Rainbow over the city of Zagreb

Friday, October 20th, 2006, 7 o'clock AM
photos by Darko Zubrinic

These photos were taken when I waited for train from Zagreb to Karlovac at the main railway station, to the conference devoted to Rudolf Strohal, a forgotton investigator of Croatian Glagolitic Script.





An attempt to explain the double rainbow can be found in Isaac Newton's book "The Optics", on p 147. No surprise. But the surprise is that on that page Newton cites a Croatian Jesuit, humanist and scientist Marc Antun Dominis (1560-1624). He spent six years in London, being invited by the English King James I. He lived at the Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury and was appointed to be the Windsor Dean and the King's chancellor.

Rainbows that we usually see are a part of the circle, like an arc (that is why in French it is called arc-en-ciel, ie arc-on-the-sky). But, in some very special circumstances, usually in the mountains, arc-en-ciel can be seen like cercle-en-ciel! I was a witness of such a very rare natural phenomenon - an amazing WHOLE CIRCLE RAINBOW. It had very sharp edges, extremely intense colours and - a cross in the middle, with two human silhouettes on both sides. These were the shadows of a metal cross (about 5m high, on the top of a mountain in Austria, above 2000m) and of two of us, "projected" onto a film of mist in a late afternoon in 1980s, during sunset. Unfortunately, I did not have my photo camera with me.

From my mother I learnd that in the region of Hrvatsko Zagorje near Zagreb, in a village where she was born, the following very interesting expression for rainbow had been in use:


that is, Mother Mary's Trace.

Križevi u uzduhu viđeni u Alpama 1865.
Oton Kučera: Vrieme, crtice iz meteorologije, Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 1897.

Croatia - its History, Culture and Science