Fabjan Kaliterna

Jan 20, 1886 - Jan 1, 1952(65)

How did Hajduk come about?

- We will put on a blue shirt over blue shorts to make it look like a sailboat on a blue sea. –

- Well, Your Excellency, do you know that our country, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, needs strong and strong young men for the army! These are athletes, primarily soccer players, who can march 40-50 kilometers a day with full military equipment on their backs! - Fabjan Kaliterna wrote with conviction to the imperial governor. In fact, the governor knew that the sports club meant much more to young men than sports, so he even delayed signing the permit for three years.

Paragraph image 1920

Therefore, it is not surprising that the long-awaited birth of Hajduk on February 13, 1911, was at the same time a symbol of the awakening of national consciousness. Since then, Hajduk has lived forever, and his "son" is precisely Fabjan Kaliterna, an architect and Prague student enthusiastic about football.

Fabjan was born in the family of Toma and Tonine from Split. He attended Velika realka, and then, like many Dalmatians of that era, he went to study in Prague. It was the European metropolis that helped make Split's golden youth fall in love with the most important secondary thing in the world.

Arriving in Prague, Fabijan enrolled in construction, and then switched to architecture. He was in no hurry to study, he graduated only in 1921. He would spend most of his days in Prague cafes together with his compatriots, Lucijan Stella, Ivan Šakić, Vjekoslav Ivanišević and Vladimir Šor. And apart from socializing, they were also interested in sports, so they often went to watch the newest game in those areas - football.

After watching the match between Slavia Prague and Spartak, the young men sat down in the Prague cafe "U Flek". They thought that their countrymen would certainly like the new game. Therefore, they decided to found a club in their native Split.

At that time, there was already talk about the appearance of the coat of arms, the flag and the colors of the jersey. - We will put the Croatian coat of arms on any shirt to prove to the government in Vienna that there are no Austrians, Italians, Tolomasi people living in these areas, but native Croats! - said Kaliterna.

And even the "was" shirt was not white by chance. The English came to Prague in white T-shirts, and Kaliterna liked it. He said to Ivanišević: - Look, it's nice to see that old shirt, and since we are the sons of sunny Split and Dalmatia, that old shirt reminds me of a sail on a sailboat, and blue shorts to the sea. We will put on a blue shirt with blue shorts to look like a sailboat on a blue sea. –

Then they only lacked a name. In his series "Velo misto", Miljenko Smoje portrayed the creation of a name that lives forever in a very interesting way.

- Just write it down, and leave the name blank when it comes. Lipo decides now, and we can easily move on later. - said Duje, a character inspired by Kaliterno.

- My people, we cannot forgive! The club is like a person, it bears a name for a lifetime. - they countered him. So they started with proposals: - It could be Uskok, then Marjan, Mosor, Velebit, Borac! – everyone had their own proposal and everyone had their own opinion.

They agreed that they could not come to an agreement, so the boys marched straight to the Split gymnasium with professor Josip Barač. - It's all over! The only thing missing is the name of our club - they shouted, suddenly bursting into the professor's office.

– You barged in uninvited, without knocking. Like real hajduks! - the professor told them. - Well, let that be your name, Hajduk! As you know, that word in our nation means something most beautiful, heroism, honesty, camaraderie, defiance of the powerful, protection of the weak. Let the club be called Hajduk! - the professor decided.

And so the young men had everything, except the permission of the imperial government. Their struggle to establish a national club lasted as long as three years. But with Kaliterna's ingenuity and calling for military training, they also got the necessary papers. The field began to be built at the "Kraljeve njiva" location (next to the "old mulberry tree"), and soon the first match was played.

Fabjan sent the first balloon and the first jerseys from Prague to Split, and the first "Bili" came, played and beat the Italian club Calcia Spalata.

In that match, Fabijan played for the club for the last time, while his brother Luka, playing as a goalkeeper and later as a coach, will take charge of Split football and become a true legend.

But Fabjan, in addition to football, was responsible for the founding of several sports clubs in Split. He also founded the water polo club "Jadran" and the rowing club "Gusar", and left his mark in cycling, athletics, sailing and swimming. He was the president and member of the management boards in them, but Split also remembers him for being a talented architect.

Besides Prague, he also studied in Paris and Nice. He left more than 200 buildings to Split, designed as a combination of picturesque, traditional and rustic style and modern, and recognizable by the arches that still adorn them today. The Oceanographic Institute, the building of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the hotel "Park - Imperijal" are his works, and he also built most of the family houses in Bačvice, so that part of the town owes its appearance to him.

Kaliterna was a big fan of Split, so he opposed excessive construction that would conflict with the traditional appearance of the city. It is known that he rebelled when Swiss investors wanted to build a massive hotel on the waterfront.

- If this is not finished once and Mr. Schwarzl will come in advance, God knows for what reasons, to ask the Municipality for land or the sea, maybe in front of this new hotel for the construction of yet another new monster - predicted the young architect. He believed that the coast should be "preserved forever for Split and the people of Split".

"For those who come from the sea side, the old city harbor and its coast represent the face of this city, so as everyone, at first glance, judges the culture of a city by its external appearance and architecture, it is necessary that we also pay special attention to it and to organize our coast as best as possible," Kaliterna wrote back in 1940.

His contribution to the sport and culture of the city under Marjan is immeasurable, therefore Fabijan, along with Split and Hajduk - lives forever.

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