Wander through the north gate of Diocletian’s Palace in Split and you’ll find yourself at the feet of a towering statue. His pointed hat, topped with a small cross, gives a clue as to his identity. He is Gregory of Nin, a medieval Croatian bishop who fought for the right to use the local Croatian language in church services. Before that, all services were held in Latin, making them unintelligible to much of the population. Today, Gregory of Nin is considered a national hero.
The statue was created by Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic in the mid 20th century. Thousands of Gregory’s admirers have flocked to the statue to rub his big toe for good luck. That’s why it’s shinier than all of the others!