Fondest memory: Nikša had offered to give a guided tour of Novi Zagreb to local VTers and me when I visited. Unfortunately some of them couldn't join and some of them didn't want to join. So Zdenka and I got a very private and very interesting tour of what on VT is called "Hudi Bitek". It was so much fun! And very interesting as well....
Sava was once the northern border line of Napoleon’s provinces. At the end of Savski most (Sava bridge – the oldest bridge close to Jadranski most) as you cross Sava and arrive to Novi Zagreb side there's this small obelisk saying
Frontiere des provinces Illyriennes au temps de Napoleon, 1800-1813.
Sava river is the dividing line between old Zagreb and Novi Zagreb. In fact, this line is 300 metres wide. Because of its irregular flow, there are huge embankments around Sava. In the spring, when the snow melts in the Alps, all this gets filled with water.
Many tourists arriving to Zagreb aren’t even aware that there is a river in the middle of the city. Going to Novi Zagreb will be a good way also to see Sava.
Fondest memory: Embankments are popular place for walks, jogging and biking. Go there in the sunset, when the city is lit by reddish light.
Surely, jealousy wasn’t enough reason to make such a big project. So the impetus was needed. And when the old location of Zagreb Trade Fair in Savska road became too small, the new location was found across the Sava river – in the middle of what is about to become Novi Zagreb.
The new area of Velesajam (Trade Fair) in Novi Zagreb was opened in 1956. With its area of 505,000 square meters (180,000 sq. metres of indoor space) Zagreb Trade Fair is still the 11th largest Trade Fair in the world. There are more than 20 different trade expositions organized during one year, the largest one being the Autumn Zagreb Trade Fair. Besides trade expositions, there are numerous congresses, conferences and other manifestations organized here that attract more than 1,000,000 visitors each year.
Fondest memory: Zagrebacki Velesajam
Avenija Dubrovnik 15
HR-10020 Novi Zagreb
+ 385 (0)1 6503 111
Rapid urban growth was surely a strong reason for creation of the new town. But in fact, if we look at Zagreb’s urban territory – there are some areas that were simply jumped over. Close to central area we find old neighbourhoods of Trnje where life hasn’t changed much ever since the early 1930s.
So why did they have to jump on the other bank of Sava, and create a totally new town in the middle of nowhere, amongst the fields of Sava plains?
There are several reasons, but the main one was simply jealousy of Zagreb’s politicians of the time, led by its progressive mayor Veceslav Holjevac.
They simply couldn’t stand the idea that Novi Beograd started to take shape on the outskirts of Belgrade. And they decided to build a totally new town across Sava, naming it uninventionally Novi Zagreb.
Zagreb is not a city on the river. The historic core of Zagreb was situated on hills under the mountain, far away from the waters of Sava river that flooded the plains regularly. It was only during its urban growth that Zagreb reached Sava. But it never created a town on the river – it simply crossed it. Novi (New) Zagreb was created on Sava’s right bank in the period of explosive urban growth the city witnessed after the WWII.
In just one century Zagreb’s number of inhabitants were multiplied 14 times. From 57,000 in 1900 to more than 800,000 in 2001. From nearly 200,000 in 1931 to more than 600,000 in 1971. Such rapid urban growth demanded certain big actions. Novi Zagreb is just one of them.