rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Heard of Zagreb? No? Here are 9 reasons you should visit it!

Heard of Zagreb? No? Here are 9 reasons you should visit it!

August 02, 2014 12:08 IST

Heard of Zagreb? No? Here are 9 reasons you should visit it!

     Next

Next
Anita Rao-Kashi

Anita Rao-Kashi brings back fond memories from the Croatian capital.

Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, stands in a rather unique position. It is the historic and political threshold between East and West Europe and packs within itself elements of both, seamlessly juxtaposed. Situated on the banks of the river Sava, Zagreb is city that is full of heritage monuments, parks and lakes, markets selling vegetables, fruit, meat, flowers and antiques, streets full of pavement cafes and cheerful people whose psyche still has distant memories of the bloody battle for Independence.

It’s a city that is charming and has much to offer every kind of visitor.

Story of two hills

Zagreb’s history can be traced to the Stone Age but it is in the Middle Ages that the city took shape and was established on two hills framed against the Medvednica mountains, which continue to form Zagreb’s heritage focal point.

Filled with churches, the Zagreb Cathedral with its twin towers dominates the skyline. But it is St Mark’s Church, with its colourful mosaics depicting the ancient coat of arms, that draws the eye, and is the centre-piece for the weekend spectacle of changing of guard.

Other sights here include the St Catherine’s Church, Zagreb Museum, Museum of Broken Relationships and the medieval Lotrsck Tower from where a cannon is fired everyday at noon.

Please click NEXT to continue reading 


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

     Next

City of monuments

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Zagreb’s lower town or the rest of the city which grew outwards from the two hills has a rich history through the 17th and 18th centuries, built by Hungarian rulers.

Monuments and large ornate buildings dominate the skyline whose styles span Gothic, Baroque and neo-Renaissance, and a mix of these. Of particular interest are the buildings housing the Croatian National Theatre, the Art Pavilion, the Museum of Arts and Crafts, Mimara Museum, Croatian State Archives, Glavni Kolodvor, Hotel Esplanade.

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Oases of greenery

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Every few blocks, the city suddenly offers residents as well as visitors little squares of greenery in the form of parks. From fountains to little marquees for dancing, from lawns to tall trees, these parks are lovely places to rest or just walk about.

However, there are two bigger gardens which are sheer pleasure to roam or just sit and relax. In the middle of the city is the Botanical Gardens, with over 10,000 trees and plants and pretty water bodies complete with wooden bridges.

A little away from the city centre, towards the east, is Maksimir Park, a sprawling green area with a mix of lawns, tall trees, walking paths and ponds and a zoo that is a hit with children.

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Museum hopping

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

With so much history around, it’s no surprise that Zagreb is filled with museums, especially in the Cultural Mile which outlines the most prominent heritage buildings of the city.

Zagreb Museum on the hills near St Mark’s Church is the place to start as it evocatively narrates local history.  The Arts and Crafts Museum housed in a 19th century building in Marshal Tito Square is a rich treasure trove with over 100,000 artifacts while the Archaelogical Museum has over 400,000 artefacts.

Other places to visit include the Gallery of Modern Art, the Ethnographic Museum and Mimara Museum.

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Walking among the dead

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Such is Zagreb’s rich heritage that even a cemetery is a must see place. And not without reason.

Located a little distance from the city on a low hill is the Mirogoj Cemetery, a stunning place built in the 19th century by noted architect and builder Herman Bolle.

Filled with monumental arcades, pavilions, gateways and ivy covered walls, the cemetery is fronted by an elegant church. Hundreds of thousands of people lay buried in more than 60,000 family plots, which include some of Croatia’s most famous personalities from all fields including politics, arts and sports.

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Shopping spree

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Zagreb is a shopper’s delight. No, it’s not just about the brands and high end stores.

There’s plenty of those for sure. But the city has such a plethora of markets that sell such fresh produce and an array of things that there are usually throngs of people.

The most popular is Dolac Market, comprising open and closed sections, which dates back to the early 20th century.  There’s fresh vegetables, fruit, cheeses, breads, meat, fish, flowers, spices and herbs, oils, crafts and souvenirs, coffee shops, delis and much more, open every day from dawn till late afternoon.

On the other hand, walking around the antique flea market in Britanski Trg (British Square) takes one back in time, what with lovely antique artefacts, delicate crockery, furniture, Socialist memorabilia and plenty to keep you occupied for hours.

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Watching life go by

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Pavement cafes are common in most European cities but Zagreb takes it to an all new level. They can be found everywhere, even without an apparent kitchen like the one in adjacent to Tomislav Square.

Enquiries revealed that the kitchen was underneath, inside a sprawling underground mall!

In alleys, on squares, by the side of parks, on an incline... pavement cafes are everywhere and a great way to spend time with and like the locals, see footballs, tennis of Formula1 races on giant screens and generally watch life go by!

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Food of life

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Sitting on the cusp of East and West Europe and with so many rulers, Zagreb’s food tradition draws from a variety of sources.

Towards the East, the food tends to be more like its Continental neighbours, drawing influences from Hungary, Poland and Austria.

Towards the coast, it’s more Mediterranean, leaning heavily towards Italian. And so, there’s plenty of beef, lamb and mutton but the city also serves some of the best fish and seafood, thanks to the long coast line.

Must try dishes include strukli, a dish made with piping hot melting cheese, kremsnita, made with custard and flaky pastry, and strudel.

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi

Prev     Next

Taking back a piece of Zagreb

Prev     More
Prev

More

There’s no way you can spend time in Zagreb and not want to take back a piece of it.

All around the city, you will find tiny little souvenir shops.

Fridge magnets are alright, but the things to look for are the bright red plump marzipan hearts which are an inextricable symbol of Zagreb, as are bright red umbrellas, ties and tiny vials painted with bright red and gold dots.

Together, they go to the heart of Zagreb and make for ideal reminders.


Photographs: Anita Rao-Kashi
Tags: Zagreb

Prev     More