There are many interesting places and the vibrant street life makes it an enjoyable city to visit. We started our orientation by walking away from the station past many beautiful buildings arriving at the square in front of the cathedral which still dominates the skyline with its neo-Gothic style and is surrounded by well- preserved Renaissance walls. The Cathedral was first constructed in 1093 but was destroyed by the Tartars in the 13th century. The Ottomans invaded in the 15th century and constructed the walls around it. In 1880 it was badly damaged by an earthquake and the facade was reconstructed in 1906.
Not far from the Cathedral is a lively food market. Markets are always interesting to walk around. We admired the large juicy tomatoes which are full of flavour. Finding a place to eat was not difficult as there are restaurants and cafes everywhere, it’s more of a matter as to what one wants to eat. We found a small café which sold absolutely delicious simple hamburgers.
Zagreb is divided into an Upper and Lower Town. The Lower Town is newer and the streets were planned on gridlines and must be the same width and all buildings the same height and type, included in this plan were many parks and squares with an abundance of neo-classical buildings which makes walking around the town a delight.
Our second day here we went to the Modern Art Gallery. It was extremely interesting and broad selection of art from various eras across Europe as well as a good selection from Croatian artists. We also visited the Technical Museum another interesting place. They had a ‘Tesla Laboratory’ set up and had demonstrations relating to his experiments with electricity. Nikolai Tesla was instrumental in the development and introduction of alternating current, x-rays, remote control devices and radio waves Although the commentary was only in Croatian we were able to understand the gist of what was being demonstrated, it is handy if you have some science background though. The demonstrator spoke some English as we spoke to him afterwards.
The Upper Town is entered via the Stone Gate, the only town gate that has remained intact and was originally built in the Middle Ages. Under the arch of the gateway is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It holds the painting of the Virgin that was miraculously saved from a devastating fire in 1731. The chapel is still a place of pilgrimage. Prayer services take place regularly and many people make private devotions. The chapel is not enclosed and you wander through the gate and can find yourself in the midst of devout pilgrims. Sensitivity is a must.
|St. Mark's Church|
We walked in and out the narrow streets and lanes of the Upper Town passed a Museum of Broken Relationships (bizarre); there were a number of other small museums in this part of the city.
While we were here in one of the large squares a Vegan Festival was being set up. On our last day in the city, which was a Saturday the festival was in full swing. So we wandered around the various stalls. We tried the ice-cream on one stall. They had some very interesting flavours which in included lemon and mint, very refreshing and apricot and rosemary the combination really worked. There were children’s performances and overall it was very enjoyable.
|The Vegan Festival|
We walked around some of the little lanes near the market as we were having a coffee a group of women in national costume appeared and sang some traditional songs. Then there was a parade of people dressed in animal costumes which I think was related to the Vegan Festival. The weather was great and it was just lovely to wander around taking in the atmosphere.
|Part of the street parade|
|Oneof the 'Guardians' of the City|