The main attractions, Zagreb
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! :)
Braca Hrvatskog Zmaja (The Knights Order of the Dragon) was first founded in 1408 by Croato-Ungarin King Sigismund, under the name of Ordo Equestris Dragonis. This secret organisation, which members could have been Croats of noble origins, had in its beginning the one purpose only, to defend catholicism against pagans, schismatics and enemies of the faith. During centuries though it transformed into historical and cultural society. The seat of the society is at the first floor of the tower above Kamenita vrata (The Stone Gate).
After long period of silence, the society was re-established in 1905, and in ocasion of the 90th anniversary this small square in front of the Stone Gate was named Trg Brace Hrvatskog Zmaja.
Fondest memory: The equestrian statue of St. George is work of Austrian sculptors A. Kompatscher and A. Winder. and it shows St. George after his fight with dragon. The statue was originally located in Mallnitz, Austria, in front of Villa Liebermann and in 1937 was given as a gift to Croatatian Duke Ivan Mazuranic. The statue was located in Villa Mazuranic until 1994 and since that time is located at the new place in fron of the Stone Gate.
The main altar of marble designed by Hermann Bolle.
In the sanctuary is a conciliar altar with a silver antependium, dated 1721, and 4 silver reliquaries in the form of a pyramid, dated 1738, the work of the Maribor goldsmith I. Reiman.
The stained glass windows were manufactured in Munich in 1846-1847. In the center is the Assumption of Mary, for which the Cathedral is named.
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.
The Stone Gate is one of the city emblems and place where the story of so-called Upper Town begins. It used to be a part of the city walls, built most probably in 1266, that once stood around the old town. At that times The Stone Gate displayed a painting of the Mother of God.
According to legend, a great fire consumed all the wooden elements of the gate in 1731, except for the painting of the Blessed Virgin and Child, which was found in the ashes, miraculously undamaged. This legend inspired a belief in the miraculous nature of the painting, and in order to commemorate the event gratefull citizens built a small chapel within the arch of the gate, which still houses the miraculously saved paintings. Since that time this small chapel become a place of worship and the biggest shrine of the town. Chapel is regularly visited by the locals who come to light a candle and thank the Lady for protecting them.
Fondest memory: Since 1991 Mother of God of the Stone Gate is the patron saint of Zagreb.
The Stone Gate is easily accessible from the main square, by Radiceva street up some 300m and there is Trg Brace Hrvatskog Zmaja where the monument of St. George is situated.
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.
The Meteorological Column, designed by the architect Herman Bolle, stands in the northern side of the Park Zrinjevac.
Fondest memory: Most of the citizens, when passing by, stop for a moment to observe the weather conditions, especially if the current waeather conditions are bad.
Favorite thing: Croatians seem to flock to these little outdoor cafes at all hours. Unlike the USA it does not seem to ever lag off where there are times with no customers. I don't know how they have the time but even on weekdays these places have folks sitting around chatting, smoking cigarettes, and having coffee.
The very same spot in a different season. This picture was taken in the first week of January 2003, Zagreb was covered by the snow.
Fondest memory: We use to say "beli Zagreb grad" (the White Zagreb) for our town. That nickname dates from the begining of the 20th century and was given because of the white coloured facades of the houses. Nowadays, it nickname suits to the town only when covered by the snow.
The monumental building of the Croatian National Theatre is the central building on Marshal Tito Square. It was built in 1894/95 according to the designs of famous Viennese architects, Hellmer and Fellner.
Fondest memory: The Marsal Tito Square is probably the most beautiful square in the town. Besides the theatre, here are situated Art and Craft Museum, The University and a few other representative palaces.
See the night-time picture of Bana Josipa Jelacica Square. The picture was taken at 2 past midnight.
At any time of the night you can meet some people here, mostly weaiting for the late tram and reach their home.
In the hot summer nights you can seat here sipping your buse if any left and waiting the day light to appears.
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.
The column of the Holy Mary stands in the middle of the Kaptol Square, right in front of the Cathedral. In the lower part of the column there are sculptures and the fountain.
It is work of Antun Dominik Fernkom from 1865, while the fountain is designed by Herman Bolle in 1880.
Fondest memory: I'll tell you the little secret; this is the most refreshing sight of the town in the hot summer days and nights. The gentle breeze blows constantly from the direction of north, where the Sljeme Hill is situated. Ceck it when in Zagreb.