WE START FROM IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA WITH:
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” laid out in the second half of the 19th century. 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 Downtown area, the liveliest part of the city today, a pulsating cultural and business centre. On this tour we will visit Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square (with Archeological Museum, Modern Gallery, Music pavilion, beautiful park known as Zrinjevac with fountains and busts of prominent Croatians who made significant contribution to art, science and public life).
FROM HERE WE HEAD TO THE
BAN JOSIP JELAČIĆ SQUARE – the Austro-Hungarian styled square is the true centre of the city.
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.
ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR IS DEFINITELY THE CENTRAL MARKET THAT WE VISIT NEXT:
DOLAC – 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.
BETWEEN UPPER TOWN AND KAPTOL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
We finish the tour close to where we started, on CVJETNI TRG (FLOWER SQUARE) and BOGOVIĆEVA STREET, a pedestrian area with many cafes and gelato shops.