Gradski trgovi - the City Squares, Zagreb
A short walk from the stock exchange building you will find another very representative suare, Trg Zrtava Fasizma (Square of the Victims of Fashism). It's also a big traffic junction so this is not the place to take pictures standing in the middle of the road I can tell you.
The round building in the middle of the square is the Arts Centre with changing exhibitions nowadays (Dom hrvatskih likovnih umjetnika). The building, however, wasn't always connected to arts. It used to be a mosque (with three minaretes even) in WWII.
Trg Hrvatskih velikana (Croatian Nobles Square) is a very representative square in the lower town. The white building is the former stock exchange building with a triangular fountain in front of it. On the other side there's a very similar looking building which is black. The stock exchange building is home of the National Bank of Croatia these days.
The wide Austro-Hungarian styled Jelacic Square (Trg Bana Jelacica) is the busy heart of Zagreb. It is completely pedestrianised, although many tram lines cross the square.
In the middle of the square a monumental horse statue of ban Josip Jelacic can be found. Its history dates back to 1866. The surrounding buildings represent several architectural styles (Classicism, Secession, Modernism).
The Jelacic Square is located in the centre of Zagreb just between the Upper and the Lower Town.
The main statue on Trg Bana J. Jelacica is - no surprise here - the one of Ban Josip Jelacic sitting on a horse.
Ban Josip Jelacic is a national hero because he defended Croatia from Hungarian attacks in 1848.
The statue has an interesting past. In 1947 it was moved to some corner because it seemed too nationalistic for Yugoslavia. In 1990 when Nationalism was fashionable again it was brought back to its original spot.
The flower square is the last stop of the city centre walking tour of Zagreb. There are some flower shops here - hence the name. I was more impressed with the fact there is a Volkswagen Cafe here, though. Some day I'll bring "Lupi" for a drink here....
Where else could we start our little Zagreb tour than at the main square? This is the heart of the city, there's lots of trams and lots of people here. The square has a nice atmosphere, even in winter. It also is the meeting point for people.
Around the square you will find some beautiful buildings from different times (Classicism, Secession, Modernism) with the oldest building (no.15) being from 1827. In summer there are terraces here, in winter there's a christmas market.
My wonderful brochure on Zagreb claims that "if you have met someone there, then you're not just a visitor anymore". As I have I can continue writing this guide as a local I guess ;)
The skyscraper is a well-known landmark of the city of Zagreb. Everyone knows it & everyone remembers it - even what it was like before. I remember my mum taking me shopping when I was a little kid & when we'd be done with shopping, she'd take me to the penthouse for an ice cream... The picture of it is gonna stay somewhere in my head forever, I think.
The skyscraper got closed sometime during the war & I still don't know what's happening with it. I've heard that an older lady bought it, but she had no plans for it, but I heard nothing about that later. I mean, the building itself is not that special [and most of the people don't like it], but there is something about it.
The penthouse was a restaurant & a disco bar before, but now it's just a wreck standing there in the main square. It's construction's fully metal & glass, so after being closed for a while now, it looks really old with all those broken windows & everything. It's just a shame, because it's location's perfect, the view amazing & I'm sure people would re-love it again.
Luckily, I saw they're starting with the renovations, so I'm hoping we're gonna have a nice, new & renovated skyscraper by the end of 2006. There are some thoughts about replacing the metal parts with glass, so that it doesn't look that... well, socialistic. Some oppose, but we'll see what happens. At least something's being done! ;)
The central square in Zagreb is named after a very famous figure in Croatia's history - ban Jelačić, who freed Croatia from the Hungarians. Trg bana Josipa Jelačića or simply Trg is the heart & the meeting point of every person living, working, studying or visiting Zagreb. People, bars, bookstores, pigeons, drunks - whatever you need, you'll find it here. I bet you're even there right now! ;)
Petar Preradovic Square, named after Croatian poet and romanticist, is coloquially called Cvjetni trg. The lovely building of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord, dominates the square.
The square is locally called the Flower Market due to the colourful flowers displayed here on the stalls.
The city's main square also seems to be a great gathering and/or meeting place. In fact, it's the place that I always seemed to meet my fellow VTers in Zagreb who were gracious enough to show me around the town. The square is a logical starting point for a tour since it's so close to most of the city's popular sights. It is also the busiest tram stop in the city, so it's a good place to catch a ride. There are tons of stores, cafes and some ATM machines here as well.
The buildings around the square are elegant and the central statue is of the 19th century governor (ban) Josip Jelacic and was made by a sculptor from Vienna named Fernkorn in 1866. Jelacic dedicated himself to a military career early in his life and from 1830 to 1835 he fought with his regiment in Italy. In the revolutionary year of 1848 he was appointed the Croatian viceroy (governor or "ban"). In this leadership role, he was able to put down unrest in Hungary and in Vienna, thus saving the Austrian crown from ruin. J elacic was a supporter of the Croatian national movement and remained the Croatian ban until his death.
The equestrian statue is certainly the dominant feature of the square, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, Niksa's (diocletianvs) favorite thing, the modern "skyscraper" that is currently unoccupied (look for the Coca Cola sign with the temperature showing and you'll see the building). Hmmm? I doubt the majority would agree with Niksa who thinks it is a beautiful building, but since he's an architect, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Preradovic square, better known as Cvjetni trg (Flower Square), is close to the city's main square, Trg bana Jelacica and has this statue to Petar Preradovic in the center, built in 1895. Behind it in this picture is the Serbian Orthodox Church.
There is a cinema here as well as some cafes.
This is the heart of the city. This is also were the VT meetings start ;)) if the members actually decide to show up. The square is very busy, luckily not with cars but with blue trams. Several lines comes through here. There is also a big clock which serves as a meeting point. The tourist office is also located here and there is the big statue with the rider. Along the square you find cafés, shops and a bakery.
This, what you can see on Trg Hrvatskih Velikana, are not the twin-buildings. The left one is the monumental Stock Exchange which dominates the square and makes it look comparatetively small. The Stock Exchange building was made under the designs of the architects Viktor Kovacic and Hugo Ehrlich.
Nowadays the building houses National Bank of Croatia.
Trg zrtava fasizma is situated some hundred meters down from Stock Exchange.
The spherical shape building of the Exibition Pavilion marks that square. The pavilion was built before the Second World War and designed by the sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Nowadays it houses the Croatian Artists Centre.
During the Second World War the pavilion was turned into the mosque and the four towers were added on each of the side. After the war was finished, the towers has been pulled down. That is the reason why the locals call it "dzamija" even today.
The Square of the Victims of Fashism is its name in english
It's again that time of the year when Mr. P gets competition, at least that's how I perceive the two of them.
They don't seem to consider each other competition and why should they?! There's enough audience for both.
I was on the way to do my Saturday open market grocery shopping...
Just as I positioned myself to take this photo, a passer-by tapped me on the shoulder and said «Do not forget to put a coin in his box!» It felt really good to know that caring people like that passer-by still live in my city.
I contributed my bear (5 kn) to Mr. G's box and received a smile + was blessed with a flower.