A procession of around forty carriages was headed by Baroness Klotilda Buratti-Vranyczany, whose carriage carried Bishop Strossmayer and deputy mayor Crnadak. As they were driving by, the gathered crowd cheered and showered them with flowers.
The procession drove along Kolodvorska Street, Ilica, Ban Jelačić Square, and Marija Valerija Street to Zrinski Square. Although Strossmayer usually stayed with Rački during his visits to Zagreb, this time he was hosted by Baron Ljudevit Vranyczany Dobrinović, in his newly built luxurious palace, located in the neighborhood of the Academy’s palace.
Once he arrived at his temporary home in Zagreb, although tired, the Bishop greeted the cheering masses from the Vranyczany palace’s balcony by taking off his travelling hat and bowing his head. In the meantime, the already mentioned procession of societies arrived with marching music from the railway station, starting the ceremonious parade, followed by ovations from the gathered crowds. After the crowds had dissipated, the Bishop was greeted by representatives of the Academy led by President Rački, University delegates led by Rector Gjuro Pilar, councils of the Croatian Heritage Foundation and Society of Saint Jerome, professors from Zagreb’s High School led by Dean Josip Torbar, conte Kosta Vojnović on behalf of the Provincial Council of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, delegation of the City of Sisak and notable individuals, while delegates from Ljubljana awarded him with the Honorary Citizen charter.
Strossmayer gave his host a portrait bust with his likeness, sculpted by Vatroslav Donegani. Vranyczany strived to please his guest by inviting friends and acquaintances, an array of dignitaries and foreign representatives. At the first meal, he invited some of Strossmayer’s most avid admirers: Vice Marshal Đuro Jelačić, ex-Chancellor and Ban Ivan Mažuranić and his son Vladimir, Franjo Rački and Matija Mrazović, ex great Prefect Ivan Kukuljević, President of the Society of Saint Jerome, Tomo Gajdek, Dragutin Pogledić, recent Chair of the Justice Department, Marijan Derenčin, Colonel Ivan Trnski, Adolf Veber, Kosta Vojnović, Josip Torbar, Radoslav Lopašić, and the Baron’s own brothers, Dragan and Vlatko.
The magazine Zvonimir relayed the information that the host’s sister-in-law, Baroness Ivka, took care of the many guests invited to meals and dinners. As reported by the same source, these guests came from all parties.
The magnificent dinner, which started a series of feasts and banquets organized by Baron Ljud. Vraniczany in his wonderful salons in honor of his esteemed guest, included the latter’s intimate friends. Among them were com. Rački, Ivan Mažuranić and Count Gjuro Jellačić, brother of our immortal Ban. At dinner, our valued host toasted his guest. With elegant words, our nobleman expressed the joy he felt because the Bishop decided to accept his hospitality, stressing succinctly, in words devoid of empty meaning, Strossmayer’s merit, ending his speech with “welcome to my home”. The Bishop replied in kind, with the same dazzling courtesy characteristic of his person. The host also toasted Ivan Mažuranić, who replied and seized the opportunity to highlight the virtues of Vraniczan, which never steered from the idea of nationality.(from: “Feasts at Baron Ljudevit Vraniczany’s”, Pozor, 10th November 1884)
In the afternoon of the first fay of his visit, the Bishop called on the Head of the Department for internal affairs, Danilo Stanković, and Commanding General Ramberg. That same evening, the opera Nikola Šubić Zrinski by Zajc was being staged in the Upper Town Theatre. The performance was conducted by the composer, and the leading parts were played by Ivan Hreljanović, Matilda Lesić, and Marija Prikril. The guest of honor, accompanied by Crnadak, was welcomed and escorted to the ceremonial box by the intendant, Josip Kneisel. Rački later joined the Bishop in the theater box.
At the end of the performance, Strossmayer was followed on his way through the city, lit by gaslight and a multitude of lanterns placed in windows, by ovations from gathered people. Many houses were adorned with flowers, carpets and garlands, but also banners carrying words such as “Benefactor of the people, may the good Lord repay you”, “Long live Strossmayer”, or with his motto „Everything for faith and country“, while the façade of the City Council bore the esteemed Bishop’s initials.
Among the uncommonly lit buildings we primarily mention the City Council. Every one of its windows adorned with candles, two windows on the second floor bearing banners. From the ground to the roof of the City Council, three giant pipes rose in different figures, spewing gaslight. Among the stars, the letters J. J. S. shone brightly.(from: “In the theater”, The Official Gazette, 10th November 1884)
In front of the Council, torchbearers led by musicians started their long procession, which included: “real torchbearers” from all walks of life at the front, in the middle, and at the back, delegates of city representatives, numerous societies, firefighters and youth, followed by Zagreb’s citizens. They paraded from Saint Mark’s Square down Mesnička Street, towards Ilica, then across Jelačić Square and Marija Valerija Street to Zrinski Square. In front of Vranyczany’s palace, choirs of singing societies sang: Ustaj rode!, Zrinjsko-Frankopanku i Živila Hrvatska!. for the Bishop and many dignitaries that the Baron had invited. This was followed by cheers from all participants, after which the Bishop briefly addressed the gathered crowd with words of gratitude. Another performance of the last reveille ensued, followed by a series of cheers, after which the procession dispersed.
This was the most poignant moment of that glorious day, the liveliness of the Bishop’s cheer which a paintbrush could transfer onto a canvas. The hat raised high and the joyous face of the first voice of Christianity, standing on the balcony enveloped by his host, the Baron, the fiery Croatian and Baron’s sister-in-law, Ivka, both Counts Kulmer, dr. Rački, dr. Vojnović, dr. Derenčin, Fran Folnegović, dr. Barčić, and Ivan Kukuljević. The sight illuminated by a thousand torches – we would be greatly indebted to that painter for he would have ennobled the glorious occasion of the opening of the Strossmayer Gallery of Pictures.(from: “Opening ceremony of the Strossmayer Gallery of Pictures in Zagreb on 8th and 9th November 1884”, Zvonimir, 1886)
After the torchlight procession, the crowd dispersed to observe the illumination displayed along every street, even those furthest away, where some poor soul had lit a lamp and candle next to a pot of flowers, with a banner saying “Long live Strossmayer”, even though no one is really expected to pass by. Many banners carrying the Croatian coat of arms and patriotic lyrics could be seen on windows; especially adorned were the houses of the first Croatian savings bank, Budicki’s and Prister’s, with carpets, lanterns and a Bengal fire. The apartments of Franjo Švarc and dr. Mazzura, all cafes on Jelačić Square, adorned with an array of balloons and flags. The Chamber of Trades and Crafts, the Academy’s palace as well. Along Jelačić and Zrinski Square, the candelabra were turned into great glowing stars and torches, all depicting a magical sight to be remembered with joy by everyone. […](from: “Illumination and torchlight”, Pozor, 10th November 1884)
A soiree ensued in the Baron’s house, which included many distinguished citizens, members of parliament from various political parties, intellectuals, representatives from Rijeka and Slovenia, and others. According to newspaper reports, tables were set in three of the palace’s halls, which did not hinder the communication among guests, who gathered in the main hall to toast and hear commemorative speeches.
[…] That our own dignitaries held speeches should not even be mentioned. Barčić, Derenčin, Folnegović and Vojnović accepted their turn to honor the Bishop and the host. Vojnović toasted to the unity of the Croatian intelligence because, as he said, the people are united, so the intelligence needs to emulate this unity of the people, resolve once and for all their petty grievances, which hinder the achievements of national goals. Folnegović replied by saying that he and those who share his opinion will never reject a call for unity in the difficult struggle for national rights.(from: “Feasts at Baron Ljudevit Vraniczany’s“, Pozor, 10th November 1884)