Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Romantic Zagreb

Matoš is back

After a complete restoration, the Matoš on a Bench sculpture has recently returned to its place, where it had been sitting for more than four decades. After a conspicuous absence, the famous Croatian poet, bohemian and uninhibited intellectual invites you to sit with him and enjoy a view of Zagreb – his city and yours, from the famous promenade in the Upper Town.

One of the must see tourist attractions in the Upper Town is the Strossmayer promenade, the location of the sculpture of the famous Croatian poet Antun Gustav Matoš (1873-1914) since 1972. The Matoš on a Bench sculpture, which has returned to its location after restoration, is the work of academic sculptor Ivan Kožarić. It invites visitors to join the poet on his bench, and enjoy a view of downtown Zagreb from a truly spectacular place.

Interestingly, as of last year, the same sculpture can also be found at the Roseraie Park in Issy les Moulineaux near Paris. It was placed there in order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Matoš’s death, and honour the poet who had lived in Paris for five years spending one of the happiest periods of his life in the French capital where he found inspiration for most of his prose work.

Antun Gustav Matoš was a famous Croatian poet and storyteller, as well as author of many anthological works of Croatian poetry and prose. He achieved his greatest literary success with his tales of ideal love, while many of his other tales and poems had landscape as their themes.

Zagreb, where he came from his native Slavonia at the age of two, had a special place in his life. Therefore, it is not surprising that the city paid homage to this bohemian and uninhibited intellectual by placing his statue in one of the most romantic locations in town.

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