Monday, 14 July 2014

Zagreb: Walking round 19 c buildings, museum of broken relationships, live open air jazz.

I walked all over Zagreb, getting the feel of the town. It has a nice 19 c Austria Hungarian centre, lots of cafes and all the museums were closed on a Monday.

The cathedral is rebuilt neo-gothic , not very exciting, The other church has an amazing tiled roof with the Croatian coat of arms. I enjoyed the coffee and the cafes and bars were full of people meeting and talking. They are quite stylish but not aggressively so. I ended the evening in a fine open air jazz bar terrace and with hundreds of night lights on a wall and easy chairs for sitting. A young woman sang jazz classics accompanied by a key board player. Very relaxed.

I visited the Museum of Broken Relationships which is an extraordinary collection of objects that people have donated to mark the ending of various relationships. Romantic love and betrayal dominated and the objects which ranged from bits of pottery to magazines, a setting of the components of an Amstrad 64 to an axe. All had their stories. Many around the theme of love that initially seemed wonderful but then was not sustained, others of women betrayed by their husbands after decades of marriage, the axe belonged to someone who on being betrayed had chopped the betrayer’s furniture up into small pieces and handed it over. It was a strange sad collection, love is a universal phenomenon, betrayal is common, the stories were touching, sometimes the briefer notes were more poignant, one vase had by it: a business relationship that developed into an amorous one and both failed. In others the anger was still very palpable and the museum perhaps allowed people to dump their anger. I liked the philosophical exploration of the museum and was sad that it did not explore relationships between broken Balkan states for instance.

Interesting if rather mournful way to spend the afternoon

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