Meet Marija Pralija, Split Icon Measuring Your Height and Weight Under the Clock Tower

Daniela Rogulj

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3 Gray Goats Photography

Have you ever visited Marija to measure your height and weight?

If you’ve ever walked under the clock tower, or as we like to say in Split “ispod ure”, near the Iron Gate, you’ve been lucky enough to be in the presence of Marija Parlija, the 76-year-old Split icon who waits with a smile in hopes that you’ll let her measure your height and weight. One of the last guardians of tradition in Split, Dalmatinski Portal met with the dedicated Marija to learn more on August 22, 2017.

“I’m watching over my mother’s heritage and tradition. This device is about 50 years old, and I’ve been under the clock tower for 24 years. When I am healthy, I’ll be under the clock tower. I do what I love and that’s my message to all the young people, do not work if you do not enjoy the job,” said the humble and self-effacing Marija who has three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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“They’re not interested in taking over for me one day, but they do support me in my business. There is no earning here, the price is always the same – two kunas, but the feeling is irreplaceable.”

Marija said that she could not imagine a day without this job.

“I only do not work on Sundays, holidays and in bad weather. It’s hot now, but that does not bother me. I have a lot of regular customers who often come over to measure their weight and talk a bit with me, and there are those who come to measure their weight against their scales at home. There is no better scale than this one, it is precise and will never measure incorrectly. It is accurate to the gram,” Marija added.

As you can imagine, citizens and tourists of all shapes and sizes visit Marija in hopes that she’ll reveal some good news, but has she ever encountered a problem?

“I have not been able to measure some of the heavier people because the scale goes up to 150 kilograms. The height measures just over two meters, so there have been some basketball players that I have not been able to measure either,” Marija concluded.

Just how much of an impact Marija has on the people of Split is best summarized by Split photographer Terry Ruebush, also known as 3 Gray Goats Photography. 

“She is an icon of Split’s old city center. She sits quietly along the old stone paved street near the ‘Iron Gate’ entrance of Diocletian’s 1,700-year-old Palace. She, along with her classic doctor’s scale, is a part of street life here. As I passed her today she had a customer and…..I couldn’t resist,” Terry recalled on his 3 Gray Goats Photography account. You can find Terry’s photo above.

Do yourself a favor this week and pay Marija a visit! 

Translated from Dalmatinski Portal 


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