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U2 conquered Zagreb Croatia
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  08/11/2009 | Events , Culture And Arts , Music | Unrated
Oh beautiful, oh precious, oh sweet liberty - Bono quoted Croatian 17th century poet Ivan Gundulić

U2 and Bono Vox in Zagreb in August 2009

U2 have conquered Zagreb, Croatia. Unprecedented and original spectacle in Maksimir stadium was thrown by Bono Vox and his good Irish lads of U2. Over 60,000 people sang along with the band for over two hours, including both older hits and songs from the latest album "No Line On The Horizon". Mario Ćužić U2's The Claw

- Oh beautiful, oh dear, oh sweet freedom - Bono Vox quoted Croatian author Ivan Gundulić (1589-1638) to the delight of the sold-out stadium. He thanked everyone for hosting the group in the majestic country  of a thousand islands. So many emotions poured down at this point along the space stage and stadium into "Beautiful Day". ...

The singer greeted the audience with many Croatian words and made an effort, learning many words. At one point, the big screen on the stage displayed a souvenir in front of Bono - Zagreb's Cathedral.

Proven humanitarian and musician, he could not miss the opportunity to remind his fans of the problems in Africa, Asia and all over the world.

The entire stadium sang "Happy Birthday" for guitar player Edge's 48 th birthday, while after singing the verse for the second time, Bono opened a bottle of champagne and toasted to his friend
(who was born on August 8). Reuters


The above photos by Mario Ćužić, Reuters

Bono and Nenad Bach

Listen to Bono Vox and Luciano Pavarotti singing
Miss Sarajevo [MP3]
At the end of the song Bono recites "O lijepa, o draga, o slataka slobodo" in Croatian, repeating the verse three times. This was done upon the suggestion of Nenad Bach. See the rehearsal below, at 3:20.


Ivan Gundulić (1589-1638). Note his cravat around his neck. This is the earliest known usage of cravat in history (1622). Lous XIV was born in the year when Gundulic died.

One of the greatest Croatian poets was Ivan Gundulic (1589-1638), who wrote the well known and endeared patriotic verses in Croatian language:

Oh beautiful, oh dear, oh sweet liberty,
the gift that Almighty God gave us,
the cause of truth and all our glory,
the only adornment of Dubrava;
Neither all the silver and gold,
nor the human lives
can match your pure beauty!


The word LIBERTAS is written on the flag of the famous city of Dubrovnik and its freedom loving people.

  • In 1272 Dubrovnik had its first statute (in eight books) and urban planning.
  • The seventh book of the Statute contains exclusively regulations concerning Maritime Law, which is the oldest such document in the world. Among other things, the statute saysIf a slave is embarked on a Dubrovnik ship - he must be considered as a free man.
  • In 1296 Dubrovnik had a sewerage.
  • In 1377 Dubrovnik had the first quarantine in Europe.
  • The first European pharmacy that has been working continuously till these days was opened there in 1317. Among the oldest ones (from 1355) is also the pharmacy of Zagreb, in which a great-grandson of Dante (Nicolo Alighieri) was a pharmacist in 1399. According to some documents the pharmacy in the city of Trogir goes back as early as 1271.
  • Dubrovnik's 1395 Insurance Law is the oldest in Europe. It had all aspects of contemporary maritime insurance. This law is three centuries older than Lloyd's insurance, London, which dates from the end of 17th century.
  • An organized production of soap started in 1417.
  • The first hospital (Domus Christi) in Dubrovnik was opened in 1347. The Dubrovnik Senat recognized it as the hospital in 1540. It was shelled and seriously damaged during the Greater Serbian aggression in 1991-1995.
  • Slave trade in the Republic of Dubrovnik was forbidden in 1418 (in the British Empire in 1833).
  • The first orphanage was founded in 1432.
  • Dubrovnik had the oldest arboretum in Europe - Trsteno, founded in 1498, with many rare plants. It was seriously damaged during the Greater Serbian aggression in 1991-1995. Also precious forests around Dubrovnik were burnt down during the aggression, for example a large part of the imposing hill of Srdj above the City.

Awaiting the start of the 2nd concert. Photo by Asja Ćosić.


U2 & Zagreb - a perfect match

Report from the 2nd concert


On August 10th 2009, U2 held their second concert at the Maksimir stadium, Zagreb.


After Snow Patrol did a great job warming up near 60.000 U2 fans at the stadium, everything was ready for the Irish legends. The band entered the stage accompanied by the sounds of David Bowie's Ground Control to Major Tom and ovations of people who came from all over the world to listen to their favourite band.


From the beginning till the end of a two-hour spectacle, Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry held their audience in a trance-like state. Bono recited Croatian poet Ivan Gundulić’s verse O lijepa, o draga, o slatka slobodo (Oh beautiful, oh dear, oh sweet freedom), in both English and Croatian as an intro to Beautiul Day. He also reminded Croatian fans to consider how beautiful our homeland is, and to treasure our past, but no more than our present or our future. And if one would think that this was the only surprise, there was more! While performing Mysterious Ways, Bono invited a girl from the auditorium to the stage to dance with him. Young dancer, called Simona, left the band breathless and the stadium scanting her name. Further, U2 thrilled Zagreb with acoustic version of Stuck In A Moment, Walk On dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma and with One announced by the speech of Desmond Tutu. True highlight of the concert was, however, the encore which brought top hit With Or Without You. Most of the people at the stadium were so moved they even cried. Finally, the concert was brought to an end with Moment Of Surrender.


In conclusion, that night was indeed a night to remember, and it seems not only for fans but for everyone at the Maksimir stadium. Bono promised to return someday. And Zagreb will wait for him.



1. Breathe
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent

5. Beautiful Day
6. Mysterious Ways

7. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

8. Stuck In A Moment

9. Unknown Caller

10. The Unforgettable Fire

11. City of Blinding Lights

12. Vertigo

13. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (dance mix)

14. Sunday Bloody Sunday

15. Pride (In The Name Of Love)

16. MLK

17. Walk On

18. Where the Streets Have No Name

19. One

20. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

21. With Or Without You

22. Moment Of Surrender

Submitted by Eugen Divjak, Zagreb

The last 3 photos, taken by Asja Ćosić, Zagreb, refer to the 2nd concert.

Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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