Dolac market is Zagreb’s most famous outdoor food and produce market. Rising above Ban Jelačić Square, it draws locals and tourists alike. The power that keeps this “belly” of Zagreb going is the numerous women (and some men) who come very early every day, prepare their stands and wait for their customers. This tradition has been going on since 1930, when Dolac market opened. It is no wonder that one such woman was cast in bronze, in the sculpture called “Kumica Barica”.
Kumica Barica (kumica loosely translates to “outdoor market selling lady”) is a work by the sculptor Stjepan Gračan. The name “Barica” was chosen by citizens of Zagreb. It was recently reported that kumica Barica was modeled after a real life woman, kumica Đurđica, who has been a Dolac selling lady for many, many years, selling fruit and vegetables. She can now boast of being a model, too!
The sculpture was put at the top of the stairs leading from ban Jelačić Square to Dolac in 2006. Although it is not hidden from sight, the crowds at the market often cause it to be overlooked by passers-by. However, in the afternoon hours, when the market is emptied out, it remains there, almost alone, “the only kumica who never leaves Dolac”, as we locals like to joke.
I like seeing the sculpture, because I think Dolac market is a great pride of Zagreb, and we should honor the hardworking people who make it so.