The Bela and Miroslav Krleža Memorial Space


in short

The House of the most important Croatian writer of the 20th century, comprises antique furniture, paintings, sculptures, objects of the fine crafts, photographs, about 4,300 books, journals, offprints and inventory of the flat in which Miroslav and Bela Krleža had lived for almost 30 years.
Vila Rein / The Villa Rein
© Muzej grada Zagreba / Zagreb City Museum

The Bela and Miroslav Krleža Memorial Space

in detail

Bela and Miroslav Krleža lived from 1952 until their death in 1981 on the first floor of a Villa Rein.

The flat has a dining room, Bella’s small salon (the so-called Yellow Salon), Bella’s bedroom, Krleža’s study and his bedroom with authentic furniture, objects and works of art of former owners. The purpose of the space, with its numerous examples of Biedermeier and Classicist furniture, Bella’s collection of dishes, artwork on the walls, decorations, books, gifts from famous guests and friends, is to reflect the way of life, status and taste of this famous couple.
Bella’s small salon was the “centre of the five-room flat", a guest room full of memories of beloved people, while her bedroom was an intimate oasis with a particularly interesting beauty corner.
Krleža’s study is the biggest, brightest and a relatively calm part of the flat with a separate entrance and a door to the balcony, which was the writer’s favourite place. Bookshelves on the walls contain rare editions. Krleža’s large desk with a neo-Renaissance chair is surrounded by dictionaries, grammar books and encyclopaedias.
The flat holds many works of art by P. Dobrović, I. Lacković-Croata, M. Berber, S. Aralica, N. Reiser, C. Dujšin-Ribar, J. Miše, A. Augustinčić and others. Items also include portraits of Bella and Miroslav Krleža. 
Miroslav Krleža (1893 - 1981) is one of the most distinguished Croatian 20th century writers. He wrote many works: novels, plays, short stories, diaries, documents, and memoires. He also started several magazines. Since the 1950s, he was head of the Institute of Lexicography which today bears his name.  Krleža’s wife Bela (whom he married in 1919 and with whom he spent 62 years with) performed her best roles in his plays.
Bela Krleža (1896 - 1981) acted in the Croatian National Theatre from 1929 until her retirement in 1966. She achieved the greatest success as an actress in her husband’s plays: she played baroness Castelli (the Glembays) from the premiere in 1929 until the last show in 1963. She also played Laura Lembah and Madlen Petrovna (In Agony), Melita and Klara (Leda) and Klara Anita (Aretheus).
The Bela and Miroslav Krleža Memorial Space
The house at Gvozd 23 (formerly: Tuškanac 6A, Baroness Sofia Jelačić Put 1) was constructed on a commission from the banker Adolf Rein in 1928/9, according to drawings by the architect Rudolf Lubynski (1873-1935).  The development of the plot and the buildings on it (a built garage, two gazebos, two pools) was completed in 1936 (A. Helfmann, contractor).

The building has the form of an elongated cube, the mass of which is horizontally articulated by a strong cornice between basement and ground floor.  The elevations are designed rather grandly with a motif of arches, repeated rhythmically along the lowest floor with a balcony and veranda on the southeast façade, and a loggia on the southwest. The floor plan is identical on the ground floor and on the first floor.

The garden is freely conceived, which corresponds aesthetically to the nearby woods.  The plant species have been chosen so as to correspond to the particular location within the Tuškanac Woods.  Alongside its southern edge, below the garage, leads a little path to the ground floor terrace, where there are two marble pedestals with sculptures of Pandora and Leda while a third sculpture, of Hebe, is in front of the entrance to the house, on top of the perimeter wall (Aristid Fontana, end of the 19th century).

This house is an excellent example of the residential villas of the wealthy classes of Zagreb between the wars.
10,00 HRK / 1,32 EUR
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Visitor entrance

The Bela and Miroslav Krleža Memorial Space
Krležin Gvozd 23
10000 Zagreb
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Opening Times

11:00 - 17:00
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