You’ve probably passed by A. G. Matoš sitting on his bench a million times while you were strolling along the Strossmayer Promenade.
Did you know that the famous Croatian modernist author wasn’t actually from Zagreb, but from Tovarnik?
His family moved to Zagreb when he was 2, in 1875, but he fled Zagreb in 1894 because he didn’t want to join the army. He spent his years in Belgrade, Paris, Vienna, Munich until he was finally pardoned and allowed back in Zagreb in 1908. He died on March 17, 1914 of throat cancer.
Sculptor Juraj Kožarić decided to create an unusual statue for Matoš in 1972 to commemorate his unusual life: he is sitting on a bench and looking over his beloved Zagreb, inviting passersby to join him in his contemplation.
You can read the poet’s most famous and most beautiful poem, Utjeha kose (Hair Comfort) here.