After spending an eventful day in Zagreb’s City Community Gardens, I decided to visit another type of garden – Zagreb Botanical Garden.
Garden webpage: http://hirc.botanic.hr/vrt/home.htm
Tired from talking to people and navigating through busy city streets, I opted for this oasis of peace and quiet that was semi-empty on a hot August afternoon.
As I was sitting on a bench near the lily pond and reading one of the Botanical Garden guides i picked up on the way, I discovered that this was a favorite spot of a famous Croatian watercolor painter from the late 19th century Slava Raskaj.
Her paintings were mostly nature themed, and this very place, where I was sitting is where she painted her famous “Lopoci” – Water Lilies series. Most unusual at the time in Croatia was that she was a woman painter, and that she was deaf from birth. There were many obstacles that she had to face and overcome in order to pursue her passion for painting. I wondered about what her life must have been like and recalled the details of her paintings as I took a long, melancholy stroll through the park.