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The building

The residence of the Croatian State Archives is in Zagreb, 21 Marulić Square, in a famous art nouveau building, also known as the old building of National and University Library. However, it is less known that one part of the building was assigned for the archives and that its residence has been here from the start. The construction of the Royal University Library and the Royal State Archives began on February 21st 1911 based on the competition winning project of the architect Rudolf Lubynski. The building was inaugurated on the November 29th 1913.

The building, which is the most significant palace of the Croatian art nouveau, a successful junction of the early Viennese Secession and modern European, especially German architecture from the beginning of the 20th century, was designed as an autonomous building in the gardens (80 meters long and 46 meters wide, of reinforced concrete and iron construction), well incorporated in the town planning model of the Lower city (Zagreb’s Green Horseshoe). The High half-dome above the central reading room in the central part of the palace, with four pillars and four owls placed on each of them carrying globes, perfectly represented the identity of the library. The facades with allegories of four university sciences – philosophy, law, medicine and theology by Robert Frangeš – and the facade with an allegory of librarianship by Rudolf Valdec are harmoniously integrated in complete, simple, and yet monumental vision of the architecture.