A Travellerspoint blog


Zagreb - The City of Squares

semi-overcast 15 °C

From the moment you step out of the magnificent railway station in Zagreb you realise that you are in one of the most elegant cities of Europe...
These are just some of the parliament buildings that surround the decorative church of St. Mark's...
Here is a view of the cathedral from the upper city...
And this is St. George slaying the dragon – a symbolic representation of power used by many European countries...
In addition to the usual national museums and art galleries, Zagreb distinguishes itself with several unique collections of artifacts. We never found the Museum of Illusions and we didn't bother with the Mushroom Museum because there were plenty on offer in the huge outdoor market in the square in front of the cathedral...
Other museums include the descriptively named Torture Museum and the more esoterically named Museum of Broken Relationships. Croatia is a country of broken relationships with a history of alliances and confederations dating from long before it was part of the Roman Empire a couple of thousand years ago. The broken relationships with the other Yugoslavian countries of Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia et al is still fresh in our minds as we walk the beautiful streets of Zagreb among crowds of happy locals. We wonder how they deal with the fact that they were engaged in a bloody war with their neighbours just 25 years ago.
There is certainly no sign of conflict here in Ban Jelacic Square...
...although we were shaken by a very loud explosion at lunchtime - only to discover it was the midday cannon which has been fired daily from the Burglar's Tower since 1871.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is dedicated to the love, pain, drama, irony and even humour in breakups and reconciliations and has proved so popular that a second branch opened in Los Angeles this year.

Zagreb is a city of squares and at night they are thronged with students, tourists and revellers who overflow from the numerous bars and cafes. Nowhere in Europe have we seen such scenes and it reminded us of the festive street life in Hong Kong or Bangkok...
Cheap beer and inexpensive food often end up on the pavements by the morning, but we were assured by our apartment hostess that there is never any trouble in the streets at night and it is a very safe city.
Zagreb was yet another surprisingly beautiful and well presented city on our tour. Gone are any traces of its communist past and recent conflicts. It is full of interesting sights including these chains from Lord Nelson's battleship, HMS Victory, at the city's 13th century Stone Gate. Though how they got there is a mystery.

Posted by Hawkson 01:38 Archived in Croatia Comments (5)

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