Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Kick in the Balkans, Part II

Statue of Gregorius of Nin, a 10th century Crotain religious leader by the sculptor Ivan Mĕstrović at the entrance to Diocletian's Palace, Split. Apparently touching the big toe brings you good luck.

9 comments:

Lorainne said...

I am sure you will start to feel the effects of the good luck very soon!!!!!!

Caroline said...

Impressive statue. Looks more like a wizard with those long fingers.

Antonio from Italy said...

Of course you touched his toe, didn't you? ;-)

CW said...

Of course, Antonio! I'm still waiting for it to take effect though!

Lorainne said...

Maybe it will take effect sooner than you think!!!!

Yorkshire Soul said...

Leader of the Knights who say Nin ?

Sorry, I'll get me coat.

Paul said...

Just back from Split.

Wonderful time, there's a great book you should read on the area "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" by Rebecca west. She wrote it in the late 1930s and is a pretty sardonic look at the region's history. She says this about Mestrovic's statue:

"Nobody can say whether it is a good statue or not. The only fcat that is observable about it in this position is that it is 24 feet high. A more ungodly misfit was never seen. The lack of proportion (its head is on level with the colonades and the passgae in which it stands is only forty feet wide)means the bishop looks gangling and flimsy, lacking in true mass, like one of those marionettes one may sometimes see kept aside for next year's carnival".

A bit harsh, I thought it looked a bit like a fiercer Prof. Dumbledore from one of the Harry Potter films!

CW said...

Not surprised you enjoyed it Paul. I've heard of West's book by way of amore recent book I've reading - "Another Fool in the Balkans" by Tomy White - in which the author attempts to follow the footsteps of West. Very interesting stuff which has whetted my appetite for "Black Lamb". I'd also recommend Slavenka Drakulic's "Balkan Express: Fragments from the other side of war", memoirs of a Croatian writer in exile during the Balkan wars.
One regret I would have about the trip though is we didn't get to see Belgrade, but maybe one day. Here's hoping that Ryanair or Easyjet start up a regular flight there - or at least to somewhere 50 miles outside the place.

Paul said...

"One regret I would have about the trip though is we didn't get to see Belgrade, but maybe one day. Here's hoping that Ryanair or Easyjet start up a regular flight there - or at least to somewhere 50 miles outside the place."

We flew to Split with an outfit called SkyEurope for something approaching 15 pounds! A possibility is to fly to Budapest or the Balaton with Easyjet or Ryanair and make the journey down to Belgrade by car, probably about a 5-6 hour drive.