Zagreb through the centuries, Zagreb
Nowadays, hardly anyone uses the term Gradec, even old locals prefer call it Gornji grad or Gric. This low hill on which the Upper Town is located dominates the town center of Zagreb, as its guardian or protector guard. Gornji grad is a favorite promenade, and even meeting point, especially when it comes to younger urban population. This is a favorite part of the city for those who are romantic or in love, because here they can be alone and somehow isolated from prying eyes.
Fondest memory: Aside from the many museums and galleries, the Upper Town is the center or power because here is Parliament, the seat of the Croatian government, the Constitutional Court and the old City Council. However, all these institutions are discreetly and unobtrusively monitored so that tourists and visitors in any way are not disturbed when strolling around.
The Upper Town is guardian of tradition values, especially in the architectural sense, and with its numerous residential buildings testifies to the way of life in the past several centuries. It is a protected zone in which none of its old core is demolishing but systematically renovating and bringing to its original aspect.
In the Upper Town the construction of new buildings, whether they are concerned institutions or residential units, is not allowed.
Well, if you really want some history on Zagreb, read a book! I will mention that the word Zagreb literally means, "behind the hill" since the city is at the foot of Mount Medvednica. The city was once controlled by Hungary and Niksa told me that technically, the city was really two separate municipalities with Kaptol and Gradec having a historical rivalry.
Zagreb was part of the Habsburg Empire which was primarily centered in Vienna and Budapest. Then in the 19th century, Zagreb finally started to get a sense of itself . Some Croatian nationalism began to build and a cultural scene began to develop. In the early 20th century, with the creation of Yugoslavia, power shifted to Belgrade and it wasn't until after WWII that Zagreb become the seat of government for the republic of Croatia.
Fortunately, the city escaped any heavy physical damage from the war in the 1990s, although there was a rocket attack in Gradec in 1991.
The old parts of Zagreb (Gornji Grad) have gotten the official proclamation which made it a Free Royal City in 1242 from King Bela IV. Nevertheless the Zagreb parish has existed since as far as 1094, but some say that the city itself is a lot older. It has been the capital of Croatia since 1557 which enabled it to save much of its medieval city.
The whole now-a-day center is practically the old city. When you go to the cathedral, there are towers around it that were a part of a big wall which separated two powerful cities at that time - Kaptol & Gradec.
During centuries Croatia was ruled by everyone from the Venetians, Osmans, Hungarians, Austrians & all those, which I believe one can sense in the mentality of the people. But we finally got our independence in 1991 - for a price though... During the war (1991-1994) Zagreb luckily didn't suffer as much as other Croatian cities (like Vukovar), so the recovery went pretty fast.
This is the Zagreb that I know.
...learn a little bit of zagreb's history...
So, let's start now!
Today's Zagreb has grown out of two medieval settlements that developed on neighbouring hills for cenuries:Kaptol & Gradec.
The first mention of the city dates from 1094, while in 1242 neighbouring Grades was proclaimed a free and royal city by Hungarian king Bela IV.
During the Turkish onslaughts on Europe, between 14th and 18th centuries Zagreb was an important border fortress...
Kaptol & Gradec and the surrounding settlements were administratively combined into the integrated city of Zagreb in 1850.
Some brief history...
The first written mention of the city dates from 1094, when a diocese was founded on Kaptol, while in 1242, neighbouring Gradec was proclaimed a free and royal city.
The Baroque reconstruction of the city in the 17th and 18th centuries changed the appearance of the city. The old wooden houses were demolished, opulent palaces, monasteries and churches were built.
The many trade fairs, the revenues from landed estates and the offerings of the many craft workshops greatly contributed to the wealth of the city.
When Kaptol, Gradec and the surrounding settlements were administratively combined into the integrated city of Zagreb in 1850, the development accelerated still more. The disastrous earthquake of 1880 sparked off the reconstruction and modernisation of many shabby neighbourhoods and buildings.
So, today it looks marvellous, and is a plce you will enjoy visiting!
Square of Ban Josip Jellacic (1801-1859)...defends Croatia against attemps of Hungarian occupation and unites all Croatian Provinces. Before 1848, Josip Jellacic served as a regimental colonel for seven years along the Croatian military frontier. Described by contemporaries as poetic and humane, he was a consummate professional military officer. A Croatian nationalist favoring the Illyrian movement, he received the support of the Croatian national party. Regardless of his shifting political motives, he was a military officer and personally loyal to his emperor throughout his career.
In March 1848, with the revolutionary fever taking hold in Zagreb, the Croatian Diet declared Josip Jellacic Ban of Croatia. On March 23, on the advice of Baron Franjo Kulmer, Emperor Ferdinand V promoted Jellacic to Lieutenant-Field Marshal and confirmed his appointment as the Ban of Croatia.