The thing I like about Zagreb - or at least about coming to Zagreb by train - is the sight that waits for you when you exit the Central Station building: king Tomislav's square together with the rows of old houses, the Art pavillion & the cathedral pretty much sum up what's waiting for you in this city. Unlike most of the cities that shock you with the sight, Zagreb gives you a warm welcome right at the start... :)
Fondest memory: Coming back to Zagreb always brings this nice feeling back. I just came from Belgrade by train, so the same feeling came all over me again. I just hade to post this tip! :)
There are many parks in Zagreb, actually it might be cold the green town. Everywhere you walk around there is at least one greeen corner with flowers foliage and the fountain. Maksimir, Tuškanac and Ribnjak, the huge city parks inside the town, are coloquialy called by the locals as the "pulmons of the town".
Fondest memory: Maksimir has 18 hectars of lush greenery and forest, opened to the public in 1794 and was the first of its kind in this part of Europe. It is the perfect spot for a half day outing.
The Meteorological Column at Zrinjevac Park is one of the most visited sights of the city. Many locals, especially seionrs, stops here every day curious to know what kind of weather might be expected in the coming period.
Fondest memory: When you're in Zagreb, stop here to check what kind of the weather conditions you may expect during your stay in the town.
The park of N.S.Zrinskog Square (coloquially called Zrinjevac) is the oldest park in the Lower Town and part of the magnificient string of eight parks which make up "Lenuci's green horseshoe", which is the most valuable and original contribution of the urban-planning carried out at the end of the 19th century. It is the most beautiful spot in Zagreb and the favourite city promenade.
Fondest memory: The park, laid out in the style of English landscaping, is surrounded by excellent neo-Renaissance, neo-Romanesque and neo-Classical buildings. In its middle is the Music Pavillion, built in 1891. In 1893 a fountain designed by the architect Herman Bolle was built in the park.
There are several altars of great artistic value in the cathedral. Altar which represents SS. Cyril and Methodius, a work by the sculptor Mihael Stepic according to the desingn of Robert Franges.
Next is altar which represents SS. Stephen, Ladislaus and Emeric, built in the Zagreb Trade School.
This one represents Croatian viceroy Petar Berislavic, great heroe from the battles against the Ottomans.
The Sarcophagus of the Blessed Archbishop Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac stands behind the Main Altar of the Cathedral. Below are the graves of all ,
the bishops and arcbishops of Zagreb.
Fondest memory: Alojzije Stepinac was condemned for the collaboration with Ante Pavelic's regime in the period of WW II, although it was never prooved. He died in a very mysterious conditions.
Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica, the Ban Josip Jelacic Square, is the very heart of Zagreb. The square came into being in the 17th century. All the buildings surrounding the square today were built in the course of a hundred years and so represent a variety of styles, from Classicism and Secession to Modernism.
Fondest memory: This is the point where walking tours of Zagreb start and where you will return when sightseeing is over.
Favorite thing: The Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and St. Stephen dominated he Kaptol area of the city. There was a church there in King Ladislas' time, as well as Romanesque cathedral which was badly damaged during the invasion of the Tatars. After a series of additions and renovations over the centuries, at the beginning of 20th century two slim neo-Gothic bell-towers were erected which today are a prominent part of the city's visual identity.
Uspinjaca or the Funicular Railway, built in 1891, connects the Down Town and the Upper Town. It is probably the shorteast funicular railway in whole the Europe, less then 100 meters of length.
Fondest memory: Do not miss to take the ride with funicular, although that short it is unique experience.
Always a great view for the travelers - the main train station of the city you are visiting.
This is the train station of Zagreb. Right in front of it there is a nice park and during my stay there I can't say it was too crowded area like in other train stations I saw.
Just like in every town in Italy there is a Garibaldi street, there is probably a ban Jelacic street (or square) in every town in Croatia. Perhaps the most famous and popular historical person in Croatia, ban Jelacic was a Croatian nobleman and an Austrian general under whose reign Croatia became united for the first time after being torn between 5 different countries for centuries. He abolished the feudal system in 1848 and promoted Croatian autonomy within the Austro-Hungarian state. His name was Josip Jelacic, and the title 'ban' related to his title of duke, or vice-king, the most important position in old Croatian political system - something like prime minister today.
He is celebrated in songs and poems, sculptures and paintings, and the largest square in Zagreb bears the name of ban Jelacic.
Fondest memory: The ban Jelacic monument was made in 1866 by Austrian artist Anton Dominik Fernkorn. It was placed at the main square and for many years it symbolised Croatian national pride and heroic spirit. It remained there until 1947, when it was secretly taken away by the communist government that found it ideologically unsound. It was dismantled and meant to be destroyed, however it was saved by dr. Antun Bauer, the manager of Gliptoteka gallery, who kept it hidden in the basement of his gallery for almost 50 years.
When Croatia regained its independence in early '90's, the statue was returned to its original position at the main square in Zagreb, much to the delight of people of Zagreb and all of Croatia.
Favorite thing: A.G. Matos was one of Croatia's most famous writers. Born in 1873 and died in 1914, he witnessed the important political, cultural and social changes which happened at the turn of the century. Some of his most beautiful poems were dedicated to the city of Zagreb, and in his memory a sculpture of him sitting at the bench was placed in one of the nicest parts of town with the great view over the city, Strossmayer's promenade in Upper Town, so he could look over Zagreb forever. Sit next to him for a moment and share the view.
As far as I know, there are two statues of St George the Dragonslayer in Zagreb - one at Trg marsala Tita, in front of HNK (Croatian National Theatre), and another at Kamenita vrata, on your way to Gornji grad. The latter is less known but far more beautiful in my opinion. It was sculptured in 1944 by Austrian artists, Kompatscher & Winder, as a tribute to the patron saint of "Druzba hrvatskog zmaja" association.
The first thing you notice about the sculpture is its static quality. As opposed to the usual dragonslaying posture, St George's powerful presence radiates dignity and tranquility, as he pays respect to the dead dragon. Another thing that is noticeable is the coloration - the knight is black and the dragon is white, which is very interesting considering the symbolic meaning of the colours.
Lenuci's Horseshoe, so named for the architect who designed the park expanse expanse at the end of the 19th c., they provide a supreme coridor of nature in the very heart of the city.
Fondest memory: The monument to King Tomislav, first Croatian king
Gradec or Gornji grad (the Upper Town) was proclaimed a free and royal city in 1242. Some remains of the ramparts that once surrounded the city are still visible.
The Baroque reconstructions that the city underwent in the 17th and 18th century changed the shape of Gradec. In 1890 the two separate units, Kaptol and Gradec have been unificationed into the united city of Zagreb.