- Green Horseshoe – line of 8 landscaped squares and parks in Downtown area that form the letter U
- Neo-Renaissance Mirogoj cemetery that had been built over the period of 50 years and is considered one of Zagreb's architectural masterpieces
- Upper Town of Gradec: St Mark Square (Parliament, Church of St Mark from the outside), Museum of Naïve Art (from the outside), Museum of Broken Relationships (from the outside), Catherine square (Church of St Catherine), Meadieval Lotrscak tower, the funicular and the Stone Gate
- Bloody Bridge
- Tkalciceva street (known for café culture)
- Dolac Central Market
- Kaptol and Cathedral (the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
- Ban Jelacic Square (Main Square)
ZAGREB HORSESHOE – the loveliest city squares and the most beautiful parks lined up in a shape of a horseshoe, with fountains and monuments, representative buildings, palaces, museums and cultural institutions – they all make up the amazing “Green Horseshoe of Zagreb”. It is also called “Lenuci Horseshoe”, after the city surveyor Milan Lenuci, who deserves the most credit for this pearl of historicism. Zagreb horseshoe is part of the Lower Town, the liveliest part of the city today with its pulsating cultural and business centre.
Parts of the green horseshoe that we see along the way:
KING TOMISLAV SQUARE (with Art Pavilion in the north and Central Railway Station in the south; it is dominated by an equestrian statue of Tomislav – the first Croatian king).
ANTE STARČEVIĆ SQUARE (with Importanne centre – a modern shopping mall and hotel Regent Esplanade – one of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau architecture pieces in Zagreb and also among the nicest five start hotels in Zagreb),
BOTANIC GARDENS – in Mihanovićeva street, the integral part of the “Green horseshoe” which was founded in 1889 by Dr Antun Heinz, professor of botany.
ROOSEVELT SQUARE with Mimara museum (some 4000 pieces of art)
MARSHALL TITO SQUARE, considered the nicest square in Zagreb (with famous Neo-Baroque Opera House from 1895, University Building with Rectorate and Law faculty, Museum of Arts and Crafts etc.)
NIKOLA ŠUBIĆ ZRINSKI SQUARE (with Archeological Museum, Modern gallery, Music pavilion, Zrinjevac park with fountains and busts of prominent Croatians),
We drive further towards the
MESTROVIC PAVILLION – also known as the Home of Croatian Artists and colloquially as džamija, Croatian for "mosque", is a cultural venue and the official seat of the Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) located on the Square of the Victims of Fascism (Trg žrtava fašizma). Designed by Ivan Meštrović and built in 1938, it has served several functions in its lifetime. An art gallery before World War II, it was converted into a mosque during Second World War and was subsequently transformed into the Museum of the Revolution in post-war Yugoslavia. In 1990, it was given back to the Croatian Association of Artists. After extensive renovation, it has served as a space for exhibitions and events since 2006.
Mirogoj, the central Zagreb cemetery, situated on the slopes of Medvednica mountain, is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. It is not only the burial place but also a beautiful park and an open-air art gallery. The well-known architect Herman Bolle designed the shape of the cemetery, applying a monumental composition of arcades, pavilions and domes, intermingled with rich vegetation. Beautiful place to spend the eternity!
Along the way we will spot
High above the city spreads the Zagreb Mountain - a protected nature park and a favourite outing destination for Zagreb residents. The bus line connects the city with Medvednica's highest peak - Sljeme. Medvednica abounds in beautiful walks, hiking tracks and mountain huts that offer typical Croatian continental specialties.
FROM HERE WE HEAD TO THE_UPPER TOWN AND CONTINUE ON FOOT:
ST. MARK'S SQUARE – St. Mark's Church that was built in the 13th century dominates this most beautiful square of the Upper Town. Many events crucial for Zagreb and entire Croatia took place here and many important edifices and institutions are located in this relatively tight space. The most attractive of all is St. Mark's Church with its Romanesque naves, Gothic vaults and sanctuary and picturesque tiles on its multi-coloured roof that are arranged in such way that they form historical coats of arms of Zagreb and Croatia. The square also houses a Neo-Classicist building of the Croatian Parliament built in the first decade of the 20th century and Banski dvori, the seat of Croatian Government. (Ban was the civil governor during Austro-Hungarian rule).
CATHERINE'S SQUARE – with St. Catherine's Church, probably the most beautiful baroque church in Zagreb, built by Jesuits around 1620. Croatian and international artists decorated the church, painted its walls and ceiling and made its stucco decorations, ornaments and statues.
LOTRŠČAK TOWER – only in Zagreb the noon is announced by the cannon firing from the Lotrščak Tower erected in the mid-13th century. It is the best-preserved part of the former defence system of the town.
FUNICULAR – the upper station of the funicular is just beside the Lotrščak Tower. Funicular was constructed in 1889 and was the first organized public transport in Zagreb. The ride is short and picturesque and takes us down to Ilica, the city's most dynamic street (ticket is 4 HRK, less than 1 USD or bit more than half a euro).
STROSSMAYER PROMENADE – named after the famous Bishop of Đakovo it offers a beautiful view of the Lower Town – the artery of modern Zagreb – and, to the east, of Kaptol and the Cathedral.
THE OLDEST PHARMACY – right above the gate there is a pharmacy that continues the tradition of the one established long ago, in 1355. A memorial plaque tells us that a great-grandson of Dante, the author of Divine Comedy, worked in Zagreb as a pharmacist in late 14th century.
THE STONE GATE (KAMENITA VRATA) – is the only preserved town gate of the original four. Although it is first mentioned as early as in Middle Ages, its current shape dates back to 1760, when the baroque Chapel of Holy Mother of God was built in its gateway around an old painting of a local artist. The painting miraculously survived the great fire that destroyed all wooden parts of the gate in 1731. Ever since, many people have been gathering in front of the miraculous painting daily, praying and lighting candles in the honour of Our Lady.
TKALČIĆEVA STREET – located east of the Upper Town, used to be the boundary between the Upper town and Kaptol – two cities that stood here for centuries. This former boundary is today a picturesque street with cafes in almost every house. The people of Zagreb crowd this street day in day out, making it one of the centres of modern urban life.
We will make a short stop on Tkalciceva street and enjoy coffee the way Croatians do!
ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS ON THIS TOUR IS DEFINITELY
DOLAC CENTRAL MARKET – the oldest and the largest market place in the heart of the city, a platter, dish and bowl placed in front of the hungry mouth of the City. Around 60 to 70 thousand people shop daily at this wonderful food mecca, right next to the Zagreb Cathedral. We will show you some of the seasonal fruit and vegetables, talk to the farmers and peer into the fishmarket. Dolac market is open from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. every day.
NEXT WE GO TO KAPTOL
KAPTOL, TOGETHER WITH THE UPPER TOWN, the former Gradec, is the oldest part of the city. These two boroughs had been engaged in tough skirmishes once. Later they united into one city that spread further down to the South.
THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION – is the symbol of Zagreb with its two neo-Gothic towers dominating the skyline at 108 metres. In the Treasury of the Cathedral, above the sacristy, priceless treasures have been stored, including the artefacts from 11th to 19th century. Many great Croats had been buried inside the Cathedral.
WE FINISH THE TOUR AT THE
MAIN SQUARE – named after Ban Josip Jelacic, a historical person, a politician and the soldier. This Austro-Hungarian styled square is the true centre of the city.