Shards are defined as pieces of something that was broken, cracked (glass, tiles, missiles), in a size that more or less allows picking them up by hand.
It is no exaggeration to say that the Lower Town, with its iconic Austro-Hungarian buildings from the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century, is largely built from bricks. Likewise, it is no exaggeration to say that never – and at least since the 1880 earthquake – has there been so many shards on the city’s streets. The entire city turned into shards in those days.
People trying to dig out their cars after the earthquake became an everyday sight. As well as those cars that remained buried under the bricks. Their chassis could only be glimpsed beneath individual bricks, some gray, some red in contrast. Those are some of the prevailing themes in this chapter. They were recorded by our photojournalists, who went to the streets right after the earthquake struck. They captured virtually apocalyptic scenes in Jurišićeva Street, as well as houses that had lost their facades, so that everything inside them suddenly became visible to all.
Many of the city center inhabitants were forced to move out of their homes. The center was a ghost town for day after, with only a few lit windows showing here and there.
The recommendation to stay at home was in force as well, so it was a rarity to see anyone in the street, and when it did happen, the faces of random passers-by showed only concern.
Still, in one of the more recent photos from Frankopanska Street, bricks are already in bags, with a young couple, arms around each other, passing by, enjoying a coffee-to-go. By happenstance, a few more couples are walking the street. Life moves on.