Zagreb – The Many Neighborhoods

This was our last day in Zagreb.  Unfortunately, there are so many things to see and do in this beautiful city that we didn’t even begin to make a dent.  I will share a few photos from each of the neighborhoods that we visited today.

It was raining when we left this morning but gradually, the rain stopped and the sun came out in the late afternoon.  We were grateful that it wasn’t another day of pouring rain like yesterday!

We made our way over to Ban Jelacic Square and visited walked to the Dolac Market to see what delicious items they might be selling today.  I don’t know if it was the later hour or the rain but it was relatively quiet there today.


The Dolac Market on a dreary day!

At the entrance of the market is the statue of a much beloved fictional character, Petrica Kerempuh.  I shared another photo in my earlier blog of Zagreb.  Today, I had to share her again as someone gave her sunflowers!  It brighten the day!img_2804

We were in search of two museums today.  The Museum of Naive Art and The Museum of Broken Relationships.  We walked through various neighborhoods to get to the museums that were close together.  In the Tkalciceva, we stopped to have an ear of roasted corn….such a delicious treat!  There are little carts and they sell roasted chestnutsimg_2848

and roasted corn.  We didn’t have any chestnuts but have enjoyed the roasted corn more than once.  So yummy!


Tkalciceva Street

Before this street was here, there was the Medvescak Creek that divided the two settlements.  That of Gradec which was the secular town to the west of the stream and to the east of it, was the religious town of Kaptol.

In the 18th century many watermills were built around the creek and the workshops produced soap, cloth, paper and liquor.  In 1850 the stream, which was polluted and smelled, was paved over uniting the two settlements into one city.

Today this is one of the most popular streets in Zagreb.  It is lined with cafes, restaurants and bars.  It is a great place to sip a coffee or have a glass of wine and people watch.

Watching over all of the activity is this statue of Marija Juric Zagorka, one of Zagreb’s first feminist.  She was the first female professional journalist in Croatia and spoke up for women’s rights.  In the 17th century, the Catholic Church brought several local women to trail on charges of witchcraft for which they were later burned at the stake.  In the mid-18th century, the Empress Maria Theresa brought these trials to an end.

Zagorka was inspired by these women’s stories to encourage women of the early 20th century to stand up for their rights.  She is also known for her many novels that she has penned.  Although none of her work has been translated into English, 11 of her novels are in the Library of Congress.


Marija Juric Zagorka

We walked up the street of Radiceva, a long street on a sloping hill.  We passed St George’s Statue which is the work of Austrian sculptors Kompatscher and Winder.  It shows St George paying homage to the dragon he had just slain.img_2834

Continuing on, we walked into St Mark’s Square with the impressive church of St Mark. img_2828

This square used to be the where the main market was held for the secular town of Gradec before Zagreb became one city.   The church of St Mark is from the 13th century.  The roof is decorated with the coat of arms from the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Savonia and Dalmatia on the left.  The coat of arms with the castle, represents Zagreb.

On the right hand side of the square is the Croatian Parliament building.  Sessions for parliament have been held here since 1737.  It is in this building that members voted to severe ties in 1918 with the Austro-Hungarian empire and from Yugoslavia in 1991….such history has taken place in that building!

I enjoyed the architecture throughout this area….here is one building that I found interesting.  img_2810img_2811

And another more simplistic window….img_2829

Right off of St Mark’s Square is the WONDERFUL museum of Naive Art.  It is the US version of primitive art.  OH MY GOSH!!!  I LOVE this art!  It represents everyday life in the countryside of Croatia.  The lifestyle of the peasants.  Often, this artist are referred to as “Sunday painters” because their real jobs were working in the fields.  Many paintings are of winter themes because the peasant artist were busy in the field during the other seasons.  The artist frequently painted on glass because it was less expensive and easier to acquire in the country than canvas.

This is a self-potrait of Ivan Generalic (1914-1992) who is considered the founder of Croatian naive art.  img_2813

This is Generalic’s   Woodcutters:img_2817

This is Ivan Generalic’s Solar Eclipse painting.  It shows the villagers afraid of the eclipse.  They don’t understand what is happening.  Some cower out of fear, others stage impromptu religious processions and still others cling to their worldly processions.  img_2818

Mijo Kovacic (1935-) specializes in peasant scenes.  I loved the one of his “Woman in the Winter Landscape” done in 1965.img_2814

Swineherd from 1967 is a good representation of peasant life by Kovacic.  img_2820

The paintings by Marin Mehkek of the gypsies were of interest, especially the one of the crossed-eyed man because he used his fingers to paint this portrait. He only used a brush for the finer details.  img_2254

Moses and the Red Sea by Ivan Vecenaj (1920-2013) depicts Moses looking out over the sea of blood from his pursuers.  The ten birds birds, flying around Moses, represent the 10 Commandments.  img_2258

Ivan Rabuzin is considered the Naive’s movement second most important artist after Ivan Generalic (I think in order to be considered a “naive artist” you had to have the first name of Ivan!).  Generalic had a style of a dreamlike world of puffy clouds, pastel hills.  The guide book said that Japanese particularly like his style.  This is his On the Hills – Primeval Forestimg_2267

I took this photo to show you that the picture was painted using dots…..img_2268

When I saw the painting of St Chapell Cathedral by Emerik Feje, I had to smile.  As many of you who read my blog know, I absolutely love the St Chappell Cathedral in Paris, France.  It was my fantasy to be married there when I first discovered it.  That didn’t happen but years later, I was able to share this beautiful place with my husband. Feje painted several far-away places that he never traveled to but copied off of black and white postcards.  img_2265

This was a small museum but it had a great representation of the artist of the Naive Art movement.  The last room displayed pencil sketches by the various artist.  They would first do a sketch of a painting they wished to complete, put it against a pane of glass to paint the scene.  They would start out with the small details first, gradually filling in more of the background.  Eventually, the glass painting would be flipped over to be viewed.  All of the paintings in this exhibit, painted on glass, were painted backwards.  Not all paintings were on glass.  Some of the artist painted on canvas.

This is the sketch by Ivan Generalic for his Solar Eclipse painting.


I found this art work to be incredible and I am so grateful that I have been introduced to it.

Just down the street from the Museum of Naive Art is a very interesting Museum of Broken Relationships.  Honestly, I had never heard of such a museum.  I was curious.  It was started by a couple who ended their relationship.  As it stated in the museum, we as humans celebrate birth, marriage and deaths but there is no way to acknowledge the end of a relationship.  This museum is dedicated to that.  People donate an item that represented their love for the other person and share their story.  It is small but takes awhile to go through and read each memory.  There were items from around the world….Malaysia, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, Bosnia-Herzogovina, India and Croatia.

I took one photo…this one of an ax:img_2280

The story that accompanied this ax was the person fell in love with a girl.  He had never lived with anyone before and opened his heart and home to this woman.  The were happy for awhile but the woman found a new love.  She left the man and went on a trip with her new interest.  She left her belongings and furniture with at her old lover’s home, saying she would be back for them.  Not knowing how to express his grief, the man purchased this ax and proceeded to chop the woman’s furniture into pieces.  Each day, he destroyed a piece of furniture.  When the woman came for her belongings, all the pieces were neatly placed in bags for her to carry away.

There was a toy pedal-car that one man had wanted as a child.  His love, while walking with a friend, found one in the trash.  They came home, washed it off and decorated it with flowers, painting his name on the wheels of the car.  He donated the car to the museum because if reminded him of a time when the love for each other was so generous and caring.  The relationship had ended and the caring love was no longer.

Gosh, there were shoes, shirts, stuffed animals, dresses.  It was a very unique idea.  May I never be in the position to have to donate an item to “let go” of a special love.

Once we left the museum, we walked down Cirilmetodska Street and came to the Strossmayer Promenade.  It runs along the rim of Gradec Hill and affords you an amazing view of Zagreb.  This is looking over the south side of the city. img_2830

The tall building at the left of the photo with the “Observation Deck” sign is near Jelacic Square.  img_2831

This view is to the west, looking over the Cathedral in Kaptol. I wish I knew what church the steeple in the foreground went to but I cannot figure it out.

There is a funicular that connects the Upper and Lower Towns.  We saw where it ended at the Upper Town while walking along the Stossmayer Promenade.

Going downhill, we visited the Stone Gate.


This is the only old town gate to remain intact.  It was built in the Middle Ages but was rebuilt in the 18th century to what it is now.  Inside is a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  There are many pilgrimages to this quaint chapel.  The painting on the alter is of the Virgin and Baby Jesus.  This painting was saved from a catastrophic fire in 1731. img_2833

My apologies for the blurry photo but hopefully, you get an idea of what the inside of the gate and chapel is like.  On the walls were various plaques.  I would imagine, from other shrines that I have seen, they are thanking the Virgin for prayers answered.

Dinner tonight was at Leonardo’s off of Tkalciceva Street.  David had a pasta salad.  I had tomato soup and a Greek Salad.  img_2838

Before heading home, we made a visit to The Cathedral to see the inside and say a prayer.  I was kind of surprised to how small the inside appeared compared to how grandiose the outside is.  img_2840


This is a photo of part of the Renaissance Wall that was built between 1512 and 1521 to protect the church from the Ottoman’s invasion.  This is an example of the best preserved Renaissance defenses in Europe today.  img_2845

Looking to the north of the city, you see beautiful hills.  Some refer to this area as Croatian Tuscany.img_2847

Just a few parting shots as we made our way home.  This is one of my favorite buildings that I have seen in my wanderings around Zagreb.  I just love the dome on the top and can you tell from the photo that it is made of wood?img_2850img_2801

Although we didn’t take it very often, the tram system is an easy way to get around Zagreb and relatively inexpensive.  I am certain that you can purchase a ticket saver but one ticket only cost $1.50.  I don’t know how long it is good for.  We took the tram after we had left the bus station from the airport to make our way to our apartment.  img_2852

I had passed this building many times admiring it but not knowing what it was.  It was the original Stock Exchange Building from 1907.  In 1945, it was closed down because investing did not coincide with socialist beliefs!  Today, it houses the Croatian National Bank.

There you have it…my tour of Zagreb or should I say, my brief tour of Zagreb.  We didn’t do much of the Lower Town at all.  I really love this city and like I said, I could easily spend 6 weeks or longer here.  There is so much to see and do…there seems to be a museum on every street corner.  I will put it out to the universe with hopes to return.

In the meantime, I am off and packing my bags for my flight tomorrow to visit Dubrovnik. I have waited 39 years to see that beautiful city….”color me excited!!”



2 thoughts on “Zagreb – The Many Neighborhoods

    • It is a great city, Lori. David and I actually went back for our last two nights in Croatia. I need to get busy and get my blog updated! Just about have the one for Dubrovnik ready to post…then onto Split and the final days back in Zagreb. Someone asked me the best part of the trip, I had to say it was being introduced to the Naive Art movement and also, discovered the Croatian scupltor, Mestrovic. Zagreb has tons of museums, practically one on each corner. Would love to spend a few weeks there visiting them all!

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