The City of Museums

Welcome to Zagreb,
the capital of Croatia!

It also happens to be the largest city in the country.

Like much of Croatia, the city dates back to Roman times. The remains of Andautonia, the Roman settlement during the Middle Ages, were discovered in the 1900s, revealing a sewer system, streets, and city walls.

Statue of Josip Jelačić in Ban Jelačić Square

Now, the city is a cultural and economic hub. Its positioning between Central Europe, the Mediterranean, and Southeast Europe make it geographically important as well.

Zagreb stretches 19 miles from east to west, and 12 miles from north to south. But long ago, it was made up of two towns, Kaptol and Gradec, with unclaimed, dangerous land in between.

Zagreb wasn’t officially “Zagreb” until 1904.

Exploring Zagreb, Croatia / for the love of nike / for the love of nike

In celebration of World Cravat Day, Zagreb’s statues were adorned with red ties about their necks.

For over the last 100 years, the Grič canon is fired at noon every day in the 13th-century Lotršćak Tower. Originally the shot was meant to signal the bell ringers of nearby churches, but now the tradition continues as an attraction.

Exploring Zagreb, Croatia / for the love of nike / for the love of nike

Zagreb has tons of street art.

Exploring Zagreb, Croatia / for the love of nike / for the love of nike

The Dolac farmer’s market in Ban Jelačić Square is exciting and full of beautiful things to buy. It’s also the best place to people watch and chat with the locals.

These two old friends were enjoying a few beers at about 9am.

Exploring Zagreb, Croatia / for the love of nike / for the love of nike

Below is a photo of St. Mark’s Church. The tiles along the roof depict the coats of arms of Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, and the city of Zagreb.

Just outside the church, my husband was interviewed. I’m pretty sure they were pranking us. He loved it.

Around the corner is the Museum of Broken Relationships. It’s home to a collection of submissions from across the world that are linked to a breakup. From fuzzy handcuffs to Claddagh rings, there’s a story behind each item.

In fact, Zagreb’s nickname is the City of Museums.

Zagreb is one of the few European cities that still has gas lamps that must be manually lit each day. This has been Mr. Kufner’s job for over 40 years. He is now in his 70s and has an apprentice he’s training to take over in his stead.

In the photo below, you can see Zagreb Cathedral in the distance. This is the tallest building in the entire country, standing at 354 feet. It’s been severely damaged by earthquakes twice–once in 1880 and once in 2020. You’ll note that one of the towers is under construction, and it has been for the last 20 years.

This Croatian road trip is drawing to a close. With only one night left in this beautiful country, where do you think we’ll wind up?