... Zagreb : the Capital of Croatia ...

Zagreb Travel Blog

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... the Cathedral of Zagreb ...

Zagreb was the first stop in my Balkan's journey and the capital of the country. I knew something about this city before my visit and most of my knowledge was based on sports teams, Cibona (Basketball) and Dinamo (Football). I had a very nice flight experience operated by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Zagreb about 2 hours duration, however, when I arrived Zagreb, I just felt a lil bit surprised, because Zagreb Airport (Zracna Luka Zagreb) is pretty small.  I don't know why but I was expecting a bigger airport for some reason in Zagreb as a capital city with a population around 800.000 inhabitants.

So, welcome to Zagreb! =) My first impression about Zagreb is "Man, this city is so silent.

... Virgin Mary monument @ Cathedral ...
", because it was sunday and I guess Zagreb locals do not prefer going outside during the day. I've started my exploration in the afternoon with my local guide Ana, and I obeyed her and her instructions for the next a few hours. Whatever I know about visiting a new city is "Always trust the local friends, if you have any!". So, I guess I'm one lucky guy. =) 

Zagreb central area is considered as two part: Upper Town and Lower Town. Upper Town is the old neighborhood of the city, and Lower Town is mostly the business/entertainment center.

We started from Upper Town and our first stop was the Ban Jelacic Sq. which is a meeting point for the locals. The place is named after Josip Jelacic who is kind of a national hero in Croatia. He has a huge statue in the middle of the square and also you can see him on the one side of 20 kuna (Croatian Money).

... St.Mark's Church ...
Next to the statue, you can see a fountain called Mandusevac Fountain. There is a legend about this fountain. Basically, once upon a time, a Croatian war leader was passing through this lands and he felt thirsty and asked a local pretty girl called Manda to scoop up some water for him from the spring, and the word for "to scoop up water" in Croatian is "Zagrabiti", and the city was named as Zagreb, and this fountain was named after Manda.

Actually, both upper and lower parts of the town is pretty compact and I need to say that all of our destinations were really close to each other and after 3-5 mins walking, we could get each of them. So, you cannot get lost in this city (maybe if you're a real idiot, you can try hard for getting lost, kidding!)

Anyways, the Cathedral was our next destination.

... Lotrscak Tower ...
It's a beautiful 19th century Neo-Gothic structure, however it's history goes to late 11th century. Plus, you can see some baroque decorations in some aspects of the structure, I guess people who are related to architecture understands me. During the expansion of Ottoman Empire, they put some fortifications to protect the structure (That was a classic expression which I heard in every city I visited in Croatia, and made me smile for some reason :P), and those called as Renaissance Walls and those fortifications are very well preserved.

We passed through Tkalciceva and Radiceva streets and the alley called Krkavi Most (Bloody Bridge). Once there was a creek and this alley was a bridge, the people were arguing about the land ownership and occasionally those argument have become violent fights, so the name comes after that.

... Tkalciceva Street w/cafes ...
That's not a very important story for tourist I guess...

We continued climbing the upper town, and arrived Kamenita Vrata (the Stone Gate) which was a part of the old fortifications remained from middle ages. There is a chapel under the gate dedicated to Virgin mary, and you can see a lot of people praying here. What I learned during my visit in Croatia is, every city from the medieval period has a patron saint, and Virgin Mary is the patron saint of Zagreb. So, that's the sory of the chapel.

We passed through the Zagreb City Museum which was closed, (and also closed during Monday) we arrived St.Mark's Church and square. This structure is pretty famous with its roof tiles that represents the coat of arms of the Croatian Kingdom and city of Zagreb in 15th century. It was closed, so we couldn't see indoors, and I heard that this church is mostly closed because of the governmental function of the square.

... Ban Jelacic Square ...

We continue through the Lotrscak Tower which was also built in medieval period. Every day at noon, there is a canon-firing tradition from this tower. So, if you're around and hear a sound of artillery, don't be scared.  Nothing is happening, just a tradition.

You can catch a beutiful view of the city from the route we followed, and take some kool pictures. Especially the Strossmayer Promenade is a pretty nice place to do that. Don't forget to stop by the statue of a famous Croatian poet A.Gustav Matos who will be sitting one of the benches. Take some pictures with him which we did =) You can take the Funicular to get lower town, or just walk down from the stairs. Funicular is not so original, at least for me.

When you get lower town, you can stop by a very nice/kool patisserie called Vincek.

... a classic Zagreb view ...
You can have some drinks, local desserts or ice-cream (my fave) here before continuing your way.

After our pit-stop, we headed to see the other monuments and landmarks of the city such as Croatian National Theatre and National Archives, on our way to the pizza place where we had dinner. After dinner we passed through the Botanical Garden and Train Station (King Tomislav Square).

So, that was the end of the 1st day of my journey. But, there was just a few more things to see and experience in Zagreb for me.

 

 

 

 

wandafromtexas says:
great impression of that city! thanks for sending me here (thru it!) thanks for sharing
Posted on: May 12, 2013
world-traveller123 says:
I was just in zagreb, myself and loved it
too many overlook this city,
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011
vicklar says:
informative..good read :)
Posted on: Jul 24, 2011
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... the Cathedral of Zagreb ...
... the Cathedral of Zagreb ...
... Virgin Mary monument @ Cathedr…
... Virgin Mary monument @ Cathed…
... St.Marks Church ...
... St.Mark's Church ...
... Lotrscak Tower ...
... Lotrscak Tower ...
... Tkalciceva Street w/cafes ...
... Tkalciceva Street w/cafes ...
... Ban Jelacic Square ...
... Ban Jelacic Square ...
... a classic Zagreb view ...
... a classic Zagreb view ...
... Cathedral @ night ...
... Cathedral @ night ...
... Zagreb Airport ...
... Zagreb Airport ...
... road to downtown ...
... road to downtown ...
... Medvedgradska St. where I stay…
... Medvedgradska St. where I sta…
... Tkalciceva St ...
... Tkalciceva St ...
... me @ cathedral ...
... me @ cathedral ...
... sunday ritual @ cathedral ...
... sunday ritual @ cathedral ...
... cathedral square ...
... cathedral square ...
... Croatian coat of arms ...
... Croatian coat of arms ...
... explaining the picture =) ...
... explaining the picture =) ...
... a well in the upper town ...
... a well in the upper town ...
... the bell tower of St.Marks ...
... the bell tower of St.Mark's ...
... St. Marks ...
... St. Mark's ...
... details @ the main gate of St.…
... details @ the main gate of St…
... I visited this exhibit in Ista…
... I visited this exhibit in Ist…
... hold on buddy, Ill help you! …
... hold on buddy, I'll help you!…
... now were buddies ...
... now we're buddies ...
... fearless =P ...
... fearless =P ...
... I guess I was having lots of f…
... I guess I was having lots of …
... me & lotrscak tower ...
... me & lotrscak tower ...
... general view of the city ...
... general view of the city ...
... a street festival in upper tow…
... a street festival in upper to…
... looking far far away ...
... looking far far away ...
... or not far away =P ...
... or not far away =P ...
... meet my guide =) ...
... meet my guide =) ...
... me and the poet ...
... me and the poet ...
... yeah were talking about footb…
... yeah we're talking about foot…
... the classic view ...
... the classic view ...
... me and the classic view ...
... me and the classic view ...
... me @ funicular ...
... me @ funicular ...
... a street cafe ...
... a street cafe ...
... me @ ilica st ...
... me @ ilica st ...
... me @ ban jelacic statue ...
... me @ ban jelacic statue ...
... more seriously =P ...
... more seriously =P ...
... trying my chance @ the pool ...
... trying my chance @ the pool ...
... me @ the pool ...
... me @ the pool ...
... the best guide in the city =) …
... the best guide in the city =)…
Zagreb
photo by: EmEm