Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zagreb - Officer Yellachitch, or Jelacic

   Officer Yellachitch.

The modern spelling for the name is "Jelacic"; but the more familiar spelling may come from the fine vintage book about the Balkans, "Black Lamb, Gray Falcon", by Rebecca West, from 1937-41. The officer stands, mounted, in the market square, Jelacic Square.

Yellatchitch-Jelacic according to "Black Lamb" is the 1848 hero who had been appointed Ban of Croatia. He was a Croat General who brilliantly repelled the Hungarians, crushing their rebellion, and thus preserved the Austrian Empire from the Hungarians.  They later joined forces as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but at this time there was conflict.

"Ban" means "Viceroy".  The story is important for its human betrayal side:  Jelacic was then promptly shoved aside, as other powerful interests and people took over. See knigite.abv.bg/en/rw/rw_epilogue1., the 1937-41 book, "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon," by Rebecca West at the paperback version pages 53-56, Penguin Books 1994.

Read about the old Zagreb there:  here is the Epilogue at knigite.abv.bg/en/rw/rw_epilogue1, Old Zagreb, "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon."

Travel reading.  I took the paperback, but cut it in half. It was too thick as a single paperback, too heavy as a hardback. Kept both halves,

Zagreb - Metropolitan: Cathedral, Mirogoj Cemetery, St. Mark's, St. George, underground mall

The lower new town of Zagreb, off the hillside-cliff defense area, is cosmopolitan with parks and grand statues and great Viennese-style avenues and buildings, for business. Days of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Railroad Station, Zagreb, Croatia

The huge old (cloak and dagger?) railroad station in Zagreb has been a main stop for passengers coming from Vienna and moving on to Belgrade or elsewhere, and back.

You can see the influence of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire in most all of the buildings and statuary. The tiled roof is on St. Mark's. We found more people who spoke German than English. See fine photo gallery at www.pbase.com/ralf/zagreb&page=all.

St. Mark's Church, Zagreb, Croatia

There are two main churches:  This, St. Mark's Church; it is first documented in the 12th Century, Romanesque.  The roof tiles form the coats of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia (the coastal region), Zagreb and Slavonia (the western agricultural region, see ://www.croatiatraveller.com/Slavonia/Slavonia.htm).

Then there is the Cathedral of St. Stephen, a more traditional Gothic-looking structure.

In the Cathedral of St. Stephen is the burial place for Cardinal Stepinac, whose activities during WWII are a discussion point for those concerned with the role of church officials in wars. Do you stand aside, and condone by passivity the genocides and other atrocities, or do you give up your life for your friends?

Cardinal Stepinac kept his life, and offered only to convert the Orthodox headed to their deaths at the hands of the Ustache.  He did not stop or try to stop the executions.

For a favorable review of what Cardinal Stepinac decided and when, see www.hic.hr/books/stepinac/english/second/.  For a less favorable account, see www.philologos.org/bpr/files/Vatican/vs001a. Fine minds differ.

Here is St. George, battling the perpetual dragon. Moisture drips from his toe, but this is not seen as miraculous as in some other religious statuary. See example at Bosnia Road Ways, Medjugorje site .

St. George and the Dragon, Zagreb park, Croatia

Dragons.  The earliest "known" dragon may be at Mesopotamia, from the time of King Nebuchadnezzar.

What traces of what led to the nearly global idea of hte dragon.  Is it just a kind of dinosaur.

Collateral and unrecoverable damage caused by wars over the centuries. Is there any archeological evidence of anything left there, after Operation Iraqi "Freedom." See information on collections at www.dia.org/collections/ancient/mesopotamia/31.25.

Dragon forms were also in Egypt, see www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/799168, and in various eastern and western cultures, see www.draconika.com/culture.php.

More on dragons: A TV show (history channel? sponsored by the army??) recently, in September 2006, said that dragons were also in Mexico, Alaska (!) . and we have seen the dragon boats in Viking cultures. Were they real once? Here is the story of a knight and the dragon, and saving the lady, from Libya: www.kellscraft.com/stgeorge.

Miragoj Cemetery, Covered Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia (Orthodox; some German, from WWII)

Miragoj Cemetery. This has been a heavily Orthodox area, and the big Mirogoj cemetery, just outside Zagreb, has many if not almost equal Cyrilic alphabet monuments, or other Orthodox symbols.

There is a large outdoor cemetery, of course, with walkways, and photographs of the deceased on the stones, embedded, or otherwise attached.

Miragoj Cemetery, Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia

There is a former Croatian president here, Mr. Tudjman, and artists, literary figures, professionals. Their locations are mapped; or just follow a tour group.

One travel site has little on Mirogoj, and asks for input, but their motto is something like, find what is true, and then travel to see it. See www.tripadvisor.com/. We do the opposite - who says what is true and why? Go and find it out yourself.

There also German soldiers from WWII, interred with a carefully alphabetized common marker, with names and full birth and death dates.
Miragoj Cemetery, German section WWII, Zagreb, Croatia