Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Feb 21, 2008

2007 Croatia, Zagreb
September 27-October 14, 2007

October 10

As we arrived at The Westin, our hotel in Zagreb, we were greeted with very pleasant news. The manager of our hotel in Dubrovnik had kindly complied with our request and forwarded Kundan’s purse to our Zagreb hotel. Everyone in our group clapped as the hotel clerk handed it to Kundan.

Soon afterwards we boarded our bus again for a guided tour of Zagreb.

In existence since 1094, this city of about 800,000 is situated on both banks of Sava River. Its strategic location, initially on the crossroads along an international river route, then by north-south and east-west roads and finally by rail, helped Zagreb become an international trade and business center and transport hub for central and Eastern Europe.

This largest city of Croatia has been the capital of Croatia since 1557. Many important churches, palaces, museums, galleries, and government buildings are located here. Its streets are full of people.

Billboards adorn many storefronts and kiosks.

Like any modern city, Zagreb has a good public transportation system. It consists mainly of electric trams and buses, which run day and night.

Twice a year people are allowed to pile up their unwanted items outside in the street. Any person can take anything from the piles he or she wants. After a few days, the sanitation service hauls the rest of the stuff to the city dump.
Ban Jelacic Square is the heart of the city center. Its main feature is the equestrian statue of Ban Jelacic, the first Croatian viceroy. It was erected in 1866.

The square is always crowded with shoppers, entertainers, and vendors.

Many banks, trading centers, and shopping complexes are located in and around the square.

There are many flowershops.

On one end of the pedestrian mall is the statue of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the Croatian physicist & electric engineer and father of alternating current system.

A trolley takes tourists around the main attraction around the Ban Jelacic Square.
Historically, Zagreb consists of three different settlements. Two of them, Kaptol and the Upper Town, both located to the north of Ban Jelacic Square, were put under one city administration in 1850. The Lower Town came into being after the railway reached Zagreb in 1862.

Kaptol is the area around the 11th century Cathedral of the Assumption.

The Upper Town was built on the southern slopes of Mt. Medvednica. The medieval nunnery here had only painted windows on the street-side walls, probably to prevent communication with the world outside.
The Gothic Church of St. Mark dominates the main square of the Upper Town. It was built at the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century. A Baroque tower was added

later in the 17th century. Coats of arms of Zagreb (R) and the Kingdom of Croatia, the Dalmatia and Slavonia (L), made up of multicolored tiles, were added in 19th century.

Near the Church is the Croatian Parliament.

Nearby is St. Catherine’s Church. It was built between 1630 and 1632 by the Jesuits, who had been invited by the Croatian Parliament.
A canon has been fired from the top of Lotrscak Tower every day at noon, since January 1, 1877, when it was first used to warn off the possibility of an Ottoman attack.

In the Lower Town, the Zagreb University was across from our hotel.

Close by is the National Library. A statue of Marko Maurulic, a poet, humanist and the father of Croatian language sits in front of the library

Like Brussels, Belgium, Zagreb has its own pissing boy. But unlike its namesake in Brussels hardly anyone pays attention to it.

October 11

Next day we wandered leisurely around town by ourselves, while some from our group went on an optional visit to Marshal Tito’s home in the countryside.


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