One of the most notable Bihac symbols is the sculpture “Girl from Una” by academic sculptor Vladimir Herljevic.
A slightly wider story related to the sculpture is the story of the 1967 sculptors gathering in Bihac. The main topic of the the 1st International Sculpture Symposium was the BIHACIT stone, the quality native stone of the Bihac area in terms of beauty and workability, the use of which was popularized by the esteemed Croatian artist, academic sculptor Vladimir Herljević. Herljevic discovered Bihacit in some way, he loved working with it and his desire was to present it to other artists through a professional gathering. The event was later relocated from Bihac to the old town of Ostrozac near Cazin, and eventually grew into one of the most famous art colonies in Europe, and the world, that affirmed Bihacit as a high quality material.
The “Girl from Una” was made in the 1980s of the last century; in 1986 it was placed on the right bank of the river Una and over time became one of the most notable symbols of the town of Bihac. Besides the "tooth of time", the sculpture also suffered during the war of the 1990s; in 2019 was restored in Zagreb, Croatia and placed back in its place by the river Una.
A few words about the artist
Vladimir Herljevic was born in 1930 in Vares, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He finished elementary school and high school in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, the Sculpting Department, where he graduated in 1956 in the class of the great Antun Augustincic. The collaboration with Master Augustincic continues through his postgraduate study, the Antun Augustincic Master Workshop, attended by Herljevic from 1956 to 1960. Over the next two decades Herljevic works closely with Master Augustincic, participates in the formation of Master's monumental sculptures, and works closely with him till the end of his life.
Academic sculptor Vladimir Herljevic holds a very important place in modern Croatian sculpture; his dominant motif is the female act, and is known and recognized for his radically different approach to texture, the character of the surface of the body. He is additionally known as a top restorer and has worked on a number of Croatian capital monuments; a nice example is the work on the famous St. Mark's church in Zagreb where Herljevic used the quality native stone of the Bihac area, Bihacit, to restore decorations on the famous church - a nice bond between Zagreb and Bihac.
The connection between artist Herljevic and Bihac is close and deep to this day. In addition to "Girl from Una", the artist also created another famous monument in Bihac, “The Relief of the Town” placed on the medieval town walls near the Alija Izetbegovic bridge on the occasion of town’s 700 years celebration - another great point of interest for this little artistic tour along the banks of the River Una.
These two Bihac art symbols are located close to each other, and in addition to other attractions, you can also enjoy a relaxing drink and a bite to eat in nearby cafeterias and fine-dining restaurants on the banks of the river Una. Enjoy yourself!
Photo by Amar Selmanovic
Contacts for further information or guides:
Bihac Tourist Board
Tel: +387 37 963 456
If you can see through the illusion, you are part of the solution.