0267 Public Sculpture in Zagreb in the Second Half of the 19th Century

Typology and Style of Monuments in the Urban Gesamtkunstwerk "Green Horseshoe" (Zelena potkova)

  • Irena Kraševac (Author)

    Irena Kraševac is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb. She graduated from the Department of Art History of Zagreb University, receiving her MA in 1999 and her PhD in 2005. Among her publications and exhibition collaborations related to topics of Croatian art within the European context are: Ivan Meštrović i Secesija. Beč – München – Prag 1900–1910 [Ivan Meštrović and the Secession. Vienna Munich Prague 1900–1910], Zagreb 2002; Zagreb – München. Hrvatsko slikarstvo i Akademija likovnih umjetnosti u Münchenu [Zagreb Munich. Croatian Painting and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich], Art Pavilion, Zagreb, 2009; Alegorija i Arkadija. Antički motivi u umjetnosti hrvatske moderne [Allegory and Arcadia. Motifs from Antiquity in the Art of Croatian Modernism], Klovićevi dvori Gallery, Zagreb, 2013; Izazov moderne: Zagreb – Beč oko 1900 [The Challenge of Modernism: Vienna and Zagreb around 1900], Klovićevi dvori Gallery, Zagreb, 2017, and Belvedere, Vienna, 2017/18; and Nepoznati Klimt – ljubav, smrt, ekstaza [Unknown Klimt – Love, Death, Ecstasy], Rijeka City Museum, 2021. Since 2007, she has also been a tutor in the Art History Doctoral Studies section of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Zagreb University.

Identifiers (Article)


The Zagreb Green Horseshoe, or Zelena potkova in Croatian, is an original urban evocation of the Ringstraße in Vienna that represents an effort to create a characteristic urban space during the era of Historicism. This distinctive 19th century urban project provided an appropriate setting for monuments and sculptural decoration. Squares, parks and main streets thus became a stage where contemporaries encountered monuments to personalities whose memory was to be preserved. The evocation of historical figures as a part of the collective memory is one of the fundamental ideas behind erecting monuments in any public place. Zagreb, as a national metropolis, favoured monuments dedicated to persons who recalled the nation’s glorious past and to highly regarded individuals, artists and poets. This paper focuses on thirteen monuments that were erected from 1866 to 1914 in this model part of the city and discusses issues related to the clients, the artists and the individuals to whom they were dedicated. The monuments that extend along the Zelena potkova can match the monuments on the Ringstraße, both examples are part of a common heritage from the reign of Franz Joseph I of Austria.


19th century, Zagreb, Vienna, urban planning, Historicism, Ringstraße, Zelena potkova, sculptors, monuments