A May 2003 trip
to Zagreb by billmoy
Quote: Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, with about a million inhabitants. Croatia is where the necktie, or "cravat", originated.
Many of Zagreb's grander buildings stem from the 19th century, favoring a yellowish-peach exterior color scheme.
My introduction to the city was a fruit market just north of the central train station. There were seemingly dozens of locals selling little baskets of fresh strawberries.
If you enjoyed reading about ZAGREB, check out my sections on DUBROVNIK and SPLIT.
There are loads of ice cream stands where you can get a cone for under 50 cents. There are typical (chocolate, strawberry) and untypical (juniper berry, rum punch) flavors so collect 'em all.
The central train station (glavni kolodvor) is located at the southern edge of the city center. There is a luggage storage room located here in case you are not staying in town. The main bus station (autobusni kolodvor) is a less than a mile east of the train station. The airport is about 7 miles southeast of the city.
I would like to thank my colleague and globetrotting traveler, Chicago architect Marius Ronnett, for some of these superb images from our visit to Zagreb in 2003.
Restaurant | "Bistro Pizzicato"
Enter through an arched walkway into a courtyard plaza. We sat in this tranquil oasis that was partially covered with awnings, although we dined during a clear evening. Our table consisted of patio furniture, with reasonably comfortable chairs and a table topped by an umbrella. If the weather is poor or if you want a more clubby atmosphere, step to the indoor seating or the bar area for a beer or snack.
The English menu is helpful, but it did not list the local beers. I prefer the lighter Ozujsko, a Zagreb brew, that is a bargain at under US$2 dollars for a half-liter bottle. If you want a dark beer, try a bottle of Tomislav.
As you may imagine, the pizza is the star of the show here. The pizza is made fresh, fast, and it is very reasonably priced. There are several sizes, from small to family-size. My friend and I split a thin-crust "picante" pizza that featured ham and spicy little peppers. The peppers were a little too spicy for my taste buds, but the rest of the pizza was pretty good.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2003
St. Mark’s Church has been renovated quite a bit over the years. The stone interior is much more somber and darker than its decorative roof, although the restored frescoes leave a good impression.
The interior includes sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic, the most well known modern artist of Croatia. Nearby is the Ivan Mestrovic Foundation, a museum featuring a good collection of his works.
From the Lower Town, the easiest way to reach St. Mark's Church is to ride the funicular up. It is an easy walk downhill via a winding flight of steps.
St. Mark's Church
Attraction | "Cathedral"
Known originally as St. Stephen's Cathedral in 1899, its pair of gracefully slender neo-Gothic towers is its signature element. It incorporates portions from a medieval cathedral on this site, which was unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake in 1880. The high but relatively simple interiors feature elements like frescoes dating from the 13th century, Renaisance-period pews, a Baroque pulpit, and altars made of marble.
The Cathedral is surrounded by the 18th century Archbishop's Palace, which was also heavily damaged by the 1880 earthquake. A set of fortifications from the 16th Century also is in the vicinity to enhance the medieval flavor of this area.
Just west of the Cathedral is the Dolac market, the large and popular market that sells a wide variety of fresh foods to locals and travelers alike.
Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
Attraction | "Funicular and nearby landmarks"
There are two small cabs, with one going up and one going down every few minutes in the daytime (the last run is 9PM). Once you have reached the top station, you arrive at a southwards-facing lookout with superb panoramic views of the Lower Town. This is a good spot to linger for a few minutes, as you observe the interesting and the uninteresting buildings that make up Zagreb. You are now in the old part of town called Gradec, situated on a hill and filled with charming little streets and a variety of church towers, and government buildings.
The Lotrscak Tower, with even better views of the city, is located just north of the station. Nearby museums include the City Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Historical Museum of Croatia. Other landmarks in the area include the 15th century Baroque-style St. Catherine's Church and the 13th century Stone Gate.
Funicular & Nearby Landmarks