Posted by: viewfromtheriva | February 8, 2013

Grgur of Nin sends a message

rainbow Grgur

I came across this photo I took last summer during a late afternoon thunder storm and realized I never posted it.  The rainbow disappeared so fast I was lucky to catch it….just wish it could have been coming directly out of the famous hand of Grgur of Nin, the famous statue by Ivan Mestrovic, which stands just outside the north wall of Diocletian’s Palace.   Grgur was an inconoclastic bishop who defied the Pope early in the 10thC  by insisting that the Latin Bible be translated into Croatian so everyone could read it.  For his insolence he not only lost his bishopric but was later banished to some obscure parish and pretty much was never heard from again.  But to Croats,  he is considered one of the great heroic native patriots and his statue, which used to be in the Peristil, is visited by hundreds of thousands every year who rub his chunky bronze toe (now polished to a high sheen!) for good luck and courage.

An interesting historical side note–just before the Italians and Nazi’s arrived in WW2  some partisan Croats felt the statue would be blown up because it was such a revered nationalist symbol.   So in the dead of night, they cut it into large chunks and buried it until the end of the war.  It was moved to where it is now and if you look closely you can still see the weld marks across the waist and chest.


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