SUBJECT: ZAGREB, CROATIA
Welcome to one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe, Zagreb! Although located in a country plagued by war, it offers safety, a strong history, and many tourism destinations. It is considered to be “the focal point of culture and science, and now of commerce and industry as well” in Croatia.
Originally a “suburb of the ancient Roman town of Andautonia”, the Mongols invaded it in 1242. It became an important city of Croatia and Slovenia, which at the present time were provinces of Hungary, in the later part of the 13th century. In the 19th century, when Croatia was fighting for independence, Zagreb became an integral part of the nationalist movement. It became the capital of the Croatian Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945. When, in 1992, Croatia became and independent state, Zagreb remained as the capital.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Zagreb has three major regions. The Upper Town, Gornji grad, is over one thousand years old. It contains most of the city’s museums, galleries and churches. It is also the home of the Presidential Palace, Banski Dvori, and Sabor, the Parliament. The Lower Town, Dolnji grad, mostly developed in the 1900’s, is home to most restaurants, cafes, theatres, parks, shopping, and more importantly the nightlife. Of least interest to tourist would be Novi Zagreb, which hosts many skyscrapers and nothing of major interest .
Zagreb is called “a city of museums as there are more of them per square foot than any other city in the world”. Some of these are the “Strossmayer Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Mimara museum which, with almost 4,000 priceless objects, is one of the finest art galleries in Europe.” Other interesting artifacts located in Zagreb are the “longest piece of writing in ancient Etruscan, and the remains of the Krapina prehistoric man.”
The main square in the city is Trg Bana Jelacica. Once there all sights are within walking distance. It hosts a number of churches and cathedrals, which are very important to the Roman Catholic religion. Such as the Archbishops’ Palace, which is attached to the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Ivan Mestovic, a Croatian famous sculptor, has many works in St. Marks Church, another important sight. Located in Upper Town is the Stone Gate of the 13th century, on it is a painting of the Virgin Mary, which survived the “great fire of 1731” and also serves as a “place of pilgrimage”.
Zagreb also has a great amount of parks and “green spaces” that one can enjoy visiting. Medvednica, a forested mountain and nature park is one of the favorites of the city. Mirogoj Cemetery, Medvedgrad, the zoological garden of Maksimir Park, and Ribnjak are just some among the incredible parks located in this city.
The best way to get around the city is by public bus transportation or the tram. Taxis can be very expensive. Lodging is also quite expensive and it might be more practical to stay in the student hostels. Zagreb is one the great cities of the world. Fine arts, cultural sights, and events make this a wonderful city. Even with the rapid growth of economy, “it has retained its charm, and a relaxed feeing that makes it a genuinely human city.”
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:
The language spoken is Croatian.
The tourist peak season is July and August.
Food is mainly Italian and ethic Croatian foods.
The currency is the Croatian dinar.
A closed hand with the index and little fingers raised is an insult.