The monument to the famous poet and diplomat born in Trebinje was constructed in 1997. It is located in front of the main city (Dučić’s) park, right across the monument of Petar II Petrović Njegoš, so this square is also called Poet square.
Trebinje was not only lucky to be the birthplace of a such great poet, but also because he left a significant legacy to Trebinje. He was one of those people who lived outside their town but who loved it and always came back to it. All of his assets as a poet and as a diplomat were left to Trebinje. Being a man of great knowledge and culture who lived in many world metropolises, he always felt nostalgic about his birthplace.
He was born in Trebinje on February 17th 1871 where he graduated from elementary school. His family moved to Mostar where he enrolled in Commerce school. He attended Teacher’s college in Sarajevo from 1890 to 1891 and he graduated in Sombor in 1893. He was a teacher for a short period of time in various places, most notably in Mostar from 1895 to 1899. He was also a member of ‘Gusle’ (Serbian national instrument) Association in Mostar, and together with Šantić he also started a literary club and magazine ‘Zora’ (The Dawn).
He departed for Geneva in 1899 to university studies. He studied the law on the University of Geneva, and then he returned to Serbia. In 1910 he was appointed as attaché in Istanbul office, and in the same year he moved to Sofia on the same position. From 1912 he worked as a diplomat in Rome, Athens, Madrid, Cairo and Bucharest. After time spent in these cities, he went to USA to Gary, Indiana.
He left his birthplace with a heavy heart, but he would always come back to it whenever he had a chance. He always loved his ‘dear Trebinje’, as he used to say, he dreamt and wrote about it. Collection of his poems and letters are kept in The Museum of Herzegovina.
Not only did he leave everything he had to his city, but he also used his own material funds to decorate it in both urbanistic and spiritual ways during his lifetime. His wish was to make a small ‘flower square’ so he sent evergreen plants from Italy by ship (today’s Jovan Dučić Park). There are also numerous other gifts, such as the fountain with statue of Cupid, statues of lions at the park entrance, monument of Petar II Petrović Njegoš, monument of Liberators, flower box which is now located in front of Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary… Dučić’s collection of ancient monuments was exhibited in The Museum of Herzegovina in 1996 (70 figures of stone plastic from Italy). National library has his collection of 5427 books, manuscripts, correspondences, diplomacy acts and his personal belongings. Those are mostly publications from the past times and among them there are many rare books that cannot be found in any other library in ex-Yu area.
He died in 1943 in USA. Prior to his death he wrote a testament which said ‘… a beautiful orthodox church is to be constructed, which would resemble Gračanica in Kosovo, where my body would be moved and buried.’
On the Annunciation on April 7, 2000 his last wish came true. His remains were transported from USA to Trebinje and they were buried on Crkvina hill, in Herzegovinian Gračanica, which was dedicated to ‘The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary’.