Bench of the Week: Bales of Hay in Međimurje

By 14 August 2017

Continuing our 'Bench of the week' series, we take a look at a different sort of the beloved Croatian social institution

Last week, we presented you with a classic example of what we like to call The Bench. The first image in the series, taken on Cres island, had all the typical features: seaside town – check, bench – check, premium location on the waterfront – check, three gents discussing a weighty topic – check.

This time, we have a unique example that proves our point that The Bench doesn't necessarily need to be an actual bench, nor does it have to be located anywhere near the shore in order to serve its purpose. No, The Bench is a term that covers a whole range of outdoor furniture and its possible locations, as long as it's used by the locals as a gathering point to discuss the latest talk of the town.

In the image above, you can see a group of ladies taking a break on a 'bench' composed of multiple bales of hay. It seems we have a 'first come, first served' situation going on, as the best spots always get occupied quickly, leaving a couple of those who were late to the party in the standing spots. Tough luck.

The photo was taken somewhere in Međimurje, the northernmost county in Croatia. Even though The Bench is originally a coastal phenomenon, it's clear that Croatian cultural traits transcend regions - as we've stated before, The Bench is made by the people and their stories.

There's no way to know what the ladies were talking about, but one thing is certain – judging by their expressions, it doesn't look like a laughing matter.


Think you've seen a good example of The Bench somewhere in Croatia? Take a photo and message us on Facebook or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view be featured in the series!