Street of an Unknown Heroine
As I mentioned, every day after my careless run across the intersection at Šubićeva Street, I come to this interesting inscription. The inscription that at the same time makes me laugh as well as arouse my curiosity. I keep wondering how a street can be named after an unknown woman, a woman who was a heroine but nobody knows her name. I do not understand. So I decided to be a detective for a week. I called myself a Zagrebian Sherlock Holmes. :)
How can a heroine be unknown?
Does anyone know who this woman is? Who deserves such a fate to be unknown and the hero at the same time? Why is she an unknown heroine? Why is she a heroine? Why is she unfamiliar? These are just some of the questions that I have been asking myself every day while entering the office. However, the thought of the unknown heroine disappeared with the first tasks and responsibilities at work.
Credit image: Nikolina Jozanović
But the most interesting thing in this whole story is the fact that this street is located in the city centre with other Croatian history giants such as King Petar Krešimir, King Zvonimir, Duke Branimir, Prince Mislav, Prince Višeslav, Prince Ljudevit Posavski and Šubić. But long story short, each of them is a hero in its own right. Each of them has its own time, its legend, peerage and above all - a name. And then you run into a myriad of heroes and discover a heroine who is unknown.
A heroine in the company of Croatian heroes and kings
Maybe someone gave this street a name only to silence all feminists by saying 'Here's to you, ladies! Here is the street that does not bear the name of a man! Here's the heroine. However, nobody even knows who she is because women heroes never existed!'
Here comes again my imagination. But I do not want to deal with it. The panel says that she was a heroine. This woman has done something noble and brave but perhaps no one has ever seen it. She has probably acted in secrecy. Maybe she was something like Zagreb's Zoro or Robin Hood. She would save the poor and then she would modestly and mysteriously disappear into the dusk.
A woman who rescued Zagreb from the Turks
So, one day before entering the office, I stopped at a mysterious corner and decided to take the role of the detective Holmes. I knew exactly who I can wait and ask for information. And here he is! Right on time, an older gentleman is coming out of the building to take a walk with his dog.
Considering I did not want to offend him with an assumption that he is old enough to know something about this street and the unknown heroine, I came to him and asked him kindly if he knew why this street is called like that and who the heroin is. The gentleman gave me a surprised look. He couldn't believe what I have asked him. However, he told me that this heroine was a Croatian woman of an unknown name who died together with her husband defending Siget from the Turks in 1566. Reportedly she always wore male clothes. I asked him if that was all. 'Yes, girl, that's all I know' he answered me continuing the walk with his mischievous dog.
Credit image: Google Maps
On one hand, I was pretty happy because I finally found out why this woman is a heroine but on the other hand, I felt disappointed because I still didn't know her name. I ran into the office and thought to myself if anyone knows, it's Google. But after several hours of searching, I have not learned anything new.
Well, the only interesting thing is that this heroine has settled in the zone of Croatian heroes and giants in 1928. And now I finally understand why she deserved the memorial plaque in the city centre. She was a brave woman who gave her life for the country. She gave her life to defend beautiful Zagreb. Who knows if it's a legend or if it's true. I just know that every time I go to work, I watch that plaque with some special fervour and awe. :)
Header image credit: Zagreb Tourist Board, Marko Vrdoljak
Author: Nikolina Jozanović