Zagreb History

From the historical point of view, Zagreb has emerged from two rival medieval villages on the neighboring hills, Episcopal Kaptol and the bourgeois Gradec, today’s city place of the Croatian Parliament, as well as the famous cathedral.

Zagreb became a free royal town by the Golden Bull of Croatian- Hungarian King Bela IV, from 1242, while it was mentioned as the Croatian capital in written documents from 1557 for the first time. It is located in the middle reaches of the river Sava. Zagreb has almost one million inhabitants. Similarly to the cities of Central Europe, mainly Baroque architecture is responsible for the appearance of old Zagreb, and it is most similar to the old parts of Zemun. One day is sufficient to tour the most important places in the city, but it is the best that, when you get to the center, you continue on foot. Zagreb tour starts from the monument dedicated to Ban on the horseback – Ban Josip Jelacic Square, the winner of the famous battle in Croatian history, against the Hungarians. The market is located in the middle of the most famous street which is not a pedestrian zone.

On the right from the square, up the hill, in the square with gold- plated figures and fountain, the neo- Baroque Zagreb Cathedral of St. Stephen is located, which is dedicated to the Ascension of the Virgin Mary, with 105 meters high pointy bell tower and the remains of Baroque towers of the archbishop palace that surrounds it. Originally built in the 11th century, it was destroyed, repaired and restored several times, to get its present form in 1899. Besides the tombs of famous Croats, among other things inside the cathedral, you can see a great old text written in Glagolitic script, from the time before the Latin and Cyrillic forever “separated” in this region. This rather large church can accommodate more than 5,000 worshipers.

Opposite the cathedral, a hundred meters down the hill, on a plateau between the old houses you will see the main Zagreb market in the open – Dolac. A flight of steps from the market descends directly back to Ilica. The most numerous shops are located in Ilica and around it. Besides shopping zone, one of the most interesting stores is the one that everyone is happy to visit – the store of domestic chocolate factory – Kraš. It is decorated like the most beautiful chocolate shops in the Western Europe.

On the same side of the street, there is the completely renovated Serbian Orthodox Church, and between the buildings behind the church the Preradovic Square is placed, packed with tables and chairs of the cafes that surround it.

Across the street, there is a passage in a part of Ilica – passageway with shops and cafes, such as “House of green tea”, the store where you can buy Japanese and Chinese teas with various ingredients: green tea, dried orange peel, lemon and passion fruit, or “Bamboo sprants” with: rosebuds, ginger, bits of dried pineapple, papaya, coconut, mango and bamboo sprouts… The tea will be packaged in a black bag with a label bearing the name of tea, a detailed description of the origin, method of preparation and expiration date.

In the following passage in Ilice, there is a tourist attraction – a 100- year- old cabin- funicular to the Upper Town. For a ride that lasts less than a minute, you do not have to buy a ticket if you have already purchased a public transport ticket (ZET), for those vehicles are included within the same department.

Exiting the funicular, you will find yourself on a hill, in the Upper Town – the oldest and most important part of Zagreb. Just outside, on the left, on the Walk of Josip Juraj Strossmayer you will see Lotrščak Tower, which you can climb for a small fee and see the whole city as on the palm of your hand from its top. Behind it, the church of St. Catherine is on the right side and a belvedere with a view of the lower part of the city. The Gric cannon fires a salvo from the tower (that reminds citizens of Zagreb what time it) every day – at noon.

Make sure to visit Mimara Museum. For many, the Mimara Museum is the biggest attraction in Zagreb. The Museum of Art is a significant building from the XIX century, which contains works by artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Renoir, Degas, and Delacroix. The museum’s permanent exhibition covers art from prehistory to the XX century.

As you can see there are many great opportunities in Zagreb, so do not think twice, but book the flight immediately and let yourself enjoy the adventure this city has to offer.

Article from just a local guy (Eryin Dragomir Vukovic) giving you further information about my country.

For essential information on things to do and museums to visit during your time in Zagreb. Visit this site’s Zagreb page. All information is written from first-hand experience to give you a truly terrific trip in Croatia.