A poet who refuses to leave.
A stroll down Strossmayer Promenade is important, not only for the view and perspective it provides, but also to allow you to find out about one of the most important figures in Croatian history. Bishop of Djakovo, Slavonia, political party leader and founder of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Strossmayer had a huge influence on events while Croatia was still a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He used income from his episcopal estates to fund other important projects. His promenade was designed in the mid 19th century, only to be named after him some years later.
Its construction was funded by voluntary donations from local citizens. As you sit on a bench to find shade from the scorching summer heat, you may not be aware of the fact that the building which was the City Real Lycée in the mid 19th century and then later the Women’s Lycée, had previously housed a Viennese-style café that was patronised by many famous citizens of Zagreb, including the poet and writer, Antun Gustav Matoš.
What was once a café, today is the State Meteorological and Hydrological Service and Geophysics Institute. The poet who used to sit in the café reading his paper and sipping his coffee is still here, though, cast in bronze, sitting on a bench on the Strossmayer Promenade.