Solar System is my trump card for impressing visitors who think they saw all the sights in Zagreb, be it with a tour or with a local. Somehow both tours and locals neglect pointing to one of the coolest things in Zagreb.
It all started from the Grounded Sun, a famous sculpture made by Ivan Kožarić in 1971. Originally, it stood in front of the opera house, where it caused some irritation – allegedly, one man stopped his car while driving by it, got out and kicked at the sculpture. Apparently, abstract art wasn’t widely accepted by the general public, although the socialist regime was totally fine with it and chose not to meddle into the artists’ work. The sculpture thus changed several locations and finally ended up in Bogovićeva street in 1994. BTW, Kožarić, who has always avoided pathos and pretentiousness, isn’t one bit upset by the scribbles on his Sun.
Ten years after, in 2004, the artist Davor Preis made an installation called Nine Views by placing 9 planet models all around Zagreb. The planets’ sizes and distances from the Grounded Sun are proportional to the real sizes and distances, thus making a model of solar system. Interestingly, this installation never got the deserved attention and even many locals don’t know about it.
Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury are all downtown, while the other planets are further away and harder to find, but it’s fun!
Pluto was mysteriously “stolen” after it lost its planet status, but the plaque is still there.