Krčki Tanac – A Memorial for the Victims and the Fighters of the National Liberation War


Project not implemented

Year of designing:



Competition, Public, Culture


show location on map


Vladi Bralić, Zvonimir Kamenar

The main intention of the authors was to express gratitude to the victims and the fighters of the National Liberation War (1941-1945) as well as to underline the glory of victory, freedom and local living. They do this using a sculpturally interpreted objective of the Krčki Tanac, a folk dance dating from the ancient history of Krk.

Krčki Tanac is a folk dance bearing strong expressional, choreographic and musical characteristics.

It is a dance that has witnessed its own continuance on the Mediterranean, among peoples of the Northern Adriatic, island of Krk and it has therefore kept the richness of its structure, shaping, and movement giving out a portrait of the cultural, economical and other means of life of a certain surrounding and time it survived through.

Krčki Tanac is usually performed in large celebrations as an expression of love, zest, gratitude and/or honor.

Historical artifacts show that the defenders of Krk, the fighters of XXVI Dalmatian Division, right after the liberation of their island, have demonstrated their excitement with the victory, freedom and liberation by dancing their local dance.

Krčki Tanac is a dance of a splendid social, historical and cultural value, a dance of love, jouissance, created within the boundaries of man’s eternal struggle for survival and progress and it thus works as an inspirational objective for this statue of thankfulness and honor of the victims and fighters of the National Liberation War on the island of Krk. It is a memorial of free, zestful and severe living..

The entire solution of the sculptors’ assembly, inspired by Krčki Tanac dance, was conceived as an intermixing of old, authentic, stone grindstones and modern sculpture bronze figures of the musicians (sopci) and the dancing couple.

The grindstones are a constitutional element of a traditional olive mill (for producing olive oil). They were found on a secluded, neglected urban place, by the authors themselves, while walking on the margins of the field of XXVI Division in the historical nucleus of Krk.

After discovering the grindstones, the authors determined their monumental values (historical significance, dating, rarity, representativeness, cultural and educational values) and have decided to integrate the grindstones into a modern monument for the victims and the fighters in the National Liberation War.

Manufactured in stone, the traditional material on the island of Krk, the grindstones exemplify their own long lasting in this place and this society, becoming thus a well of information on economical, cultural and other social conditions on the island of Krk and they fit completely in the overall character of the ambient, respecting the spatial values of the historical nucleus of the city located nearby.

Located within the sculptor ensemble, the grindstones represent a new, significant function while attracting visitors and tourists, offering them a space to sit, rest and gather.

The figures lean on the grindstones, and are portrayed in a characteristic sitting manner with sopile (a folk instrument). Sopci are musicians who play big and small sopile, wind instruments which produce fine, resonate tones. They lead the Krčki Tanac dance, with expressions of stillness or movement, balance, symmetry, harmony.

The existing square predestined for locating a memorial to the victims and fighters of the National Liberation War is an architecturally defined space, surrounded by local buildings and greenery, and it is also an important crossroads of several pedestrian paths. The ground zone has recently been arranged and de-leveled into two surfaces.

The conceptual solution of the square with the sculpture ensemble was a product of respecting current social conditions, their further arranging and application of new spatial factors which directly impact the value of its integrity.

The main purpose of the authors was to dedicate this square to resting and contemplation, meeting space and leisure.

The sculpture ensemble, inspired by Krčki Tanac dance, represents an art sensation in the central space of the square, enabling an excellent sight from all of the surrounding angles.

The authors have anticipated this construction with the grindstones, figures of the sopci and the dancing couple to fit the architectural elements of the square and attract visitors for a reflexion, recess and socialization, for enabling event organization such as music performances, recitals, folklore manifestations and/or spontaneous performances of street artists.

The figures of the dancing couple, often to be found in Adriatic folklore expressions, are demonstrated in a characteristic moment in dance (a young man arches over the girl while she spins around his arm). The symbiosis of a man and a woman is demonstrated through an exciting moment of their approaching each other is the basic subject of this sculptural form which suggests a cheerful, continuous life of freedom and youthful defiance.

The figures of the musicians and the dancing couple are artistically simplified, created through a process of sculpting with the elimination of circumstantial and unnecessary details therefore achieving a clean form containing only the most important elements or rather a basic figure conture.

The figures are made in bronze in order to contrast the authentic grindstones, made from stone. This manner underlines the readability of the sculptural ensemble and casts a clear view of authentic, historical stone forms and new, current forms made from bronze.

A sculptural ensemble created as such should motivate emotional understanding of the gratitude towards the victims and the fighters of National Liberation War together with expressing joy of living in freedom they have enabled.