Dóber Dán From Zagreb!

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and blogger friend Paula’s hometown, was meant to be just a transit point en-route to the Dalmatian coast. But it turned out to be far lovelier than we expected.

While we were deeply disappointed that we couldn’t meet Paula in person, she was with us in spirit as we explored her beautiful city, thanks to the wealth of information she had mailed me beforehand. Cannot thank you enough dear Paula!

St. Mark's Church, Zagreb
St. Mark’s Church, Zagreb

The old town of Zagreb comprises two distinct sections, bisected by Ilica, its main thoroughfare. The older, Gornji Grad (upper town), consisting of the formerly warring Kaptol and Gradec, is the religious and administrative quarter. Donji Grad (lower town), with its host of impressive museums and theatres arrayed around a U shaped green space – called the Lenuci Horseshoe, after its urban designer – forms the cultural hub.

The upper and lower towns converge at the main square: Trg bana Jelačića, and are linked by steep stairways and a funicular: ‘the shortest and steepest in the world’.

The square between the Cathedral and Trg bana Jelačića, transforms into a fabulous market with the freshest produce each morning. There’s quirky street art that we hope to get to in the few hours we (might) have on our way back. And what’s not to like about a neoclassical train station and an Art-Deco hotel that once featured on the Orient Express itinerary? Or blue trams crisscrossing wide boulevards flanked by nineteenth century edifices?

We regret not having allowed more time for this vastly underrated Balkan city.

Zagreb, Croatia
Vojković Palace, now the Croatian History Museum.
Zagreb, Croatia
Gornji Grad, Zagreb
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Statue of Marija Jurić Zagorka. and the 1955 sun dial on the popular Tkalciceva street.
Zagreb, Croatia
Herman Bolle’s fountain topped by a golden statue of the Blessed Virgin on Kaptol Square, outside the Cathedral.
Zagreb, Croatia
Detail – Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Kaptol Square
Zagreb, Croatia
The dial of the old cathedral clock mounted on the defensive renaissance wall is frozen at 7.03 hrs: the exact time of the 1880 earthquake that damaged the Cathedral.
Zagreb, Croatia
The fabulous Dolac market
Zagreb, Croatia
Glavni Kolodvor – the Zagreb Central Station.
Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb Street and tram
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The Croatian National Theatre and Ivan Meštrović’s ‘Source of Life’ fountain.
Meštrović
A bookshop!