All texts and photos taken from Zagreb Tourist Board website
St. Mark's Church
The Cathedral of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Zagreb Cathedral is the most monumental and the most impressive Gothic-style sacral building southeast of the Alps. Its ground plan, with slender cross-ribbed arches within three polygonal apses with narrow windows, resembles French architectural pattern (ex. the one in Troyes); the details of its subsequently added naves (of equal height) correspond to the building patterns of modern German architecture; imaginative sculptures, on the other hand, reflect influence of Czech schools.
All this indicates not only early introducation of Gothic style to Croatia’s north and internationalization of art, but also the importance of Zagreb Bishopric and the status and power of its bishops in those days. From the very beginning, the cathedral was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin mary, i.e. to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feast of the Assumption). Although Hungarian King St. Stephen is always mentioned as the primary patron-saint, he is actually the second one.
Most likely, king Ladislaus (1040 – 1095) did not build a new cathedral after the founding of Zagreb Bishopric; instead, he proclaimed the existing one a cathedral.
Construction of the new cathedral began after his death. The cathedral was finished in 1217 and was consecrated by King Andrew II (1205 – 1235), on his way to the 5th Crusade. As early as in 1242, Tartars destroyed the newly built cathedral, so Bishop Stephen II (1225 – 1247) had the Chapel of St.Stephen the Martyr erected for the cathedral mass services. this Romanesque and Gothic building is today incorporated in the Archbishopric’s Seat.
Bishop Timotej (1263 – 1287) started building a new, monumental cathedral, integrating in it the remainders of the ‘preTartaric’ cathedral. He dedicated it to St.Stephen, a Hungarian king. He managed to build the central apse and the two side ones with altars, as well as the sacristy. The frescoes in the sacristy (interestingly, St. Kvirin between St. Dominic and St. Francis) probably date back from the time of Bishop Augustin kažotić (1303 – 1322). Bishop Eberhard (1397 – 1406 and 1410 – 1419) deserves credit for the building of three church naves the evidence of which can be seen on his bishop’s coat of arms on walls and pillars).
Bishop Osvald Thuz (1466 – 1499) roofed the whole building. Building of the steeple on the south side of the front started at that time; this renaissance and baroque steeple was not finished before the 17th century. Turkish threat forced bishop Thuz to start building fortifications around the cathedral. It was not before 1517 that they werw finished, by Ostrogon Archbishop Toma Bakač, the head of Zagreb Bishopric. He built a tower in front of the cathedral’s entrance. It was named after him – the Bakač Tower. It was pulled down during the last reconstruction of the cathedral in 1906.
During the 17th century, fire damaged the cathedral several times, but every next reconstruction enriched its interior with valuable inventory. This includes baroque altars (wooden and marble ones) and a pulpit by sculptor Mihael Cusse (the latter one can still be seen in the central nave). Enriching of the cathedral’s interior continued. Bishop Aleksandar Alagović (1829 – 1837) acquired the painting Assumption of Virgin Mary, that was installed on the altar, and a loft. Archbishop Juraj Haulik (1837 – 1869) removed the altar painting (he sold it to the parish church in Pregrada). Instead, he built the neogothic, main altar. Also, in 1855, he bought a large organ (with three manuals, one pedal and 53 registers), made by Walcker Company from Ludwigsburg.
The architecture of the organ-closet has neo-gothic features. Finally, Haulik had the shrine windows painted. Those are the oldest stained-glass windows in Croatia. In an attempt to restore the cathedral’s original appearance, Viennese professor of Architecture Friedrich Schmidt was invited to Zagreb. He took his student Hermann Bolle with him. However, the cathedral was severely damaged by the disastrous earthquake of 1880. For this reason, not only it was reconstructed according to the design of H. Bolle, but its interior also acquired neo-gothic characteristics. That was especially clear/emphasized by the arches of the two neo-gothic bell towers(bells) , which hight is around 105m. Therefore the today’s look of the Cathedral was finalized in 1902 year. In the past 30 years, substantial reconstruction works have been undertaken on the cathedral.
Since low-quality stone was used during Bolle’s reconstruction (economic reasons and the vicinity of Bizek and Vrapče quarries), particularly on the new steeples and on the western facade, it soon started to deteriorate, affected by weather and city pollution (smog and chemical factors). The deterioration was first spoted on the cathedral’s facade and on stone sculptures (ex.lanterns with pinnacles) that were now out of recognition. The first reconstruction of a part of the southern steeple started in 1938, but was stopped when communists came to power. It was reassumed in 1968, when the top of the northern steeple was renovated. Subsequently, mostly owing to donations from Croatian Diaspora, the worn-out roof was completely renovated and replaced with copper plates.
In 1987, Archbishop Franjo Kuharić founded the Zagreb Archbishopric’s Committee for Reconstruction of the Cathedral, as well as a task force of selected experts. Soon, the Cathedral Reconstruction Monitoring Committee was also founded and scientific and art institutions and the city and state authorities took part in its activities. After architects and assessors of conservationist and restoration works had been selected, the reconstruction started in 1990. It has been going on ever since, by phases and priorities. The Committee publishes the periodical Our Cathedral, reporting on current status of the works.
Zagreb is blessed with a location right next to Sljeme, an easy getaway that offers hiking trails and ski slopes of international quality. The upgrading of Sljeme is a recent phenomenon, much of it based on the global success of local skiing star Janica Kostelić and her sporting family. With her help and influence, Sljeme is now a regular fixture on the World Cup skiing circuit.
The citizens of Zagreb love Sljeme all year round. In winter they can use the snowboarding and ski training facilities, or take advantage of the twice-weekly night skiing programme. There are ski runs for three levels and even sledging in nearby Činovnička meadow. Some prefer to come in summer, when they can find shelter from the heat, and come to Sljeme for walk and a picnic. Many love Sljeme in autumn, which brings out its carpet of colours; or spring, when the lower and surrounding slopes, named Medvednica, display many of the extensive (and occasionally rare) flora in full bloom.
Along with the development of Sljeme tourist infrastructure arrived, although many prefer the authentic atmosphere of the mountain lodges. The entire mountainside of Medvednica is yet another treasure of nature. Some 20 years ago, its higher western section was declared a nature reserve. In addition to the many trekking paths, a natural attraction is Veternica Cave, one of the largest in Croatia. Medvedgrad itself, is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Croatia, dating back to the 13th century. Some ten years ago it was reconstructed and given a new role – as a state memorial to the unknown defenders of the homeland.
Medvednica Nature Park, Bliznec (no street number),
+385 1 4586 317, fax +385 1 4586 318
Openinig hours for visitors: Sunday/holiday (except Easter and All Saints Day) 11am – 5pm, on
weekdays by appointment.
Admission fee: children: 18 kn
students and retired citizenss: 20 kn
adults: 23 kn
family ticket: 50 kn
By car: from Zagreb: follow the Sljeme road to Grafičar Mountain Lodge
From Zagorje: take the road from Pila, drive over Hunjka, then continue to Grafičar Mountain Lodge
On foot: follow the geological educational trail from Šestinski Lagvić to Kraljičin zdenac, then continue to the entrance to the mine.
In case of rain, Zrinski Mine will not be open. On Saturdays and Sundays you can get all the information by calling 4586-107 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) or in the news section of the park’s website.
Medvednica Nature Park, Bliznec (no street number),
+385 1 4586 317, fax +385 1 4586 318
Opening hours for visitors: Saturday/Sunday/holiday (except Easter and All Saints Day) 10am –
4pm, on weekdays by appointment
Admission fee: adults: 40 kn
students and retired citizens: 25 kn
children: 20 kn
family ticket: 70 kn
Bus no. 124 from Črnomerec terminal to Gornji Stenjevec (the ride takes about 15 minutes);
walk by the Dubravica Stream for about 15 minutes on hiking trail no. 3; or go from Ponikve to Glavica Mountain Lodge (30 minutes), then walk uphill for another 5 minutes on hiking trail no. 3.
In case of rain, Veternica Cave will not be open. On Saturdays and Sundays you can get all the information by calling 4586-107 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) or in the news section of the park’s website.
Medvednica Nature Park, Bliznec (no street number),
+385 1 4586 317, fax +385 1 4586 318
Centre for visitors-Medvedgrad, +385 1 4572 071
from 23 to 31 October 2021 – from 9am to 4pm (last entry of the group at 3pm).
from 2.11.2021. – Tuesday – Sunday from 9am to 4pm (last group entry at 3pm).
Entrance by appointment only! email@example.com
The Zoo is home to over 350 species and almost 8000 animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates from all continents of the world.
A popular get-away destination, Zagreb Zoo also focuses on education by providing special programmes and events on themes from the natural world (biology of species, habitats, etc.) and the protection of rare and endangered species by promoting the concept of environment-friendly protection of animals and sustainable development.
– Adults: 30 kn
– Children under 7 years of age: 10 kn
– Children 7-14: 20 kn
Running parallel to the railway tracks, the Botanical Gardens form the southern part of the green belt known as Lenuci’s Horseshoe.
Every spring since the late 19th century the gardens have opened their gates to the public. Pride of the gardens is the collection of 5,000 or more plant species, ranging from exotic imports to indigenous Croatian plants.
The gardens are open until sundown and entrance is free of charge, but there are strict rules governing behaviour. It is forbidden to walk on the grass, shout, ride a bicycle or pick flowers.
The greenery, the wonderful scents and a general sense of peace constitute a true oasis in the centre of the city.
Monday and Tuesday 9am – 2:30pm
Wednesday – Sunday 9am – 7pm
– adults: 10 kn
– pupils, students, pensioners: 5 kn
Important: During this season, due to construction works, occasional limitation of
access to certain parts of the Garden is possible.
Built in the late 19th century by Hermann Bollé, it is a wonderful example of a grand civic graveyard, featuring monumental arcades, domed gatehouses and pavilion chapels. Opened in 1876 with the funeral of fencing instructor Miroslav Singer, Mirogoj is the last resting place of many eminent Croats, their beautifully sculpted grave memorials giving the whole place the appearance of a park-like outdoor art gallery.
Mirogoj accommodates people of all religions, which is why Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim symbols can be seen on many of the gravestones.
Ivan Mestrovic Museums
The Meštrović Studio is part of the Ivan Meštrović Museums together with the Meštrović Gallery and Kaštelet-Crkvine in Split, as well as the Church of the Sacred Redeemer in Otavice. It is part of the bequest of the greatest Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.
The collection is located in the family house in which Meštrović lived from 1922 to 1942. It was built in the 17th century and converted to make a fine studio and family house. The artist donated the house, together with 300 sculptures in stone, bronze, wood and plaster, together with drawings, lithographs and specimens of furniture done to his own designs, to the country.
The Atelier looks after a fine set of the artist’s photographic documentation and his personal records, as well as of others artists related to the works and person of Ivan Meštrović. The permanent exhibition is set up in an authentic setting, with works of Meštrović created up to 1942.
Due to the damage taken in the earthquake, visits to the permanent exhibition are limited.
Ticket prices are reduced by 50%
Croatian National Theatre
Croatian National Theatre is a neo-baroque Zagreb masterpiece established in 1895. Experience drama, opera and ballet performances at affordable prices!
TIP: WE RECOMMEND OPERA AND BALLET SHOWS AS THEY ARE LANGUAGE BARRIER FREE. ON CERTAIN OCCASIONS THE PERFORMANCES ARE SUBTITLED IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES.
DO NOT HESITATE AND DO NOT FORGET TO DRESS UP!
The repertoire is very rich including the world classics, national tradition and contemporary works.
As a matter of fact, countless world-famous artists, from ballet dancers to opera singers, have performed on its stage.
The opera has an exciting new season. They continue their best works of domestic opera production. It presents contemporary works that will, consequently, position Zagreb as an unavoidable place on the European opera charts.
Croatian National Theatre is one of Zagreb’s most elegant and spectacular buildings!
It was designed by the renowned Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer. In front of the theatre, you will find The Well of Life, designed by Ivan Meštrović in 1905. Experts claim the statue is among Mestrovic’s finest pieces of art.
The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb is one of those things you have to feel and see.
The Lotrščak Tower
Issuing the Golden Bull of 1242, Bela IV, the king of Hungary and Croatia, returned the favor to the town of Gradec for providing hospitality and shelter while escaping from the Tatars. By this Bull, the town was proclaimed a royal free city, but at the same time, the Bull obligated the citizens to fortify their town with walls and towers. The construction of the fortification lasted twenty years and it was finally finished in 1266. It was then when the Lotrščak Tower was built to guard the southern gate of the town – a former small gate Dverce – which was demolished in 1812, during the reconstruction of the southern promenade, today called the Strossmayer Promenade.
The name of the tower is derived from the name for the bell, campana latrunculorum – thieves’ bell, which rang in the evening to signal the closing of the town gates. The way the tower looked in the Middle Ages isn’t well known to us. According to some old drawings, it seemed to have had only two floors with two windows on each floor and a four-sided roof. The entrance to the ground floor was on the north side and the outside stairs led to the first floor.
At the end of the 16th century the threat of the Ottoman attacks finally subsided and the tower lost its original defensive purpose.
Over the centuries, the new users and new purposes changed its appearance. The most significant changes date back to 1857. The restoration of medieval buildings during Romanticism resulted in addition of two more floors and a wooden fire lookout tower on the roof.
The communication between the floors, originally nonexistent, was solved in an interesting way: on the north side a winding staircase was added, half of it being inside the building, and the other half being outside. The tower is made of irregular stones, and the thickness of the walls is 195 cm. A wide groin vault on the ground floor is still preserved. The fourth floor was made of bricks, and the walls are significantly thinner.
An interesting fact in the history of the Lotrščak Tower is that when the town had no money for the repairs and maintenance, they would lease it to the citizens making the maintenance their obligation, and in case of enemy attacks, they would be required to give it back to the city for defense.
You can almost hear the swish of a gentleman’s tailcoat or the rustle of a lady’s crinoline dress. Even though all is quiet, it seems like these sounds are all around you. You’re in the imaginary world of art and artists. You can feel yourself interacting – don’t you wish you could trade places , even if it’s just for a tiny moment?
Just around the corner from the central square is one of the most romantic places in Zagreb, Zrinjevac Park. Your first impression will be of a green and floral promenade – this is where art lovers flock in droves.
Your attention is soon drawn to the pretty flowerbeds and water fountains, and to the appearance of a meteorological station. There are few towns where streets and greenery live as closely intertwined as they do in Zagreb. Zrinjevac, named after the Croatian viceroy, Nikola Šubić Zrinski, is the first in the string of eight green spaces, perhaps even the most beautiful. It is one of the most enjoyable lessons about the history of Zagreb you can take because of the art galleries that line it and the busts of the great figures from the history of Croatia that adorn its pathways. This is where you can discover valuable works by artists of world renown or become immersed in the rich treasure trove of the Archeological Museum, which contains exceptional rarities and serves as a wonderful contrast to the daily rituals of urban life.
In the heart of Zrinjevac there stands the Music Pavilion which has served as an open-air concert stage since the 19th century. History is brought to life as summer concerts continue to take place here, even up to the present day.
Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships grew from a traveling exhibition revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins. Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection.
Whatever the motivation for donating personal belongings – be it sheer exhibitionism, therapeutic relief, or simple curiosity – people embraced the idea of exhibiting their love legacy as a sort of a ritual, a solemn ceremony. Our societies oblige us with our marriages, funerals, and even graduation farewells, but deny us any formal recognition of the demise of a relationship, despite its strong emotional effect. In the words of Roland Barthes in A Lover’s Discourse: “Every passion, ultimately, has its spectator… (there is) no amorous oblation without a final theater.”
Conceptualized in Croatia by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, the Museum has since toured internationally, amassing an amazing collection. Although often colored by personal experience, local culture and history, the exhibits presented here form universal patterns offering us to discover them and feel the comfort they can bring. Hopefully they can also inspire our personal search for deeper insights and strengthen our belief in something more meaningful than random suffering.
Croatian State Archives
Built in 1913, the The Croatian State Archives building is one of the most beautiful seccesionist buildings in Croatia. This most important palace of the Croatian secessionist period is a successful combination of early Viennese secessionism and modern European architecture marked from the beginning of the 20th century.
It is a solitary building situated within a park and it blends well into the urban plan of Down Town Zagreb; that is the so-called ‘green horseshoe’ which is based around several other city parks. This place, filled with rich works of art (paintings, reliefs, chandeliers and desk lamps, as well as decorative objects and furniture), is ideal for holding business meetings as well as top-class events where the beauty of the place itself will be an additional tool for success.