Can you imagine going on a trip and not returning home for 24 years? It would be quite a challenge explaining your boss a vacation prolonged that much. Well that’s exactly what Marko Polo did, and when he came back to Venice he served six years in prison. Ouch. But during those 24 years, this Croatian merchant traveler from the island of Korčula, managed to explore the whole China and bigger part of Asia, and was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of such an experience. His writings practically introduced the Asian world to Europe. By putting his portrait on the wall, we pay tribute to this amazing Croatian globetrotter.
Feel free to get caught ;)
Besides keeping cookies safe and crunchy, cookie jars or biscuit barrels seem to carry a certain dose of nostalgia. Long gone are the days when our grandparents taught us that it’s right to eat cookies only after a meal. But luckily you can feel free to reach into our beautiful ceramic jar anytime you want. Oh, and a random fact - did you know that Andy Warhol had a collection of 175 cookie jars?
Where good moments last longer
If you love traveling and meeting new places and people (somehow we sense that you do) then you know how scarce time can be. But as soon as you enter Lobagola, not only your tiredness, worries and thirst will be left behind, but you will also leave the normal course of time. There are interesting clocks around the place, such as the one shown here - an old German rail station clock. They will keep their hands still while giving you the freedom to enjoy many beautiful moments that await you.
Relax, enjoy, recharge
Imagine that you’re beginning your day with a delicious breakfast and a nice cup of coffee, relaxing on a nice and spacious terrace, while morning rays of sun slowly squeeze through the facades and treetops and shine upon you, ready to light your way into new adventures… Imagine ending your day with a glass of fine Croatian wine glinting in the light of candles, while the gentle murmur of people flows around and warmly greets the night. And all that in an untypically quiet spot just meters from Zagreb’s main street Ilica. That’s what Lobagola’s terrace is all about. We love it and we know that you will too ;)
These little fellows might not be as big as real elephants, but they have a very significant role in Lobagola’s story. They are the main inspiration behind our logo. As you might’ve already learned on our ‘About’ page, the original meaning of Lobagola is 'the path of the elephants'. But this little herd of blue elephants likes Lobagola so much that it just won’t leave us and go back on its path as it normally should. These clay figurines were made in 1950s by famous Viennese artist, designer and ceramist Walter Bosse. We hope that all our guest will be as cute, quiet and calm as them. Just kidding :)
When a bolt mattered more than a byte
Bolt is a true symbol of the past times when industrialization flourished, when many people worked in factories and when they had skill and time to build things by themselves. Although still irreplaceable, bolts aren’t anymore the dominant link that connects human production with everyday life. That role seems to be overtaken by bytes. The bolt shown on the photo belongs to an old workbench that Lobagola adapted into a beautiful dining table.
The most pleasant awakening of the senses
The scent of fine coffee spreads around gently and mingles through the morning until it finally sneaks under your door and comes to you, whispering and inviting you to rise into a new day… Well, that’s how a normal day begins at Lobagola. Drinking coffee is an important part of Croatian culture and you are more than welcome to become a part of it. You can enjoy the full aroma of a first class espresso or the rich flavor of Lobagola’s homemade Turkish coffee.
In good spirits…
Lobagola is home for all people, regardless of their nationality, religion or race. The only ones who aren’t welcome are evil spirits, so we’ve found an interesting way of deflecting them. When you enter Lobagola, one of the first things you’ll notice are the traditional African masks originating from Mali. Two of those are called ‘the guardians of the home’ and they prevent evil spirits from entering, while always warmly welcoming all the good ones. This way you can rest assured that you will find lots of positive energy at Lobagola.
Taste the groove
At the end of a sunny adventurous day and after a nice dinner, what else could make a glass of wine taste better than a classic vinyl melody of your choice? The moment when the needle begins its voyage through the spiral vinyl groove, floating on the waves of dreamy jazz chords, passionate blues riffs or rhythmic rock tunes… It seems like the time slows down while reminding us that there is more joy in life than we so often tend to forget.
A vinyl kind of vibe
Music brings people closer, it blows the dust off our memories and makes our bodies move in funny ways. Here at Lobagola, we do not know of a better way of sharing music with our guests than through the warm magic of vinyl records. You can choose and play a record from our own growing collection, or maybe even find a nice vintage album in one of Zagreb’s nearby vinyl stores and give it a spin.
The connection between us
Climbing ropes are the things on which your life depends when you go up a steep mountain cliff. We in Lobagola love climbing because it purifies the soul - the higher you climb, the more unnecessary thoughts you leave behind. That's why we've built a special installation made of climbing ropes and a couple of bicycle wheels, on which our guests can leave their short written messages and impressions. That’s how these ropes help us all connect in a very special way.
Mediterranean treasure chest
Homer, one of the world’s greatest ancient poets, called olive oil ‘liquid gold’. That being said, it’s really no wonder that our ancestors around the Mediterranean used big and heavy stone tanks to store their oil. Would you keep your gold in something as fragile as an old glass bottle? Probably not. In Croatia we call these stone vessels ‘kamenice’. Although they aren’t used anymore, these massive tanks remind us of the times when manual labor was all there was. A 200 year old and 200 kg heavy ‘kamenica’ carved from a single stone, guards the entrance to Lobagola’s olive room.
Leave the masks at home
…because we have some of our own. But these traditional African masks are here to remind us all that we need to be who we really are, to be true to ourselves and to people around us. Lobagola is a friendly place full of positive energy only because of the people that come in and out. So, leave your masks at home and join the party!
Patterns made without ‘copy and paste’
Throughout Lobagola you will see many beautiful ethnic embroidery patterns that originate from different places around the world. From carpets and mats, to pillow cases and bags, we really do appreciate the effort that’s been put into these unique pieces of art. Shown on the photo is the traditional nomadic pattern from Afghanistan, a land of beautiful culture and rich history.
Lobagola’s favorite chair
This beauty of a rocking chair was designed in the 1960s by llmari Tapiovaara, one of the greatest interior architects and designers of his era. An imaginative explorer and a skillful craftsman, Tapiovaara reinvented everyday objects in an astonishing manner. And by the way, have you ever seen a nicer spot for reading a book than Lobagola’s one shown on the photo?
Patterns from the old times
Most of us don’t remember, but once there was no plastic bags. People made their own bags for all kinds of purposes, and the more regarded the purpose, the prettier the bag. Here you can see an old traditional salt sack. You can find these salt bags in our salt room. It might sound unbelievable, but there were times when salt was as precious as gold, literally. A reason enough not to hold it in an ordinary sack, don’t you think?
Dive into Lobagola’s story
These diving tanks belonged to an old sunken Russian ship, and they sure have some stories of their own to tell. But the reason they are here is to remind our guests that they can leave their worries on the surface and slowly immerse into our relaxing and joyful story.
Light with style
As soon as you walk into Lobagola’s lobby room you will notice that there are many peculiar details and objects around the place. Some are very old, many are made exclusively for Lobagola, some are true pieces of art and most of them are hand made from natural materials. But each one of these has its own unique story, and together with each guest, more stories continue to be written. And it's hard to write stories in the dark. That’s why the space is illuminated with beautiful lamps, such as the one shown here – an old industrial lamp made by French manufacturerMazda.
Don’t be afraid, it’s just a bug,
Janko Petrović is a brilliant young sculptor from Zagreb. Not concerning himself much with trends in art, he thrives in his search through shape to find its roots in nature itself. This sculpture is called “Beetle” and it’s one from a series (there is one more here at Lobagola). In its reduced form and bold idea, this bug is not the kind that gives us creeps. Quite contrary, it reminds us that there are many parallel universes of life above us, inside us or beneath our feet. The only thing we need to witness those sensations is an open mind.
You are its engine
As you might have noticed, this is the third sculpture among the details that we've decided to share with you. That sure tells a lot about how much we love them. This is “A bicycle” by a young Croatian artist Nikolina Očko. Unlike many other means of transportation, a bicycle doesn’t disconnect you from the world. In fact, it enables you to go to places you wouldn’t normally discover, and to meet people that you can’t meet in your car. You can turn spontaneously or stop instantly, you won’t miss a thing. The only fuel for your wheels is your will.
Easy-chair from easy times
This is a Yugoslavian version of vintage easy-chair. During seventies you could see one in every other home in Croatia (former Yugoslavia). People used to call it ‘a grasshopper chair’ because it is much easier to get up from it than from a regular chair.
The art of ceramics
This is an authentic lava vase made by Scheurich – a famous German company specialized in ceramics. Its beauty lies in its shape, texture, color and in the artwork. This type of lava vase with horses is pretty rare, and it’s because of them that we love it so much. These blood red horses are reminiscent of those in the ancient cave paintings, such as those in the Lascaux, France.
“Little boy” by Mak Melcher
The thing with sculptures is that they really make good use of their three-dimensionality, for they give us as many images as one can find angles of looking at them. That’s only one of the reasons why we at Lobagola love sculptures. One that we really like and proudly show is a bronze sculpture called “Little boy”. It was made by a young Croatian artist (born in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina) Mak Melcher.
A tool is worth nothing without a skill to use it
This old fishing rod was a gift from Dubravko’s (Lobagola owner) grandfather. It’s not just a memory of childhood and growing up, it symbolizes the true values that we learn from our parents and grandparents. Most of us were lucky enough not to be given a fish, but to learn how to catch one by ourselves.
Because health comes first
Long gone are times when doctors used the simplest devices to find out what’s wrong with us. But it might be that because of that technological simplicity, a more important tool for curing was conversation. Doctors listened carefully to what their patients had to say, and they were right as often as they are today. This vintage medical lamp belongs to that times.
The weather is on our side
This a very old barometer that Lobagola’s owner Dubravko got from his grandmother, who got it from her mother, who inherited it from her grandmother. Yes, that old. It carries very dear memories but it also reminds us of the times when all the devices and machines that we used on daily basis were much simpler and, as in this case, a true piece of art.