Zagreb Free Walking Tour + Monument & Sights Guide
Zagreb can be broadly divided into two areas: Lower Zagreb, which is home to the majority of bars, restaurants and shops, contains the cheaper accommodation options and is a popular base for most travellers. Upper Zagreb is the medieval core of the city which has developed from two distinct areas: Kaptol – seat of the archbishop of Zagreb and home of the Cathedral and Gradec – situated on the Gornji Grad hill.
The train station is located to the south, in the lower town, and is a useful marker for the city’s limits. To the north lie a series of parks and pavilions, with the city’s main square Trg bana Jelačića. A little further beyond, keep travelling north up the hill and the twin steeples of the Neo-Gothic cathedral come into view.
Zagreb Free Walking Tour
Zagreb Monument & Sights Guide
Trg bana Josipa Jelaćića
(Governor Jelačić Square)
What is it? Zagreb’s main square, a popular meeting point and busy tram stop
Where is it? In the geographical heart of Zagreb
Information: Dedicated to Josip Jelacic, a Croatian national hero who fought off the Hungarians in 1848, ‘Trg’ (the square) was established in the 17th century and is distinguished by the architectural styles ranging from classicism, secession and modernism in the surrounding buildings. Interestingly, the equestrian statue of Jelačić which now stands proudly in the square’s centre, was removed between 1947 and 1990, when Tito ordered its removal because of its links to Croatian nationalism. Today, the square is a popular meeting spot and a great place to do a little people watching.
Monument Type: Cathedral
Address: Kaptol 31
Opening Times: Mon–Sat: 10-5 p.m. Sun: 1-5 p.m.
Information: The Gothic cathedral of Zagreb dates back to the 13th century, and despite being badly damaged by an earthquake in 1880, it has managed to retain some of its original features, most notably the sacristy containing a series of wonderful frescos. It is the tallest building in Croatia and its twin towers, seemingly always under renovation, are emblematic of the city and a soaring presence in the city’s panorama. Other interesting features include the baroque influenced marble altars, statues and pulpit, and the tomb of national hero Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac by Ivan Meštrović.
What is it? Zagreb’s most important farmers’ market
Where is it? Located between the Gradec and Kaptol districts in Upper Zagreb
Information: Established in 1930, Dolac Market is Zagreb’s best known and most visited market, and is the base from which farmers from the surrounding villages come to sell their produce. Specialities include home-made foodstuffs, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a covered downstairs market with a number of butcher’s, fishmonger’s and predominately elderly ladies selling the local speciality sir i vrhnje (cheese & cream).
Monument Type: Military & Religious
Opening Times: –
Information: The Stone Gate was constructed in 13th century and is the only remaining gate of the defensive structure that once encircled the Gradec district. Legend holds that when in 1731 a fire destroyed much of the area, the gate, with its picture of Mary and Jesus, miraculously survived and to celebrate this feat a chapel was constructed below. Today, people of all ages stop here to pray and light candles believing the painting possesses spiritual and magical powers. On the western façade of the structure sits a statue of Dora, the heroine of an 18th century historical novel who lived with her father next to the gate.
Crkva sv. Marka
(Church of St. Mark)
Monument Type: Church
Address: Trg Svetog Marka 5
Opening Times: 7.30 a.m.-6.30 p.m.
Information: Constructed on the site of an earlier religious building, the Church of St. Mark we see today was built in the latter half of the 14th century in the late Gothic style. It is instantly recognisable due to the elaborate patterned tiled roof representing the coat of arms of Zagreb (white castle on red background) and the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. Other interesting features include two works by Ivan Meštrović, Croatia’s most famous sculptor, frescoes by artist Jozo Kljaković, and a portal consisting of fifteen effigies placed in eleven shallow niches, which are considered one of the most important Gothic constructions of its type in south-eastern Europe.
Muzej prekinutih veza
(Museum of Broken Relationships)
Monument Type: Museum
Address: Ćirilometodska ulica 2
Opening Times: Jun 1-Sep 30: 9 a.m.-10.30 p.m. Oct 1-May 31: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Price: General Admission: 25 KN Students, Pensioners: 20 KN Groups (+15): 15 KN
Information: Selected as the ‘most innovative museum in Europe 2011’, the Museum of Broken Relationships is an originative collection of mementos left by former lovers and the stories explaining their context. It originally started life as a travelling exhibition but found a permanent home in the Croatian capital in 2006, since when it has grown into one of Zagreb’s most popular tourist attractions.
What is it? Lively and scenic promenade running along the medieval city walls
Where is it? On the southern border of Upper Zagreb on the Gornij Grad hill
Information: Named after the 19th century Croatian bishop and politician Josip Juraj Strossmayer, the lively and picturesque promenade offers expansive views over the city and is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. It is especially atmospheric in the summer when the Strossmarte street festival takes over and the area fills with artists, musicians and food stalls all washed down with a healthy dose of alcohol.
Trg Petra Preradovića
What is it? Pedestrianised square famed for its flower stalls
Where is it? Lower Zagreb, 200m east of the central Ban Jelačić Square
Information: Founded in 1897 as part of an ambitious urban renewal programme, Trg Petra Preradovića (Petra Preradovića square) or Cvjetni trg (Flowers square) as it is popularly known by locals, is a favourite place to while away the time, with its street cafés and entertainers. Notable buildings on the square include the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration built in 1866, as well as numerous palaces, including the monumental Palace of First Croatian Savings Bank and the angular Ehrlich’s Palace, all complemented by an array of austere Austro-Hungarian façades.
Written by: Jon