There are many freemasons and masonic lodges in Croatia. This includes in the capital Zagreb and the other major cities, including Split, Rijeka & Osijek.
Croatia, a country known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is also home to a discreet but intriguing aspect of society, Freemasonry. The Masonic lodges in Croatia have a long history, with a legacy that spans centuries.
A Brief History of Freemasonry in Croatia
The roots of Freemasonry in Croatia can be traced back to the 18th century, when the influence of Freemasonry began to spread across Europe. The first recorded Masonic lodge in Croatia, the Lodge “Zur Wahrheit” (To the Truth), was founded in Zagreb in 1775. Over the years, Freemasonry gained popularity and attracted members from various social, cultural, and professional backgrounds.
Prominent Croatian Freemasons
Croatian Freemasonry has attracted prominent figures who have left their mark on the nation’s history:
- Ljudevit Gaj: A prominent linguist, writer, and political figure, Ljudevit Gaj was a member of the Masonic lodge “Pilgrim.” He is widely recognised for his role in promoting the use of the Croatian language and for his contributions to the Illyrian movement.
- Josip Juraj Strossmayer: A bishop, theologian, and politician, Strossmayer was also associated with Croatian Freemasonry. He played a pivotal role in advocating for cultural and political rights for Croats within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
- Nikola Tesla: Although not a confirmed member of any Croatian lodge, Nikola Tesla is rumoured to have had connections to Freemasonry during his time in the United States. Tesla’s inventions have made him a legendary figure in scientific history. He also has a museum about his importance to visit in Karlovac, a city in Croatia.
Freemason Lodges in Croatia
- The Grand Lodge of Croatia (Velika Loža Hrvatske): This is the most prominent Masonic organisation in Croatia. Established in 1990, it follows the principles of regular Freemasonry and is recognised by various international Masonic bodies.
- The Regular Grand Lodge of Croatia (Redovita Velika Loža Hrvatske): Founded in 2000, this is another significant Masonic organisation in Croatia. It adheres to traditional Masonic practices and rituals.
- The Grand Lodge of Croatia for Mixed Freemasonry (Velika Loža Hrvatske za Miješanu Slobodnozidarsku): This lodge was established in 2007 and is open to both men and women. It promotes equality and inclusivity within the Masonic community.
Freemasonry in Croatia, like in many other countries, has had a profound influence on its culture, politics, and intellectual development. While Freemasonry is often shrouded in mystery and intrigue, it has played a role in fostering ideals of brotherhood, tolerance, and personal growth among its members. The lodges mentioned in this blog post provide a glimpse into Croatian Freemasonry, a world that continues to thrive and develop in the modern age.