Nikola Šubić Zrinski


1508. – 1566.

Nikola Šubić Zrinski (1508. – 1566.), “Croatian pillar and shield, warden of the Siget town and prime source of Turkish dismay of his time”. German authors also write about the Siget hero, and, apart from us, Hungarians glorify him as their national hero as well. He had participated in many wars since his early years, and when he was 21 he distinguished himself in the defence of Vienna (1529), and in 1542, with only 400 other Croats, he saved Pest from certain doom. All of Europe admired his heroism, calling him the new Leonid. On June 17, 1543 Nikola married Katarina Frankopan, a sister of Duke Stjepan Frankopan of Ozalj. The legend says that right here in Ozalj a big wedding feast with many guests was held and lasted for 7 days. And indeed, Nikola erected his home within the walls of the Old Town of Ozalj – the Zrinski Palace. The evidence thereof is the inscription engraved above the entrance: NICO.CO.ZR.1556 (Nicolaus comes Zriniensis 1556 which means: Nikola Count Zrinski 1556). The Palace was built in a rectangular shape and it was erected on a solid rock ascending the slope over the Kupa River, and it has kept its appearance of the 16th century even to the present day. The most famous of Nikola's descendants are his grandson Juraj Zrinski and great-grandsons Nikola and Petar.


Among numerous works and places dedicated to the Croatian Leonid, the opera “Nikola Šubić Zrinski” is the most prominent. Ivan pl. Zajc composed this cult opera to Hugo Badalić’s libretto. Thanks to him, Nikola Zrinski is also esteemed and admired in Japan, principally for his honourable samurai-like death. As a tribute to this act, Japanese male choirs often perform an aria from the opera which they learnt in 1919 from our sailors who spent two months not far from Osaka, repairing a stranded ship. Subsequently, on February 26, 2006, in a concert hall in Tokyo, a Japanese male choir of 1000 singers sang the aria “U boj” (To Battle), marking a record in choir singing. The concert was attended by 10,000 people.

Nikola Šubić Zrinski wrote in Glagolitic script.

Nikola Šubić Zrinski