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Beautiful white Zagreb city
Home Urban centers Cities Beautiful white Zagreb city

… It is more beautiful white Zagreb city …

With this lyrics from the poem about Jankec who is in a hurry to get to the train we are starting the story about Zagreb, a city with unusual charm and beauty.
Walking through the Zagreb we will represent you most of the tourist attractions in Zagreb. Consequently, the working title of this text was “Zagreb for one day” but at the last moment, decided to replace it with this more original one.

Zagreb panorama

We will start with sightseeing Zagreb from the plateau at the main station, on the assumption that you arrive in Zagreb by train or by bus (Bus station is a few train stations from here).
In the article “Belgrade and Zagreb” I made a comparison and pointed out the similarity of these two cities so if you are interesting to know more about it, read that article and return – to Tomislav square, the beautiful green plateau, one of three in a row (the other two are: Štrosmajerov square and the square of Nikola Šubić Zrinski – Zrinjevac). However, people from Zagreb like to call them with one name – Zrinjevac. We will just conform to it and start our sightseeing from Zrinjevac to the Ban Josip Jelačić Square, known as “Jelačić plateau”.

kralj Tomislav

While you are walking on the “Zrinjevac”, the first thing you’ll see on the Tomislav Square is an impressive equestrian statue of King Tomislav in front of a
beautiful art palace from where starts Zrinjevac part known as Štrosmajer Square (in Croatian: Strossmayer) with a famous Strossmayer’s monument. If you like museums, here, at the corner of the Štrosmajer square and Hebrangova street is a Modern gallery where you can enjoy in two interesting exhibition.
On the Štrosmajer square and Zrinjevac (Zrinjski Square) is the Neo-Renaissance palace of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (CASA), built at the end of 19th century.

Zrinjski trg Zagreb

The old part in Zagreb is divided into two city parts Donji and Gornji. The Donji city part is much younger and its construction is harmonious and beautiful. The Gornji city part is historical center consists of the combination of relatively narrow and steep streets.
Let;s go back to Zrinjevac from where we can through the Praška street get to the Jelačić plateau. This spacious square is the center of Zagreb, a meeting place and the border line between those two city parts “Donji” and “Gornji” . On the Square there is an impressive equestrian statue of Ban Josip Jelačić, a famous hero in Croatian history.
Here, on the Jelačić square there is a tourist information center where you can inform and buy maps and brochures that will help you to find easier what ever you need. Thanks to the map (we share it here with you so you can download it), as well as to the suggestions by employees from the T.I.C. was made this text- a guide for Zagreb.

Trg bana Jelačića

From here our route takes us through the Jurišić Street, where are monumental building of the General Post, to the Square Velikana, where is dominated the Exchange palace. Further you will continue through the Drašković Street to Vlaška Street. Here, at this crossroad, you can choose the direction. If you are not interested in a history and cultural heritage, then turn right where is very modern shopping center “Importane” and if you continue further this street, you will get at Maksimir, a large city park with many interesting contents. Here is a city Zoo too.
If you have decided to go to the old city center, turn left and you will see an unusual, very original monument dedicated to the famous Croatian writer August Šenoa. It’s actually a big pillar where August stood to rest for a while … Of course, you will take a photo with Šenoa here and it would be certainly unique photo.
The famous square in front of the Zagreb cathedral is very monumental and it is nice place to make a picture as well. It was built in Neo-Gothic style with two high towers (104 and 105 meters). They say that this difference was made by sliding the ground.

katedrala zagreb

If you want to feel real city atmosphere, go to the market. While you are walking on Dolac market, drinking juice made of fresh fruits, you will see Zagreb from some other perspective.

tržnica dolac

Now, let’s talk a little bit how developed Zagreb: In fact, originally there were two small towns situated on two hills divided stream Medveščak: Kaptol and Gradec. Kaptol was settled mostly by church dignitaries and Gradec by merchants and craftsmen. It is famous intolerance between these two cities and it has been often ended with a conflict on the bridge on the Medveščak, connecting these two cities. Today there is no bridge and no stream on this place but street “Krvavi most” (Bloody Bridge) indicated to these events in the past.
Namely, stream Medveščak, separated Kaptol and Gradec, no longer exists and there is now famous Tkalčićeva Street. Today Tkalčićeva Street is a symbol of Zagreb craftsmen and traders. There are many souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants with authentic traditional cuisine. It’s time for a break in Tkalčićeva Street. In the past on this place there were mill wheels, that is run by the Medveščak.

When you return to the “Krvavi most” (Bloody Bridge), just turn into the original, narrow and cobbled Radićeva Street, looking like a bazaar, … In this street pay attention to the building of the Croatian First Savings Bank. In Radićeva Street are the famous “Rocky door”, known as the Kaptol gate too. If the names “Bloody Bridge”and “Rocky door” remind you on the Mary Juric Zagorka works, then you’re in the right place. In the Tkalčićeva Street there is her monument and parallel to the Zrinjevac is the famous “Petrinjska street” .

Passing through the “Rocky door”, and walking down the Kamenita Street, you will get to the famous Markov Square where is dominated St. Mark’s Church with “colorful” coats of arms on the roof. Here, on the Markov Square there are significant goverment buildings such as the Government of Croatia and the Council (parliament).
Walking down the “Ćirilometodska” Street to the city part Donji grad you will come to the square: Catherine’s Square where is the famous Jesuit church of Sts. Catherine and Jesuit Square where are several buildings, but the famous one certainly is the palace “Dverce”. On the Jesuit Square is a fountain, “Ribar” or “Borba” (Read the article “Belgrade and Zagreb“). From this place is the most beautiful view at the Zagreb, get ready your cameras!

Fontana Borba

The next interesting place is Štrosmajerovo šetalište (Strossmayerovo promenade), a picturesque promenade with a beautiful panoramic view of the Donji grad. Here is an interesting sculpture – bench on which sits a famous Croatian writer Antun Gustav Matoš.
There is an interesting place that you should not miss the tower Lotršćak where you can heard every day at noon, the famous Grički top (cannon). After some time it became the city symbol. Anyway, it was former city gate (entrance to Gradec) and Tower Lotrščak was used as her guardian.
Not so far away from this city part is famous street Ilica, main street in Zagreb and shopping area.

spomenik antunu gustavu matošu zagreb

Walking down to the Ilica Street you will get to the Jelačić Square that was once, during the existence of the ex Yugoslavija, known as Republic Square.
In this direction you will get to the Preradovićev square, known as Cvijetni square as well and enjoy in a view at beautiful Orthodox Church Transfiguration.

Pravoslavna crkva u Zagrebu

With a Masarykova Street you will get to the begin of the city park complex. The square-park was named after Marshal Tito and here is situated the magnificent building of the Croatian National Theatre built in 1894/95 by the project of the famous Viennese theater architects Fellner and Helmer. In this Square is the Rectorate building of the Zagreb University and the University of Law and in front of them is copy of a statue “History of Croatians” (Read more about it in article “Belgrade and Zagreb“). Here, across the Rectorate building and in front of Theatre is one more masterpiece by Meštrović – fountain “fountain of life.”

HNK

There are three big museums here:the Croatian School Museum, the Museum of Arts and not so far away is the famous Museum Mimara where is kept one of the most valuable art collections in the world. This is a gift of controversial collector Ante Topić Mimare to the Zagreb. The museum is housed in the palace built in Neo-Renaissance style that was until recently one of the Zagreb gymnasium.
Don’t miss to see a sculpture of “St. George killing the dragon “.

Zagreb

Next one in a series of squares is “Green horseshoe” Square of the brothers Mažuranić – Green Square, where is located the Ethnographic Museum.
The Marilićev square- park got its name by this great Croatian poet, from the Split, author of the first song in the Croatian language “Judith” from 1,501th. Here is the building of the University of Natural Sciences and the Croatian state archives.

Here is our walking tour in Zagreb slowly coming to the end. If you still have some free time then visit botanical garden where are many different examples of exotic flora from all over the world. Not far from here is the Starčevićev Square where is located the hotel “Esplanade” in front of whom, in the center of the park is a powerful circular fountain.
Here we stoped our view at the building of the Main Station where we started sightseeing this magnificent metropolis.

Text and photo: Miroslav Bronzic

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