The history of Zagreb - part 2
Favorite thing: In 1242 the other part of the old Zagred nucleus, Gradec situated on the Gornji Grad Hill (the Upper Town), was given a royal charter by King Bela IV. By the royal charter, also known as "Zlatna bula" (the Golden Bull), Gradec was declared and proclaimed a free royal city. The declaration was given to Gradec after the town was badly damaged in a Tatar invasion.
Fearing the new invasion, the citizens of Gradec engaged themselves in building defensive walls and towers around their settlement. In between 1242 and 1261 defensive walls enclosed the settlement in the shape of triangle, its top located near the Popov toranj and its base at the south end, where today is Strossmayer Promenade. A number of rectangular and semi-circular towers fortified the defensive walls. There were four main gates leading to the city but only the Stone Gate survived.
Fondest memory: In the first half of the 17th century three Roman catholic orders arrived in Gradec and greatly contributed to the building activities and to the development of this settlement.
The first to settle here were Jesuits, in 1606, bringing Baroque to Zagreb. They built the first grammar school (still standing at 4 Catherine's Square), St. Catherine's Church and their monastery at 4 Jesuit Square. St.Catherine's Church, built between 1620 ans 1632, was not only the earliest Baroque sacral building in Zagreb but also represented the highest achievement in the style, made popular by the jesuits.
The second to arrive in Gradec were the Capuchins (1618). They restored the old St.Mary's Church and built a monastery nearby, unfortunately, nothing has remained of the Capuchin buildings, as they were all pulled down in the beginning of the 19th century.
Last to arrived were nuns of the Clarissa order (about 1650), built up the third north part of Gradec close to the Popov toranj. They built a convent and the nunnery, one wing of which flanked the fortification wall. Their church was demolished in the first half of the 19th century and the convent building today houses The Zagreb City Museum.
The history of Zagreb - part 1
Favorite thing: Zagreb is a city with a rich history, dating from Roman times. The oldest settlement in its urban area was Andautonia. The remains of Andautonia could be seen in the village of Scitarjevo, which is suburb of Zagreb, situated nearby Velika Gorica.
The name of Zagreb (actually Kaptol) is first time mentioned and confirmed in 1094, when King Ladislav I (Ladislaus) founded the bishopric. Kaptol was built on the sort of terrace with canonis resedences arranged in rows alongside. The Latin word for a group or body of canons is "capitolum" (Kaptol in Croatian) and it is how Kaptol got its name. In the Middle Ages Kaptol had no fortifications, it was merely enclosed with wooden fences or palisades. The defensive walls and towers around the Kaptol were built between 1469 and 1473. Fearing the Turkish invasion the Bishop of Kaptol made decision to built the strong defensive system around the town. In between 1512 and 1520 the new chain of walls was built, this time around the Cathedral and Bishop's residence. These walls and towers have been preserved until the present day, except those that directly faced the fronf of the Cathedral in Kaptol Square. This section of the walls was pulled down in 1907. The Prislin Tower is one of the best preserved defending towers from those times. It is situated in the Opatovina Park, same as the well preserved section of the city walls.
Fondest memory: Old Zagreb consisted of two settlements situated on two neighboring hills, Kaptol and Gradec, with the houses lying in the valley between them along the former Medvescak creek (todayps Tkalciceva street). Kaptol and Gradec used to be separated entities and not always friendly to each other.
Favorite thing: The parks of Zagreb are one of its finest assets, especially the parks that run from the main train station to the central Ban Jelanica Square. My particular favourite, Opatovina, was this little enclosed park just off the main drag in Kaptol. It's so small it doesn't even have a name on most maps. Here you can sit in the silence and shade of the trees looking at the houses as they tumble down from Gradec up above.
Favorite thing: An amazing find, just off the main square. A quiet little arcade, on the corner of Bogoviceva and Preradovicev Try, that is beautifully tiled and lights up like a grotto on a sunny day. The arcade has two corridors that enter and center on a small dome in the middle, which is airy and bright from the soft light that filters through the coloured glass. It has phenomenal acoustics, attested to by the saxophonist whose haunting notes drifted down through the corridors, like Courtney Pine in Angel Heart, drawing me into the center. The saxophonist had obviously picked a great spot, because although the arcade was underdeveloped, and it was a quiet Sunday of closed shops, the echoing soulful notes just drew in unsuspecting music lovers and left them with no alternative to hand over some cash for the amazing performance.
Favorite thing: English is surprisingly widely spoken in Zagreb, given that it doesn't get a lot of tourists, relative to cities like Dubrovnik. Kids are learning it at school, and at the movies, and people quickly pick up on the fact that you are English the minute you say "hi" or "hello" and, if they know a few words, immediately try to use them. I had less problems speaking English in Zagreb, even when I went out into the countryside, than I do in Germany.
Fondest memory: With freezing temperatures, it might not have looked like spring has sprung in Zagreb, but it was clearly Easter time - a multitude of colourful eggs had descended on the city centre.
Croatia is a Catholic country, and the signs that Easter was here were evident everywhere in the form of these beautiful eggs. There was small ones for sale and on display in shops, with messages and pictures adorning them. My favourites, however, were these giant concrete eggs outside the cathedral. Decorated with scenes of Croatian villages, they were cheerful against a rather grim March day.
Parks of Zagreb
Favorite thing: Many wonderful parks offer good posibilities for a relaxing break in busy Zagreb. The city centre has a horseshoe shaped green lung with some nice fountains and a few interesting buildings.
The Maksimir Park just northeast of the city centre is the largest park of Zagreb. It covers an area of about 3 square km and includes two lakes and a zoo.Related to:
- Budget Travel
There's soo many things you...
Favorite thing: There's soo many things you can do when you're in Zagreb, you can take a walk from the train station to the centre of town through King Tomislav Square and the Zrinjevac parc. When you're at Ban Jelacic Square, you could go left towards the upper town or go right to the market place and the Cathedral, then have some rest at the beautiful Ribnjak parc right behind the Cathedral. Then you could go for some burek with cheese and a coffee, do some shopping, go back to Ban Jelacic Square and take a tram to the National Theatre, maybe go to the excellent Mimara museum, then take tram No. 17 to Jarun lake and watch the sun go down or - if it's summer - go for a swim. Then try some Cevapi for dinner and if you still have any energy left, go to the Aquarius Club, the finest club in town at Jarun...
but of course there are also many other things to do and ways to spend a day in Zagreb!
Favorite thing: The climate of Zagreb is continental, with four separate seasons. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are cold. The average temperature in winter is 1°C (34°F) and the average temperature in summer is 20°C (68°F). The end of May, particularly, gets very warm, with temperatures rising above 30°C (86°F). Snowfall is common in the winter months, from December to March, and rain and fog are common in autumn (October to December).
Favorite thing: I was amazed how many cafés there are in Zagreb. Especially in the warm season everyone seems to sit outside in the streets to see and to be seen. On Saturday morning it may be difficult to find a seat but funny enough on Sunday afternoon they appear to be practically empty.
Money, Costs and Euros
Favorite thing: People seem very happy to accept Euros, but don't expect a great exchange rate if you are too lazy to buy yourself some Kuna. I found I could use Euros in the station buying tickets and in the hotels, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more places, given the eagerness of people to accept them.
Hotels are expensive, but food and transport is cheap. A very good meal in a nice restaurant will set you back about 70KN, or 10 euros, and you can eat very well for much less. I ate a big pizza, and drank a coffee and mineral water, near to the cathedral, for a surprisingly cheap 42KN, which is less than 7 euros.
Transport is cheap: 20 euros for a ticket to Belgrade, and other internal destinations are similarly cheap. The exception is going north, where the price ramps up dramatically. It costs nearly twice as much to do the two hours to Ljubljana, than it does to take the six hour train to Belgrade. Taxis can be expensive, however, with a 25KN (3.50 euro) flag fall, and 8KN (1 euro) a kilometer after that.
The Streets of Zagreb
Favorite thing: One of the most pleasant things you can do in Zagreb is to just wander the streets. There is such a variety of styles and architecture, from the narrow medieval streets of on the hills of Gradec, the more open spaces of Kaptol with its views of the old houses on Gradec's hill, and the wide open and tree lined boulevards of Lower Zagreb, and all its beautiful turn of the century buildings.
Favorite thing: This place has no historical, architectural or any other big significance. You won't see the toruists around admiring or filming it, more likely, you will see children playing around and people sitting and relaxing. But this place is very dear to me, its right there below my room window!
Fondest memory: A small fountain in the park near the place where I live. Zagreb is otherwise known by its lovely fountains as you will see later!
Favorite thing: we exchanged money virtually everywhere (hotel, bar, taxi, restaurant) and for a rate very close to the official one. it's not worth wasting time lookin for an exchange house, however if late in a pub you should ask for exchange rate first. The one we were offered in Rock cafe was good, though.
Smell of freedom
Favorite thing: That was the most horrible travelling experience which i had throught teh all my life!
I still can't believe that it happend to me!
I decided to go for a weekend to Croatia, and as far as i know Belorussians don't need a visa if they have a voucher or a reservation from teh hotel.I got in the contry withought any problems.The most funny things started to appear in the evening, when 2 policemen came and took me like a criminal to the police station, i was shoked.They provide the wrong information to my friends and gave them the wrong address and phone number of that police station.I guess it was made in a purpose.They lied all the time!I was scarried.I sit togeather with criminals from 21.00 untill 1.30 withought detiled explanation, untill the translator came.This hours were like internity for me.
After the translator came I had a convirsation, if i can name that in such a friendly way with policeman.I was told that next day they would jadge me in their court!!!!!I was shoked again!How?First they let me in ,and then just decide to make a joke on me!?!!!!I felt myself horrible, i got a noce bleeding and terrible headache!At 3.00 they brought me to the jail, i still can't believe and i spent there the rest of the night.
In the morning we went to the court where i was informed that if i want to have a advocate i have to pay, and they said also that if i want to make a call it can be just to somebody inside of the country....When my friends try to call to the policestation all the time they got the wrong information about that "i am already free and so on..."After the court they brought me to the Ministry of iligal migration, and there i spent 2 hours or so, and man who talked to me speaked a really bad English...
So my conclusions are:
we are not free at all
we can always become a victims of somebodies wish, or just coinsedently
it damajed my mind alot
i am afraid of further travelling
and it have to pass some time before i will be friendly again to other nations
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