In the Augustinčić home

Katarina is a niece of a famous Croatian sculptor, Antun Augustinčić.

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©Zoran Stupar

She is 85 and lives in a beautiful home in Klanjec in Hrvatsko Zagorje, surrounded by many incredible pieces of Croatian history – objects from many different castles. Her house looks almost like a small museum. For example, there’s a huge stove from a nearby castle Miljana. Despite her age, she’s bright, active and a very interesting person to speak to.

In and around her house she cultivates lemons, kiwis and Japanese apples.

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We were given some Japanese apples and kiwis

©Zoran Stupar

She also makes an incredible herb spirit (Croatian: travarica) which I had to drink in exchange for the permission to photograph. It was the best one I’ve ever tasted, even though I don’t have the habit of drinking at 11 AM.

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Katarina with my travarica

©Zoran Stupar

Antun Augustinčić (4 May 1900 – 10 May 1979) was a prominent Croatian sculptor active in Yugoslavia, but also during the WW2 in Independent Republic of Croatia (NDH). Along with Ivan Meštrović and Frano Kršinić he is considered one of the three most important Croatian sculptors of the 20th century.

His most notable sculptures include the Peace monument which stands in front of the United Nations building in New York City and the Miner statue in front of the International Labour Organization headquarters in Geneva. In Klanjec, near Katarina’s house, there’s a gallery where you can see his work which he left to his birthplace.

 

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