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Art: Ancient lettering in stone

(April 2011) In the Croatian town of Baška and nearby sites one stumbles upon chunks of stone with strange runes. Explanatory plaques reveal that these are letters of the Glagolitic alphabet, the oldest example of which was found in a monastery nearby. This ancient alphabet was presumably established around 850 A.D. by a the Monk Kyrill who used elements from the Greek, Caucasian and Semitic alphabet.

We hasten to add that the local modern language also has its particularities: the isle of Krk, home to the holiday retreat of Baška, forgoes the use of vowels entirely.

34 petrified letters ranging from A (Glagolitic Az) to Ω (Omega) can be seen, being placed along a hiking track from Treskavac Pass through the town of Baška to the sea-side promenade. The chunks were crafted by art students and masons from a number of countries during workshops from 2006 to 2009 under the auspices of professor and sculptor Ljubo Karina.

He was the first to place the letter A in the landscape, a 6.1 m high chunk weighing in at 17 t. Istrian Valtura and Kanfanar limestone were used. The miniature works of art are made of Sivac limestone from the isle of Krk.

The idea for the project entitled „Sarcen glagoljaj“ („Speak with your heart“) was born by Sinjali, the local association dedicated to promote cultural, ecological and traditional values through its activities. We learned of the project through Ivana Stojčević of Sard Company.

Baška Glagolitic Path

Sard

Photos: Blandina Markovic-Randic