War memorial 1915
The text of this marker appear in three languages: Croatian (left), English (middle) and German (right). Only the English text has been transcribed. To view the text in another language, click on the marker image to enlarge and display them.
Archaeological research, conducted during restoration work on the Franjevački trg (Franciscan Square) in 2008, has discovered the uppermost part of a First World War Memorial dedicated to the victims from the City and County of Varaždin.
The artificial stone memorial was made by the architect Artur Kaderžavek and unveiled on 11th December 1915 in an area between the Frajevačka crkva (Franciscan Church) and the palača Herser (Herzer Palace). in 1931 it was replaced by a statue of Grgur Ninski (Gregory of Nin). The memorial's noble purpose, the one of driving gold, silver and iron nails into a wooden board, was intended to fund a foundation for injured soldiers, orphans or dependents of victims of the First World War.
An extract from the speech made by the great Mayor Stejepan pl. Belošević at the unveiling ceremony:
"The honourable task fallen to me, as Grand Mayor and Chairman of the War Memorial Committee which was entrusted the task to construct a war memorial within the City of Varaždin and surrender the same to the people who will assist
in the completion of such a memorial. I am sure that you are aware, most valued ladies and gentlemen, that in the two Capitals (Vienna and Budapest) as well as in most cities across the vast area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ideas were initiated and brought to life to create wooden war memorials of different forms, each of which shall be coated in iron by the devoted work of the local inhabitants.
An age of iron - Iron Memorials.
This is exactly where such deep symbolism lies: just like a brass monument which will arise from a soft wood such as the Croatian lime-tree, the peaceful, hard working and cheerful Croatian people become stronger through this world war, fiercely combating in their heroic battle like a solid barrier in all battlefields and beating the enemy down in this horrific iron tumult.
The memorial shall remind those generations to come that this war from our side was a battle for justice and truth.
God bless his Majesty, our most gracious Emperor and King Franz Joseph 1st!"
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the First World War as commemorated in the Varaždin City Museum.