Few architects have contributed more to the Zagreb skyline than neo-gothic mega-builder Bollé.
Think of Zagreb’s most iconic buildings and you will sooner or later come face to face with the work of Herman Bollé (1845-1926). The neo-gothic, twin-tower rebuild of Zagreb Cathedral? Bollé. The fortress-like walls of Mirogoj Cemetery? Bollé. The renovated St Mark’s Church in the Upper Town? Bollé. Or maybe the neo-Renaissance museum building in which this very exhibition is being held? Again Bollé. Few other individuals have left such a profound mark on the city as this Cologne-born, Vienna-trained architect, who worked in Zagreb from 1878 until his death. Initially invited to Croatia by Bishop Juraj Strossmayer to work on Đakovo Cathedral, Bollé melded romantic and neo-gothic elements to create a distinctive Croatian national style. The visually superb exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Crafts takes us through Bollé’s career with plenty of archive photographs and 3-D models to help us on our way. It also focuses on his less-celebrated role as an all-round promoter of the arts – indeed, serving as this museum’s first ever director