‘An old city with a young soul.’
Zagreb, capital and chief city of Croatia boasts a charming medieval ‘old city’ look with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent to Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other Central European cities. The Croatian capital is young and playful at heart, despite the almost thousand year-old history of its old town. By day, the city beats to the pulse of its thriving business, letting its hair down come sunset. And despite being a thoroughly modern metropolis, the locals welcome travelers with traditional Croatian hospitality.
The site of modern Zagreb was first mentioned in 1093, when a Roman-Catholic bishopric was established there. After the Mongol invasion of 1241-42, Gradec became a royal free town and was fortified; several towers that were part of these fortifications still stand. As a political center, Zagreb played an important role in the history of Croatia, which struggled first against Turkey and later against attempted Germanization by Austria. Its old center consists of the medieval Gradec- today the home of the Croatian government and Parliament – and Kaptol, the seat of the Archbishop.
Following the administrative unification of the two entities and the surrounding villages in the 19th century, the city experienced a surge in the construction of prestigious buildings, squares and fountains, as well as the establishment of beautiful park-woods and parks which today make it one of the greenest cities in Europe. A delight to walk through, the capital of Croatia attracts visitors with the lively atmosphere of its streets, numerous coffee shops, restaurants and shopping.
Zagreb is made for strolling. Wander through the Upper Town’s red-roof and cobblestone glory, peppered with church spires. Crane your neck to see the domes and ornate upper-floor frippery of the Lower Town’s mash-up of secessionist, neo-baroque and art deco buildings. Search out the grittier pockets of town where ugly-bland concrete walls have been transformed into colourful murals by local street artists. This city rewards those on foot. If you are a looking for a break on your way to, or from, a seaside tourist resort, a break that would freshen up your journey, then Zagreb is the place to go and it’s waiting for you.
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