The Baroque architecture of Zagreb was built during the period of the prosperous Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Zagreb, a city rich in history reaching all the way back to the year 1094, the year that King Ladislaus (1040-1095) in upper town Kaptol, founded the Bishopric of Zagreb. Many different ruling powers came and went, and in the 11th Century the last of the Croatian kings died leaving no heir to the throne, and so a Hungarian king succeeded on the grounds of family relations. It was never very peaceful, with various Counts and Kings of Europe vying for control, creating terror and hard times. The Turks came seeking power in the 15th century. They attacked Zagreb in 1469 but luckily were turned back by extreme bad weather and flooding, only to continue looting and massacring a great deal of the Croatian population in other parts of the country. After that, it was decided to hand rulership over to the powerful Hapsburg Monarchy of Vienna because they promised to help them in defense. The cities of Zagreb, Varaždin, Vienna, and Budapest became the centre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a triangle of governance exchange and social events between the nobility was enjoyed by those fortunate to be born into this level of society. The architecture of much of the empire became extremely ornate in Queen Maria Theresa’s sumptuous Baroque Viennese style, prominent buildings that are loved, restored, and valued by many in this present day.
My TEN most favourite settings in Zagreb, the capital of our country Croatia are:
- The stained glass windows by Ivo Dulčić in the church of St. Francis Church.
- The interior of the National Theatre
- The interior of the Esplanade Hotel in architectual Art Noveau Style.
- The Complex of Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace , constituting the most prominent architectual complex in Zagreb.
- The National Theatre Square, one of the most beautiful in Europe.
- Zrinjevac – The monument of King Tomislav by Franges, the Art Pavillion and the magnificent Cathedral.
- Dolac Markets, Zagreb’s central city markets, incorporate elements of Baroque and modern styles.
- St Mark’s Square . The most picturesque square in Zagreb.
- Park Maksimir with the Observatory in the landscape Art style.
- The Arcades with domes of Mirogoj Cemetery. A fine example of urbanistic function in architecture
Spending a few days in Zagreb is something I love to do! There are always interesting events and some of my favourites are:
January: The Century of Blues Festival brings together numerous world-famous names and local performers February: Carnival Festivities, marking the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. The most well-attended festival is in nearby Samobor.March: Zagreb Auto Show. The most prestigious auto show in this part of Europe, offering new car models and rich side events. The Springtime Jazz Festival hosting some of the world’s leading jazz musicians is always very popular. April: St Mark’s Music Festival with concerts by top musicians in St. Mark’s Church and concert halls in the Upper Town May: Week of modern Dance and The Zagreb Open Tennis ATP Challenge.June: C’est is the Best! Open-air programs of theatrical, artistic, Sports, and musical events for young and old. Florart, International Floral Art Exhibition. July: International Folk Festival.A gathering of local participants showing traditional Croatian culture. August: PIF International Puppet Theatre Festival, September: International Zagreb Trade Fair October: Zagrebfest The oldest Croatian Festival of popular music. Also International Jazz Days. November: The Zagreb Golden Pirouette. International Ice skating competition with famous world skaters. December: The month of Advent Christmas Markets, Street Food and Mulled wine.
The month of December – Christmas Advent Markets in Zagreb, a magical time of year.
In Zagreb there are some MUST DO things and places that I adore and MUST VISIT when I’m in this city full of European style, elegance, world-class restaurants, and superb entertainment.
- Kobali Hats, Beautifully designed and handmade. To own one is a great pleasure!
- Lado Folklore Dance Group. Always a sheer delight to attend a Lado performance!
- Accommodation: Hotel Esplanade/Best Breakfast and Michelin Star Restaurant Zinfandel.
- Food: Restaurants Capaccio/ Atrium/ Noel / Vincek Cakes and Coffee/Amelie Coffee Shop/Mr Miyagi Sushi Bar/Feugo Fresh Latin Bar, and Bornstein Wine Bar in Kaptol. An amazing experience for all wine lovers and one of the best things to do while in Zagreb! Great atmosphere, tasty food, and an incredible wine collection. Definitely a must do in Zagreb!
- Mirogoj Cemetary at Aleja Hermann Bollea 27, Zagreb.
- Art Galleries in Zagreb are plentiful, my favourites are as follows: Modern and Contempory Art Gallery, Gallery of Croatian Naive Art, The Strossmeyer Gallery, Atelier Meštrović, Klovičevi Dvori Gallery, and Mimara Art Museum on Roosevelt Square.
- Zagreb Cathedral – The most monumental and stylistically the most eloquent Gothic Architectual work south-east of the Alps, designed by architect Hermann Bolle. For a quiet prayer of thanks.
- The Croatian National Theatre. Designed by Architectual Atelier Fellner & Helmer in 1894-95.
- Zrinjevac Park – Named after the Croatian Viceroy Nikola Šubić Zrinski (Ban of Croatia 1542 -1556) One of the most romantic parks in Zagreb. A park where lovers of the arts flock in droves. Here you’ll find many art galleries, monuments, museums, a music pavillion, flowers and majestic trees.
- Museum of Ethnographics, covers the ethno heritage of Croatia, founded in 1919 by Salamon Berger, richly displaying the way of life and many stunning gold embroided costumes and ceremonial dresses, musical intruments, furniture, jewellry, cooking utensils and tools. Fascinating!
The Kobali Hats Store can be found at Trg Petra Preradovica 1, Zagreb..
LADO Ensemble of Croatia Folk dances, 73 years of Operation.
Indulging in coffee and scrumptious cakes at Vincek, an icon in Zagreb at Ilica 18.
Last on my list, but certainly not least! I always encourage my guests to visit Mirogoj Cemetary, the resting place of many famous and local people. Designed by Architect Hermann Bolle in the late 1800s. A place of tranquility, beauty, and peace. A must when visiting Zagreb!
Robyn Vulinovich, Split, Croatia 2022. Email: email@example.com