The capital of Croatia
The capital of Croatia – Zagreb – is worth visiting and walking through the old town, parks and visiting local businesses. The city is an important transport hub between the Adriatic Sea and Central Europe. The center of Zagreb has the character of a typical city of the Habsburg monarchy. The historic core of the city is made up of parts of the Upper Town with Kaptol, and the younger Lower Town. Gradec – Upper Town – is one of the best preserved historical centers in Croatia.
Our walk through the city begins in its center. Zagreb The main railway station is the main and at the same time the largest railway station in the Croatian capital Zagreb. It is the main hub of the Croatian railway network. The Zagreb Central Station building itself is the largest in Croatia and is located on the south side of King Tomislav I's main square.
King Tomislav I Square
Right in front of the main station is the main square of King Tomislav I, who also has a large equestrian statue. King Tomislav I ruled from 910 to 1928 as the first Croatian king. During his reign, the medieval Kingdom of Croatia had its largest historical area. In addition to central Croatia, it also included Slavonia, much of Dalmatia and Bosnia.
Behind the majestic statue, like a green carpet, there is a lawn leading to the art gallery building. The building was founded in 1898 and is the oldest gallery in Southeast Europe and the only purpose-built gallery in Zagreb, which is designed especially for large exhibitions. The park in front of the gallery is decorated with a fountain and has been bursting with colorful carpets of flowers since the spring months. Locals use the soft lawn as a sofa for relaxation and a place to eat snacks.
From the gallery to the north of the city, a strip of successive parks leads in the length of almost 3/4 kilometers. You will find important buildings such as the main library or the palace of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The last of the series is the Zrinjevac park interwoven with pleasant paths with fountains and flower meadows
Ban Josip Jelačić Square
So far, we have been walking through a part of Zagreb called Dolní město, which is a cultural, commercial and social center. Its lively classrooms are complemented by large squares, named after important figures in Croatian history. We started a walk on one and another one is now in front of us – the square of Ban (Viceroy) Josip Jelačić. It was not until 1850 that he connected the hitherto divided parts of Kaptol, Gradec and Donji Grad into one unit, in which we now know the city of Zagreb. Today we find here the dominant 17-storey skyscraper built in 1959.
Mary's Column and Archbishop's Palace
From the square further north we enter a part of the city – the Capitol, which is also part of the Upper Town of Zagreb. Together with the Gradec part, it forms the Zagreb „Upper Town“ (Gornji grad). The Archbishop's Palace, the seat of the Zagreb Archdiocese, is located here. With three wings around the cathedral, the palace was heavily fortified in the 17th century, the remains of the wall with bastions have been preserved. Mary's pillar standing in front of him will greet you.
Cathedral of the Assumption
However, the dominant feature of the Capitol part of the city is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stephen and Ladislav, or just the Zagreb Cathedral. It is the main Roman Catholic cathedral of the Zagreb Archdiocese and the largest cultural and historical monument in Zagreb. The towers of the cathedral are the tallest building in Croatia. The cathedral was built on the site of an older cathedral from the 12th century. Around 1400, craftsmen from Prague were called in to complete it. After the earthquake of 1880, which severely damaged the cathedral, it was rebuilt and equipped with a neo-Gothic facade with two 105 m high towers instead of the original one.
Church of St. Mark
We continue north-west to the very center of the historic part of town – the Upper Town (Gradec). We get into a tangle of alleys that will lead you to the center to the Gothic church of St. Mark on the square of the same name. It was founded in the 13th century and its roof depicts the coats of arms of the triune kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia (left) and the city of Zagreb (right).
From the church we turn back down to the south, here after a while you will come across Bele IV Park. at which the cable car ends. This track, which is 66 meters long, is also known as the shortest overland cableway in the world for public transport. Next door is the inconspicuous white tower Lotrščak, from which it shoots a cannon every day at noon.
On the way back to the southern part of the city, the golden lights of the National Theater from 1895 cannot be overlooked. The building is home to the theater, opera and ballet stages. The neo-baroque building of the theater is a masterpiece of late historicism by the Austrian architect Ferdinand Fellner and the German architect Hermann Helmer.
Just before returning to the main station building, you can walk through the botanical garden. Admission for adults is only 5 Kn. You can see many interesting plants and trees here. It is a small garden, so the walk will not take you much time. Just ask at the entrance if the entrance on the other side is open, which would save you the way back to the main gate.
In the very south of the city, you will be greeted on arrival by the University Meadow. It is a long park between the roads, where there are several impressive fountains behind them. Massive mountains rise further behind the city like a backdrop against the background of a phonan. It is the Medvednica mountain range with the highest mountain Sljeme at an altitude of 1033 m. You can even get to the top by car or bus by public transport.
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