The largest mural in Croatia dedicated to the Halubaj bell ringers

As part of the preparations for the opening of the House of Halubaj bell ringers in Viškov, a mural dedicated to bell ringers was completed.


2. April 2024.

The work 'Halubajski zvončari', painted by one of the most famous Croatian muralists, Tomislav Lončarić-Lonac, turned the building of the Municipality of Viškovo into a work of art. Its facade is now decorated with the largest mural in Croatia dedicated to the Halubaj bell ringers.    

In addition to being a work of art of high aesthetic value, the mural combines cultural heritage with contemporary art, creating a permanent seal of tradition in the heart of Viškov through the story of the Halubaj bell ringers, the most recognizable bearers of cultural heritage, and the first artistic intervention planned through the work of the Public Institution in Culture House of Halubaj bell ringer.

The announcement of the opening of the Halubaj Bell Ringer's House promises a unique opportunity for visitors and all those interested to study the UNESCO heritage of the annual carnival procession of bell ringers from the area of ​​Kastavština and get to know other goods from the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity - such as the Dvoglas of the narrow intervals of Istria and the Croatian coast, the Mediterranean diet on the Croatian Adriatic and the Art of Drywall Construction.

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A symbol of the arrival of spring

The struggle between light and dark, winter and spring, and the magical nature of this unique ritual motivated the choice of colors and the use of warm-cold tones. Winter is what is in the background of the work, and the warm light, the source of which is not shown on the work itself, symbolizes the arrival of spring, the author describes.

"The work on the mural was challenging because it was not only about painting one character, but about painting an entire scene, with multiple characters, background, depth and perspective, and it was also necessary to convey a specific gait, i.e. the bell ringer's movement and energy of this whole traditional ritual. For this reason, I felt a responsibility, but also a great honor to work on my own interpretation of something that represents the local cultural heritage.", said Lončarić.

Photo: Dominik Damiš / KHZ
Photo: Dominik Damiš / KHZ

"When I started working on the mural, passers-by stopped, some of them were skeptical, mostly because of the colors and the choice of colors, which is normal, because it is a work that was created in a public space and all phases and all layers of its creation", he added.

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House of Halubaj bell ringer

These and similar activities contribute to the promotion of the cultural diversity and wealth of Croatia, and the House of the Halubajski Zvončar seems to be a key point for preserving and spreading awareness of the importance of local heritage.

The official opening in April will surely attract many visitors and contribute to the cultural life of Viškovo, according to the mayor of Viškovo Municipality. Sanja Udović.

"The Halubaj bell ringers are part of the identity of Viškov, so I immediately liked the idea of ​​a public institution in culture, the House of the Halubaj bell ringer, because from today, anyone who comes to the center of Viškov immediately knows that they have come to the municipality that is the 'home' of the Halubaj bell ringers, in the literal and figurative sense. And especially in the context of the spring opening of the House of the Halubaj Bell Ringer", said the mayor.

"In the 15 days it took to paint the southeast facade of the Municipal Administration building and give it a new look, I talked to a lot of people - from bell ringers, locals, guests to visitors - and all of them were enthusiastic. The more I look at it, I have the feeling that the mural has always been where Lonac painted it", Udovic added. 

After the biggest puzzle with the image of the bell ringer, which has recently been located in Halubjan, Viškovo now has the largest mural in Croatia with the image of the Halubaj bell ringer.

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Photo: Dominik Damiš / KHZ
Source: House of Halubaj bell ringer (KHZ)


2. April 2024.