Croatian historical society Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja (Brotherhood of Croatian Dragons)

The seat of the Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja in Zagreb, Croatia
The seat of the Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja in Zagreb, Croatia

Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja (Brotherhood of Croatian Dragons) is a Croatian historical and cultural society. It was established in 1905 and still operates today.

The society’s purpose is to preserve and restore Croatian cultural and historical heritage and to revive memories of important Croatian past events.

The principles of this society are friendship, brotherhood, willingness, collective work, and decision-making. To be admitted as a member, you must be invited.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

Brotherhood of Croatian Dragons – Croatian historical society

Brief history of Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja, Croatian historical society

Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja was founded by Emilij pl. Laszowski and dr. Velimir Deželić. The goal of this Croatian and patriotic cultural organization was to stay free from any political impact or direction.

The society was named after the organization Red zmajskih vitezova (Order of the knights of the dragon, Ordo equestris draconis) founded by Croatian-Hungarian king Sigismund in 1408.

Sv. Juraj Mučenik (St George the Martyr) is the society’s guardian. Its symbol is the dragon with green wings, which protects a shield with a Croatian coat of arms.

The organization went on hiatus in 1946 during the former Yugoslavia and resumed after the formation of the new Croatian Republic in 1990.

Important achievements of Croatian society Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja

Here are some of the brotherhood’s most important achievements:

  • Saving the Kamenita vrata in Zagreb’s Upper Town from demolition
  • Foundation of the Gradska knjižnica (City library), Gradski arhiv (City archive), and Gradski muzej (City museum) at Kamenita vrata
  • Preservation of remains of Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan
  • Preservation of remains of Eugen Kvaternik, a Croatian nationalist politician and one of the founders of the Party of Rights, and his companions in 1921
  • They erected a monument to the Croatian national anthem in Zelenjak in 1935, funded by donations
  • Foundation of the emergency service (E.R.) in Zagreb in 1909
  • Arranging Ante Starčević’s grave in Šestine, a Croatian politician and writer called the “father of the homeland”
  • Initiation of the 1.000th anniversary of Hrvatsko kraljevstvo (Croatian kingdom) in 1925
  • They erected a monument written in Glagoljica (an old Slavic alphabet) at the Zagreb cathedral in 1944

[Read: National symbols of Croatia including glagoljica]

Presently, the society and its members individually organize and participate in meetings, conferences, round tables, and other events that concern the cultural and historical Croatian heritage.

They organize events such as Christmas concerts and celebrate anniversaries of important events from Croatian history. They also erect monuments in honor of historical events and people.

In 2019, they celebrated the 100 years anniversary of returning the remains of Zrinski and Frankopan in Zagreb.

Members of the “Croatian dragons”

The society’s work is handled by Mešetarski zbor (Maister’s Assembly), which consists of the Grand Maister and 10 Maisters. They are elected for a period of five years.

The society’s members have included many prominent names from Croatian cultural and public life, including judges, attorneys, businessmen, government and city officials, and many other professionals.

Some prominent members have included:

  • Ljubo Babić (Ksaver Šandor Gjalski), a Croatian writer and politician
  • Antun Bauer, a Croatian theologian and philosopher
  • Oton Iveković, a Croatian painter
  • Oton Kučera, a Croatian astronomer
  • Ivo Pilar, a Croatian historian, politician and lawyer
  • Vladimir Mažuranić, a Croatian lawyer and politician
  • Nikola Faller, a Croatian conductor
  • Milan Bandić, a mayor of Zagreb
  • Franjo Tuđman, first Croatian president
  • Ivan Lacković, a painter
  • Vladimir Šeks, a politician
  • Nada Abrus, an actress

Fun facts about Braća Hrvatskoga Zmaja

Here are a few fun facts about the society:

  • Their aim is to preserve Croatian culture from nonreligious persons and “heretics”.
  • To become a part of an organization, you must be older than 33 and younger than 70.
  • They have about 30 female members.
  • Their headquarters is in Kula (a tower) of Kamenita vrata in Zagreb.
  • They stand for the preservation of altars.
  • Regular members can have their own coat of arms prescribed in their “Regulations on Dragon Coats of Arms”.
  • Each member can choose their own “dragon” name, which can be related to their place of birth, residence, occupation, or something else important in their life. Dragon names are unique and can be used for only one live member at a time.
  • The number of members is limited.

The society has a web library where you can buy books and publications in their edition, which helps fund the society’s efforts.

Where to find the dragons in Croatia?

Address: Kamenita ulica 3, 10000, Zagreb
Phone: +385 (0)1 4851 694

View our other society posts

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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