Zagreb, Croatia–part I

(This is the 15th post of our Croatia-Budapest trip, June-July 2014)
Friday, June 27

Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb1First up, breakfast, at our fabulous hotel.  We got there after the tour bus crowd had left, so the repast was severely depleted by the time we got there.  No worries, we found things to eat anyway.

Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb2Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb3Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb4Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb5Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb6Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb7Hotel Breakfast_Zagreb8Hotel Breakfast_ZagrebtoysAnd a toy corner for the kids.

Zagreb1_marketflowersNext, we head up to the market, to see what Zagreb’s market is like.  It’s set under red umbrellas, which is one of Zagreb’s emblems, seen on different tourist tchotckes.

Zagreb1a_marketflowersZagreb2_market Zagreb2a_markettomatoesI’d buy these too, if they already had tomatoes on them.

Zagreb3_market Zagreb4_marketumbrellas Zagreb4b_market umbrellas Zagreb5_market Zagreb6_marketpeppers Zagreb7_market Zagreb8_markettoysLittle toys for sale.  They all seemed to be made in China, frankly.

Zagreb9_WorldCupStuff Zagreb10_StFrancisChurchWe’re to meet up Anna Clare and Earl at St. Francis church, a small church up the street from the market.  My friend Judy had told me about this, as they had visited it when they went to Zagreb the year before.  I was glad I knew about it.  Above is the scene carved above the doorway.

Zagreb_meetupShepherdsHere they are!  We wait for the mass to end, then head into the church, the bells tolling and ringing.  It was wonderful.

Zagreb10a_Stfrancischurch Zagreb11_StFrancis Church Zagreb11a_StFrancisChurch Zagreb11b_StFrancisChurchThe beautiful blue ceiling reminds me of the small church in Rome, Santa Maria Sopa Minerva.

Zagreb11d_StFrancisChurch Zagreb12_StFrancis Church Zagreb13_StFrancisChurchThe inevitable grotto in honor of Mary.  While I had a long list of sights-to-see today, I could see that I needed to just tuck that list away, that this was not going to be a touristing day.  More like wander, wander, wander, which can often have its own merits.

Zagreb14_MaryonpedestalWe wander past the cathedral, but there is a mass going on, so we admire the statue of Mary on her pedestal in the fountain across from the front doors.

Zagreb15_market dress Zagreb15a_marketdressWe wander back through the market, where we notice this woman in native dress, and snap a photo of Anna Clare standing by another local:


Zagreb17_hallwaytoOctogonWe were able to check off some things on the Rick Steves’ tour of Zagreb, one of which was the Octogon.  Here’s our group in the hallway.

Zagreb17a_octogonThis was the “ultimate in iron-and-glass shopping elegance a century ago” and the window over the atrium is gorgeous.

Zagreb17b_Octogon Zagreb17c_octogon Zagreb18_funicularNext up: taking the funicular up to Upper Town, a form of transportation dating from 19th-century.

Zagreb18a_funicular Zagreb18c_funicular viewsView from the top.

Zagreb19_marketNo time to wander through Stross Market, at the top of the funicular, so we’ll leave it for another day.

Zagreb27a_UpperTown Zagreb27_UpperTownTchotcke seller, but in traditional dress.  I give her some money so we can take a photo of her, but passed on the little stuff she was selling.

Zagreb20_StCatherineChurchThe Upper Town consists mainly of about 8 blocks of town, with three or so churches.  Here’s the Church of St. Catherine, but we can’t see inside.  More later. . .

Zagreb21_Greek ChurchThis one is the Greek Church, tucked neatly in the rows of buildings on the main street.

Zagreb21_uppertownTeslaNikola Tesla, he of the car fame (he championed alternating current), was born in Croatia.  He later moved to America.

Zagreb29_StMarksChurchZagreb21a_uppertowncarving Zagreb22_alcoveStMarksThe alcove of St. Marks, the prominent church on the square in Upper Town with the beautiful tiled roof.  This was closed as well.  A detail from the door is above.

Zagreb22a_interiorI peeked inside; we promised to come back to this one too.

Zagreb23_uppertownstreetWe went back down this street (the funicular is at the far end), stopping about halfway to go to the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, an amazing museum (but no photos allowed).  Typically these naive artists painted on glass in this area of the country, as that was the material they had, so all the strokes are tiny and smooth, and depicted interesting scenes of giant peaches at the base of a peach tree, people harvesting, angels, demons, storm clouds–all stuff of rural life.  I’ve taken some photos of the postcards we brought home, so you can see:

Postcards AllPostcard 3Postcard 2Postcard FarmI love the lavender and orange cows in the bottom farm scene.

Zagreb24_streetsignWe wander to the site of where Anna Clare and Earl’s car was impounded when they parked illegally and didn’t know it, while buying Bibles for their mission.  I snapped a photo of the opposite corner in honor of this event.

Zagreb25_view to newertownWe wander to the overlook, a large flat plaza (which feels like the roof of some building below).  Anna Clare and Earl have to head off to do an errand for their mission headquarters, and we set our meet-up time for later.  We head back up to the main plaza.

Zagreb27_uppertowndoor Zagreb28_door

Two door handles on the city buildings surrounding the church.



This is the small chapel inside the only surviving town gate, the Stone Gate, which has a focal point of a painting of Mary that “miraculously survived a major fire in the adjoining house in 1731” or so says Rick Steves.

Zagreb30c_StoneGateZagreb30a_StoneGate Zagreb30b_StoneGateThese stone plaques give thanks (hvala) for answered prayers.

Zagreb30d_StoneGateCandles for prayers, I assume, then time to find some lunch.

Zagreb_lunch1 Zagreb_lunch2

We need caffeinated fuel, as we are already tired and it’s only the afternoon, but I must admit I enjoyed the glass it was served in.

Zagreb_lunch3Dave said he wasn’t hungry, looking forward to the pastry he’d purchased and which was in the backpack, but he ate half of our pasta anyway.  Blood sugar restored, two newly caffeinated tourists decide to wander on their own.  I pulled out the list of things to see, yet rapidly crossed off about half of them, since the time we were supposed to meet up with Anna Clare and Earl wasn’t conducive to getting to the Lower Town, catching the sights and getting back in time.  Another time, I say, uttering the Tourist’s Mantra.  We decide to stick with the Upper Town instead.

Next post: Two Sets of Tourists Attempt a Meet-up at a Later Time, or Zagreb, Part II

1 thought on “Zagreb, Croatia–part I”

  1. So much to see in Zagreb! The photos and write-up bring back many wonderful memories–the food in the hotel, the beautiful churches, the primitive art, the red and white EVERYTHING.

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