station, Zagreb.
I cannot identify this building. It is located in a smaller, prettier square next to the King Tomislav Square and above the Garaza shopping Centre.
Starcevicev Dom, Zagreb.
All Saints Day flowers for the graves of the deceased.
Boy playing in the fountains.
The Art Pavillion, Zagreb (also the title picture of this blog).
Apartments opposite the King Tomislav Square – reminisecent of Vienna.
Child playing behind the plane tree which reminded me of the Dunkeld Oak in Scotland which you can also go inside.
Hrvatska (Croatian) Narodna Banka – a very fine building, Zagreb.
There is a lot to see here!
This is the way to use a statue – play on it! (Outside Booksa of that more later!)

Zagreb Information

Zagreb 2 – Museum of Contemporary Art

Halloween 31 October 2018: Museum of Contemporary Art, the permanent collection.

Spirit, Body installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.

Not to be confused with the Moderna Galerija which is a Baroque building, Vranyczany Palace housing art works from the 19th century and after, the Museum of Contemporary Art is (during the day time anyway) a modern block of uninspiring concrete in Novi Zagreb, at the crossroads of Većeslava Holjevca and Dubrovnik Avenues. Do not be put off! It has a modernist interior with sharp, clear lines and is beautifully designed to show off its collection of post 1950s performance and Retroavantgarde art.

Reflection of the stairs in the perspex, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.
Somewhere to sit in the sun and contemplate, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.


I got carried away by the red line theme.

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The red neon is in the foyer of the Museum; the red tube which starts on one floor and hooks over the edge of the next level up is Red Line by Ivan Kozaric, 2011; the block with a thin horizontal line (part of a bigger work) is Circles between Surfaces by Dalibor Martinis; and the drawing is part of the presentation for the 32nd Venice Biennale in 1964.

I am currently writing about death so was not surprised to find a number on that theme.

Jan Fabre’s I Spit on My Own Tomb (though the spitting was not working).


There was an interesting ‘sculpture’ in the Gradski Park – photographer Romeo Ibrisivika has been ‘pulling the wrecks out of the environment’ (dragging rivers, that sort of thing), and then there was a sculpture in the Museum which reminded me of it.

There were two which took a Scottish theme: a video Midges by Dorothy Cross (2000) and these two photos (from a series of three).

Aran Miljenko Horvat (1965).

I seemed to be picking up on a theme of doorways – what is behind? what will come through?

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.. the lip of light beneath a sill.

Women Who Run With The Wolves, Bluebeard commentary Claudia Pinkola

There was a twisted two-slide shute which must be really fun and doubles up as an art work (which was not working). Then everywhere I looked were coils of metal and chrome.

A poster I saw in Padua reminded me of Lea (before she changed her hair colour!) whose hospitality here in Croatia has been amazing, and the art work in the gallery – Untitled by Antun Motika (1943-44).

A very moving series about women in a safe house, most of whom had been abused and fled the men who caused it. Women’s House Sanja Ivekovic (1998-2002).
A hanging light installation. Changes by Mirjana Vodopija (1994)
New York, New York by Dalibor Martinis (1984) shows two screens of waves, the wake behind a boat and reminded me of standing on the ferry from Ireland to Wales.
Zlatko Kopljar’s Compassion (2005), from a series of him kneeling in front of national monuments.
Orange Extension by Jesus Raphael Soto (1968-70).


Annette Messager’s Woman and Drawing a series of three (1972).

Shots through windows.




Even the toilet door signs were related to an artwork!

Tiles like this one are in all the lavatories.


Back outside.

The Wu Chi again – the un-manifest aspect of the Tao. See Picardy 4


Free admission for all visitors on the first Wednesnday of the month!

Zagreb 1

Paris – Milan – Padua – Zagreb: October 2018

If I am making a long journey I spend quite a time looking for cheap ways to do it. This time I plotted Paris to Zagreb on Google maps, saw the stop-offs it suggested I made, and from there checked the airlines for who flew where. In the end I found a cheap flight to Milan from Paris which was straightforward, and then took Flix buses the rest of the way.

This painting is by Croatian hyper realist painter, Jadranka Fatur whose work is on show in a temporary exhibition at the Modern Art Museum in Zagreb. Although painted in 1975, it is still exactly like this!

That part was arduous with local transport from Milan Airport to Monza to get the bus, which was delayed so that was already 10.30pm, although the wait was made more enjoyable with a conversation with a masters student studying in Padua. She told me where to go when I made the change there. I think this was my first 11pm – 1am sightseeing trip!

Then the over night part in the hottest bus I have ever ridden was quite a challenge, plus we had to get off twice at the Slovenian – Croatian border for passport checks despite it being the 32nd country to enter the European Union. Is that what we have to look forward to now just enough British people have voted to leave? What a calamity.

Passport check. I was shouted at for taking photos, just like when I visited Bulgaria with the school in 1984

However, I did eventually get there and was met by the wonderful dancing Lea (who I met in a woman’s dormitory in Graz last year and kept up with on Facebook).

Croatia was, and still is, the hottest piece of geographic real estate in Europe. Croatia is the gateway between north, south, east and west in Europe.’ From (no longer available).

During my first day I stayed close to where the apartment is and look what I found: Bundek lake with woods in Gradski Park, and the Museum of Modern Art on Avenija Dubrovnik (all less than 15 minutes walk).

As always I gravitate to nature. It grounds me after travelling and arriving in a new location

The familiar smell of Autumn, insects and wildflowers I am used to, sunshine on my skin.

There was traffic in the distance

I sat back against the tree and relaxed my pelvis. Smelling the rotting earth at my feet, I reflected that it is hard to write when I am unsettled. I relax and exhale, feeling myself let go.

Smooth round pebbles at and under the water’s edge
Shadows thrown by the low Autumn sun
The roots emerging from the ground and the glorious yellow of the leaves
Dandelions and spears of grass protrude between the dead leaves
The Weeping Willow droops her fronds almost to the earth

The wilder side of Gradski Park, Zagreb, Croatia
Ripples caused by unseen creatures which almost appeared from underneath the water and from the wind.
Just like Paris! Someone camping or possibly living in this beautiful place

I walked around the lake shown above and there was the other side of it – all open and sculpted.

Gradski Park
Gradski Park, Zagreb, Croatia
Bumbina Lavada by Damir Matausic akad kipar with Ljevaonica Umjetnina
I spent some time at a nice cafe in the sun. It had WiFi and green tea, charming staff but no food, so I had to move on

Like Norway, I am in a country where I speak none of the language and cannot make sense of the signs around me. I quickly learn please and thank you by asking shop owners to teach me. I smile a lot.

In the morning, the Museum of Modern Art looked as if it was disused, and indeed the cafe and restaurants are shut for renovation
Round the side of the building there were colourful hoardings
Inside it was very much open (11am – 6pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays and holidays (it is civically owned), 11 – 8pm on Saturdays. 70 kun for permanent and temporary exhibitions for one day
The red kites in the shop attracted my attention
Also from the hyper realism exhibition. Selfie with a difference, two differences!
Outdoor sculptural comment on the waste in our oceans and the effect it has on sea life. Clearing leaves in the background
Temporary exhibition of industrial photographs by Toso Dabac (1907 – 1970). 1,5000,000 Volt accelerator, Boris Kidric Institute of Nuclear Science, Serbia. Before 1957

BBC Croatian Timeline

Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb