Matica hrvatska

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Matica hrvatska logo.gif
Formation 10 February 1842; 173 years ago (1842-02-10)
Headquarters Zagreb, Croatia
Coordinates 45°48′30″N 15°58′44″E / 45.808206°N 15.978890°E / 45.808206; 15.978890Coordinates: 45°48′30″N 15°58′44″E / 45.808206°N 15.978890°E / 45.808206; 15.978890
Stjepan Damjanović

Matica hrvatska (Latin: Matrix Croatica) is one of the oldest Croatian cultural institutions, dating back to 1842. It is the largest publisher of Croatian language books. The organization also organizes cultural events, symposia, round-table discussions and theatre. In its rules states that Matica hrvatska is "an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization established to promote Croatian culture, and over time, because of its work and the continuity has become a national institution." Matica hrvatska was founded with the purpose of promoting national and cultural identity in the areas of artistic, scientific and spiritual creation, the economy and public life and care for social development. In the headquarters of Matica hrvatska more than one hundred events are being held per year.


The name Matica is somewhat idiosyncratic, best translated as "The Centre" (while the term matica in this context translates "queen bee" ("mother bee"), or "parent body", and the adjective hrvatska as referring to Croatia and/or Croats).


Matica was founded as Matica ilirska, during the time of the Illyrian movement, when Janko Drašković proposed to found it as part of the new Illyrian reading room (Ilirska čitaonica) on February 10, 1842. Matica became independent in 1850. Between 1868 and 1873 it was under the wing of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 1874, it was renamed to "Matica hrvatska". In Dalmatia, the Matica dalmatinska played the same role, from its founding in 1862 to its merger with Matica hrvatska in 1912.

Matica hrvatska has had an important role in the standardization and promotion of the Croatian language. In 1971, during the Croatian Spring it ended the Novi Sad agreement and began to print Croatian works. Soon after December 20, 1971, its work was banned by the communist authorities.

It resumed work after the 1990 multi-party election, but before Croatian independence (officially on December 8, 1990). With the Croatian language no longer subject to political maneuvering, the organization has since opened over 130 local branches in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Matica hrvatska in Zagreb


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