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Zagreb: Facts you didn’t know about the capital of Croatia

Zagreb is a city with a rich and mesmerizing history. So if you think you know everything there is to know about it, we’ll prove you wrong with these Zagreb facts.

15 Zagreb facts to spice up your visit

1. How many town squares make up the Lenuci Horseshoe?

Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog, Trg Josipa Jurja Strossmayera, Trg kralja Tomislava, Trg dr. Ante Starčevića, Trg Marka Marulića, Trg Republike, Trg Ivana Mažuranića, Trg Antuna Mažuranića, Trg Vladimira Mažuranića and the Botanical garden. So, seven plus the Botanical Garden.

2. Which hotel is Zagreb’s oldest?

Jegerhorn on Ilica 14, just beneath Gradec. It was first opened the year 1827 and has been there ever since. Among its most famous patrons was Ljudevit Gaj I ban Josip Jelačić.

3. Where is Harmica?

Long ago, Harmica was the name of the main city square where the market was located. Now, it’s the name of the passage between Trg bana Josipa Jelačića and the Dolac market. The name “Harmica” comes from the Hungarian word “harmincz” which means “one thirtieth”, which was the local tax.

4. Where were Zagreb’s famous escargots?

What we call Jurišićeva ulica today was called Puževa ulica (Street Escargot) right up until 1878. This is where the poorer townsfolk (yes, the poorer townsfolk) would enjoy a nice serving of escargots. It was a rare source of protein for them.

5. Where does Grički top come from?

The first cannon was from the famous English admiral Nelson’s ship. The firing of the cannon marked noon in Zagreb since 1.1.1877. The cannon which is used today was gifted to Zagreb in 1987 by the Yugoslavian Army. How’s that for some Zagreb facts?

6. Where did the chandeliers in the Zagreb cathedral come from?

They’re from the famous Gold Coast casino in Las Vegas. The casino was demolished in 2001 for the construction of a hotel and the chandeliers were subsequently gifted to Zagreb by Croatian immigrant Stefan Stankić.

7. What was the name of ban Jelačić’s horse? 

It’s name was Emir. Ban Jelačić got it as a gift from Mahmud beg Bašić from Bihać. The horse survived for ten more years after the death of Jelačić. In 1866 it was the model for the famous sculpture made by the German artist Antun Dominik Fernkorn.

8. What’s the tallest building in Zagreb?

Some of Zagreb’s tallest skyscrapers are Poslovni centar Strojarska (96 m), Euro Tower I (96 m), Zagrepčanka (95 m) and Cibonin toranj (92 m), but none of them are the tallest building in Zagreb. The Cathedral is actually the tallest building, as its towers go up around 108 meters.

9. Where in Zagreb do “the Balkans end”?

The famous hotel Esplanade, opened in 1925, had the reputation of being “where the Balkans end and civilization begins”. That statement was marketed specifically towards the Oleander Terrace, an important place for social gatherings. The building is one of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau in Zagreb.

10. Where can you find the museum dedicated to broken relationships?

The Museum of Broken Relationships is one of the most famous museums in Croatia as it is unique to the world. Everybody knows how bad breakups can hurt, but every one of them has an interesting story of its own. That’s what made the creators think of the museum in the first place. It’s located in the Gornji grad and houses, among others, love letters, teddy bears, and even an axe used to destroy a lovers’ apartment.

11. Who lay naked on the asphalt?

If this is the first time you hear about Tomislav Gotovac, it’s time to Google him. His performance Ležanje gol na asfaltu, ljubljenje asfalta (Laying naked on the asphalt, loving the asphalt) made its debut on 1981 when Gotovac walked down the street completely naked, kissing the asphalt. Gotovac was arrested not long after, but his performance went into legend. You can find a monument to his performance on Ilica street.

12. Which Zagreb cartoon spread throughout the world?

The animated series “Profesor Baltazar” is the most famous project of the Zagreb school of animated films, numbering at 59 episodes. The series was emitted in 30 countries and made significant success in Scandinavia.

13. Who looks after the town’s clocks?

Zagreb has a really specific famous place of gathering – underneath the clock on ban Jelačić square. All of the clocks in the town are looked after by the watchmaker family Lebarović, which has been doing this for six generations.

14. Where is Europe’s solar plexus?

Europe’s solar plexus can be found on the “Otok mladosti” island on Jarun. It’s made from 61 blocks of granite and represents the centre energy chakra of Europe that pulsates between Iceland and Crete. It’s famously called the Stonehedge of Zagreb.

15. What was the name of Zagreb’s most famous dog?

In Bogovićeva ulica, you can find the monument to the runaway Pluto. Pluto was looked after by the builders of Prva hrvatska štedionica and soon became the “dog from the construction site”. Unfortunately, he died while fighting with robbers.

We hope you enjoyed these Zagreb facts! 🙂

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