Friday, 27 November 2020

Huge Zagreb Christmas Tree Arrives in Time for Advent

November 27, 2020 – A towering Zagreb Christmas tree has been placed on Trg bana Josipa Jelačića in the heart of the Croatian capital. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

A towering Zagreb Christmas tree has been placed on Trg bana Josipa Jelačića. It arrives in time for the start of the Advent season, which begins officially this weekend.


Standing between 15 metres and 20 metres in height, the Zagreb Christmas tree is so impressive it might just rival the famous statue of Josip Jelačić himself as the most eyecatching monument on the square. By the time its lights are added, we certainly wouldn't put money on Josip for the title.

A giant Christmas tree is a traditional December sight on this main square at the heart of the Croatian capital. Although it's not the only one. There are usually around 40 Christmas trees placed in public parks and squares around the city, Zagreb doesn't do Christmas half-heartedly.


Advent celebrations in the city usually commence with the lighting of a candle by the Manduševac water feature on Trg bana Josipa Jelačića. The appearance of this first flame is the marker for the city's Christmas lights to be turned on, including those of the Zagreb Christmas tree.

We can't be sure if the Zagreb Christmas tree that now stands on Trg bana Josipa Jelačića is exactly the same one, but it does look remarkably like a giant pine tree moved from private property on Gradišćanska ulica a couple of days ago. If it is that pine, then one local resident reckons the Zagreb Christmas tree is over 35 years old. It towered above the dwelling in whose grounds it lay. Local residents were sad to see it go. But, during a year in which Zagreb has experienced its strongest earthquake in 100 years, plus hundreds of aftershocks, it's perhaps understandable why the landowners were willing to let this giant go. Two younger pine trees remain on the plot.


This article's final two photos were taken by © Zoran Stajčić

Monday, 4 March 2013

Sites in Split: Voćni Trg

The square of Trg Braće Radić, unofficially called Voćni Trg (meaning Fruit Square) by everyone was once the home of a bustling fruit market. Now a sprawling square of shops, cafés and street performers, it is centered around three main historical landmarks.

Built in the 15th century to protect the city from local revolts and Turkish raids is an octagonal Venetian tower and adjoining Castello to the south of the square.A passageway leads through the structure onto the Riva promenade and in this arched corridor you will find two etched Christian crosses on your right hand side. Legend says that you must point with your fingertips at each point of one cross and make a love-related wish with closed eyes. You’ll also need to make sure that when you do this, no one else is passing though the passage in either direction. For maximum effect, you should attempt to walk through the short passage with your eyes closed until you are under open skies again.

Across the tower to the north is the grand Milesi Palace built in the 17th century, showcasing a spectacular Baroque façade considered to be one of the best examples of this architectural era in Dalmatia. The palace is recognized for its charming arched shop windows on the ground floor.

Marking the square is a statue of Marko Marulić, a 15th century poet and Christian humanist from Split who is known as the father of Croatian literature, the crown of the Croatian medieval age, and the father of the Croatian Renaissance. He is also depicted on the Croatian 500 Kuna banknote. The bronze statue is hand made by famed local sculptor and architect Ivan Meštrović. Meštrović has most of his works displayed in his previous home, now Meštrović Gallery in Split.

Voćni Trg also played an important role in Miljenko Smoje’s cult TV series, “Velo Misto.” The square’s cultural importance made it an ideal setting for filming many of the scenes depicting life in early 20th century Split.

On the square you will also find the upscale Croata shop, a tribute to the Croatian tie, a Marella high fashion store, a bank, a bookstore, and exclusive shoes in Karla. In the summer, souvenir stalls with live handicrafts and juice stands liven up the square.