Wednesday, 16 November 2022

The Mirror and CNN Shine Spotlight on Zagreb Advent 2022

November the 16th, 2022 - Foreign media including The Mirror (UK) and CNN (USA) have been giving Zagreb Advent 2022 some love of late, and with things coming back in full swing following the coronavirus pandemic, it's something we're all looking forward to.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after CNN included Zagreb Advent 2022 on the list of the best Christmas markets for this year, the British Mirror has also been writing about Zagreb Advent 2022 and the most magical time of the year here in the Croatian capital city. According to the conducted research, Zagreb took an incredibly impressive second place as the city with the best value for money to visit this December, and that news was also reported by the some of the other most popular British media: The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Independent, and several others.

The list also included the stunning Latvian capital city of Riga, which took first place, followed by Krakow, Stockholm and Vienna, not to mention the likes of Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Lille, Tallinn and Copenhagen.

"As the article itself says - Zagreb's Advent has recently established itself among the best in Europe, so we're particularly happy with promotions and publications like this, as they further position our city on the European map of Christmas markets. I'd also like to point out that the news about Zagreb Advent 2022 was also conveyed by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in its monthly newsletter.

Just by checking the booking.com platform, we can see that the capacity occupancy in Zagreb for the first weekend of Zagreb Advent 2022 already stands at more than 82 percent, so I expect that this year, after two pandemic-dominated years, will once again show that this is one of the most important events for Zagreb and Croatian tourism. I'd like to note that the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb started with international offline and online promotion via Google, social media, native articles as well as mobile advertising in Europe, the USA and Canada, spanning a total of 21 markets. We're especially promoting Zagreb Advent 2022 on Expedia on the US market, as well as on the Smithsonian portal as part of a multi-month destination campaign. Likewise, we achieved our traditional promotional cooperation with Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines and HZPP, with whom we secured special ticket prices for people visiting Zagreb Advent,'' stated Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb.

The opening of Advent Zagreb 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, November the 26th, when the first Advent candle will be lit on Ban Jelacic Square at 17:00.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Zagreb Advent is Coming Back in All Its Glory! Plus Three New Locations

November 5, 2022 - Zagreb's mayor Tomašević believes the city is gearing up for the best Zagreb Advent.

As Poslovni writes, this year's Zagreb Advent will be held from November 26, 2022, to January 7, 2023. Along with Tomašević, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, participated in the presentation of this year's Advent.

Three new locations

The Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square, Park Grič, and Stara Vlaška. These are the three new locations of Zagreb Advent, which won the title of the best Advent manifestation for several years and then took place in a more modest form during the two pandemic years.

The Museum of Icons will open in the Upper Town, and a glass ball blowing workshop will be in the Museum of the City of Zagreb. The live nativity scene will most likely be located in Opatovina Park. Cultural programs will be organised in Stara Vlaška on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, while an amusement park will spring up on Franjo Tuđman Square.

Other city museums will also show off exciting schedules. The ice rink is returning to the Kralj Tomislav Square, albeit on a smaller scale. This decision was explained by mayor Tomislav Tomašević: "We will occupy less of the green areas to reconcile both the profession and the wishes of our fellow citizens." "Advent begins on November 26 and will last, together with New Year's events, until January 7, 2023, which is 43 days. The opening is scheduled for Saturday, November 26, when the first Advent candle will be lit on Ban Jelačić Square at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the opening of Gornji Grad locations will follow, at 7 p.m., the Ice Park will open on the Kralja Tomislav Square, and at 7:50 p.m., the lights on Zrinjevac will be lit", he said.

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Zagreb Advent Facebook

Concerts all over the city

Director of the Zagreb city Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, announced that more than 100 concerts will be held in closed and open city spaces, squares and streets.

"There will be special exhibitions in museums and galleries, and we should highlight the cooperation with the HNK in Zagreb, the Croatian Chamber of Crafts, and the Zagreb Zoo, which are also preparing special programs. We are also working with Zagreb hotels and domestic and foreign transport companies and have started international promotion in 21 markets. "Zagreb Advent is one of the most important events for Zagreb and Croatian tourism, and I expect that, just like in previous years, it will contribute to the growth of tourist traffic in Zagreb," said Bienenfeld.

By the way, more than 100,000 visitors on average visit Zagreb in December, of which more than 50,000 are domestic guests.

A rich cultural and musical program at various locations in the city, detailed schedules of all programs, and current information are available on the official website of Advent in Zagreb.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Zagreb Advent Run Brings Together Over 2,100 Participants

ZAGREB, 12 Dec 2021 - The charity Zagreb Advent Run took place in the city center on Sunday with 2,132 costumed participants from roughly 30 countries taking part in this event that raised funds for humanitarian purposes.

Proceeds collected during this year's event that consisted of a 10-kilometer running race and the five-kilometer walking race will go to some of the associations caring for cancer patients.

The first edition of this race took place in Zagreb in 2016.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Esplanade Hotel's First Street Food Menu a Delicious Hit at Fuliranje 2021

December 11, 2021 – Head chef Ana Grgić is delighting crowds - the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu is a knockout success. The popular Fuliranje section of Zagreb Advent is the capital's culinary star in 2021. Find it at its new home on the impressive Esplanade terrace.

Sandro5.jpg© Sandro Sklepić

That familiar feel of Advent in Zagreb has returned. The strong scents of spiced, cooked wine and sausages on the grill. Music that makes you want to hang around and mingle. By day and by night, city residents and visitors alike are drawn to this terrace.

Fuliranje.jpg© Esplanade Hotel

After dark, the scene is spectacular, with seasonal lights adding to the atmosphere. But, most impressive of all is the backdrop of the Esplanade Hotel. It is their terrace that is hosting the popular Fuliranje section of Zagreb Advent in 2021. And it is the Esplanade's head chef, Ana Grgić, who has delivered one of this Christmas's best culinary highlights.

AnawithfoodbySandro.jpgChef Ana Grgić presents the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu © Sandro Sklepić

”The idea was to make it totally different to what we already have inside the hotel on our menus,” says Ana when she sits down with Total Croatia News to introduce the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu. “The food needs to be a little more simple, adapted to this kind of event. But, at the same time, we know that many people come to Fuliranje who are not necessarily so well acquainted with the Esplanade Hotel. So, the menu also needed to represent the hotel, its standards and offer an introduction.”

Crip2.jpgPart of the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu © Marc Rowlands

”I know that the usual kind of street food is burgers, wraps and sausage sandwiches. But, I wanted to show that this kind of food can also be street food. So far, it's been incredibly popular. In particular, the croquettes and the beef cheeks.”

Esplanade Hotel's First Street Food Menu

crip3.jpgSlow-cooked beef cheeks, a big hit of the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu © Marc Rowlands

”The beef cheeks are first marinated for 12 hours in red wine and vegetables. Afterwards, they are removed and seared on each side, then cooked slowly inside the replenished marinade for 5 hours. In the first 5 or 6 days since we opened, we already went through 150 kilos of beef cheeks. I bought everything they have at Dolac (Zagreb central market). Now, we have to look a bit further for what we need.”

Esplanade_Štrukli.jpgThe famous strukli of the Esplanade (this is the restaurant presentation - it's served more casually out on the terrace) © Esplanade Hotel

”We sold maybe 1000 strukli up until now. After just 3 days we'd sold 450 portions of our croquettes. There are 8 croquettes in each portion. So, that's quite a lot. Inside there is Dalmatian prosciutto and Pag island cheese. They take quite a long time to prepare at this standard. Maybe next time I should just do burgers!”

crip.jpgIf you only eat one thing at Fuliranje 2021, you simply must try the croquettes (left) from the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu © Marc Rowlands

”We have a traditional Quiche Lorraine made with very good quality Croatian bacon (slanina). The bakalar (salt cod) is always very popular. It's a seasonal favourite here at Christmastime. On the Fuliranje terrace, we have a traditional white one and also a red one made with tomatoes. We serve it with our own focaccia, made with fresh herbs and Croatian olive oil. But, we have a special offer of bakalar in Le Bistro too – a bakalar pâté, a ravioli with bakalar, sun-dried tomatoes, broad bean and a little chilli and also a risotto.”

Chef Ana Grgić at the Esplanade Hotel Zagreb

Ana.jpgAna Grgić © Esplanade Hotel

2022 marks a milestone in the career of chef Ana Grgić. In spring, she will celebrate 10 years as Executive Chef at the Esplanade Hotel Zagreb. Today, Ana is well known to food fans all over Croatia, having appeared as a celebrated authority on Croatian TV's version of Masterchef. But, her remarkable story has rarely been written in English.

Ana was born in Brčko, which is today within Bosnia and Hercegovina. But, when war broke out, both Ana and her sister were quickly evacuated. After six months in Austria, they were returned to Croatia. The girls ended up staying with a relative in Velika Gorica, where Ana still lives today.

While waiting for their mother to join them in Croatia, Ana and her sister taught themselves how to cook. By the time Ana left school at 16, she had decided that cooking was what she wanted to do. However, with no experience, she struggled to find an opportunity. Eventually, she persuaded the head chef at the Esplanade Hotel to allow her to volunteer in their kitchens.

“I decided it was better to volunteer at a top hotel than to sit at home doing nothing,” says Ana. “After six months, they offered me a job.”

GOJ_1341.jpg© Esplanade Hotel

In the time she has been at the Esplanade Hotel, Ana Grgić has worked her way up every step of the ladder. She now holds the title of Executive Chef (Head Chef) for the entire culinary operations at the Esplanade. In detail, she personally designs menus for the hotel bar, hotel banquets for events like gala dinners and weddings, their considerable outside catering operation and for room service. Additionally, she designs the menus for each of the hotel's two restaurants.

IMG_6862fdsertgyhujk.jpg© Esplanade Hotel

Le Bistro offers traditional Croatian food and ingredients, with an emphasis on French cooking techniques and a distinctly seasonal menu. Zinfandel's restaurant is one of the best fine dining experiences in Croatia, with a menu that changes four times a year reflecting the different seasons.

During her career at the Esplanade, Ana has prepared meals for politicians such as US President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Italian President Napolitano, Austrian President Fischer, celebrities like actor Tim Roth, sportsmen Pep Guardiola, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo and entertainers like Shakira, Sade, Sting, José Carreras, Bob Geldof and Robbie Williams.

Fuliranje at the Esplanade Hotel for Zagreb Advent 2021

Sandro2.jpg© Sandro Sklepić

For enthusiasts of Zagreb Advent, local media reviews of the 2021 manifestation have been painful to read. The event has received an absolute mauling in the press. With the epidemiological situation remaining difficult to predict, on paper it made sense to plan and offer a reduced Advent. But, in a city used to being celebrated as Europe's Best Christmas Market, what's been delivered has seemingly left many disappointed. While an impressive visual theatre can be found in Upper Town and Zrinjevac, critics claim few want to hang around. And they've bemoaned an absence of quality food options.

crip6.jpgFuliranje 2021, at night © Marc Rowlands

These criticisms have been answered in the last week with the opening of Fuliranje at the Esplanade. One of the best-established sections of Zagreb Advent, in previous years Fuliranje was on Strossmayer Square. It could always be counted on for a good atmosphere, decent music and delicious food. This latest incarnation at the Esplanade Hotel is no exception.

Sandro3.jpgFrom the hotel. The grandiose terrace that holds Fuliranje is traditionally known as the Oleander Terrace. It overlooks the park and fountain in Ante Starčević square, part of a U-shaped stretch of Zagreb city centre parks known as Lenuzzi’s Horseshoe © Sandro Sklepić

In addition to the Esplanade Hotel's first street food menu, you'll find many tempting choices waiting to tantalize your tastebuds. Among them, chef Mate Janković offers seasonal handheld favourites at Sausage Institut. Ivan Pažanin's Chef’s Burgers cover the other classic choice. Good Kut is a collaboration between two Zagreb institutions – Good Food and Kut and, like newcomer Beg’s Plant Based Butchery and Deli, they offer healthy options with vivid flavours. But there are many others too.

Fuliranje at the Esplanade Hotel is open every day from 11am to 11pm until 1st January 2022.

Sandro4.jpgFuliranje at the Esplanade Hotel © Sandro Sklepić

You can find out more about what's happening there day-by-day here. For more coverage of Zagreb Advent be sure to see Total Croatia News pages here.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

2021 Zagreb Advent Features in The New York Times

November 27, 2021 - Ahead of the opening on Saturday evening, the 2021 Zagreb Advent event features in the online edition of The New York Times.

As Zagreb prepares for the opening of Advent on Saturday, November 27, the award-winning event was featured in the online edition of The New York Times through the presentation of Zagreb fashion accessories and designers, reports Jutarnji List.

The Zagreb Tourist Board (TZGZ) reported on Friday, noting that a feature on Zagreb and fashion in The New York Times was prepared by journalist Kristin Vukovic, presenting a tie, handmade bags, hats, and umbrellas as authentic Zagreb fashion accessories.

The report features statements by well-known Croatian fashion brands and designers, such as those from Croata, Ethno Butik Mara, Kobali šeširi, Kišobrani Cerovečki, and goldsmith Marija Nokaj, while Zagreb is described as a city with a style that through influences from nearby Italy and the Austro-Hungarian past, together with traditional symbols combined with contemporary design, creates a distinctive flair.

The Tourist Board points out that The New York Times is one of the most popular daily newspapers in the United States, and that by cooperating with them, as well as many other media around the world and appearing at tourism fairs and congresses, they are working on the promotion of the Croatian capital, noting that the invested funds are returned many times over through various media announcements.

The opening of Advent Zagreb on Saturday, November 27, begins with the symbolic lighting of the first Advent candle on Manduševac on the central Ban Jelačić Square, followed by the illumination of pine trees on the Gradec Plateau, and the main lighting on Zrinjevac.

Advent will be held until January 6, 2022, at multiple central locations.

Every year and despite the pandemic, the Tourist Board believes that the event will attract many domestic and foreign tourists, who are recommended to adhere to the prescribed measures at Advent locations. Note that many hoteliers and caterers in Zagreb are ready for Advent with special offers.

It is also expected that December could further improve the results of tourist traffic in Zagreb. This year, from 1 January to 25 November, it is significantly increasing compared to the same period in 2020.

According to the Tourist Board, by October 25 this year, about 555,000 tourists visited Zagreb, who realized 1.2 million overnight stays, which is an increase of 69 and 63 percent compared to 2020, with both domestic and foreign tourists achieving more overnight stays than last year, i.e., 305,000 and 920,000.

Compared to 2019, the total number of overnight stays in Zagreb this year until October 25 was at 52 percent from that record pre-pandemic year.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Increase in Ryanair Zagreb Christmas Flights from Dublin, Eindhoven, Stockholm

November 17, 2021 - The Croatian capital will be busy this holiday season with an increase in Ryanair Zagreb Christmas flights from Dublin, Eindhoven, and Stockholm! 

The Irish low-cost airline is offering a number of weekly flights around Christmas and New Year on several existing routes, as well as on routes running in early December, reports Croatian Aviation.

In addition to the new lines announced for next summer, Ryanair is also preparing for increased demand on European lines around Christmas and New Year and has thus made several operational changes to the lines from its Zagreb base.

Ryanair is showing great interest in the line between Dublin and Zagreb, which will run from December 2 this year, three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. From December 20 to January 9, Ryanair will increase the number of weekly flights on this route to a total of four, operating between the two cities on Wednesdays, too!

On the new Ryanair line between Eindhoven and Zagreb, which runs from December 3 (twice a week, Monday and Friday), there will be an increase in the number of weekly rotations on this line from December 20 to January 9, totaling four-weekly flights with additional flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There will also be an increase in operations on two lines to Sweden, to Gothenburg and Malmö. The Gothenburg-Zagreb line currently runs three times a week and will run four times a week around Christmas, additionally on Tuesdays. From January 3 to January 9, six weekly flights have been announced, every day except Saturday.

Finally, on the Malmö - Zagreb - Malmö line, there will also be an increase in operations at the very beginning of January, and four weekly flights have been announced on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The line currently operates twice a week.

More good news: Ryanair introduced a line between Rome (Ciampino Airport) and Zagreb this summer, though the flights were transferred to Fiumicino at the end of October due to work at Ciampino. Now, Ryanair will stay at Fiumicino and will operate to Zagreb from there until the end of the winter flight schedule. This is great news for travelers given that Fiumicino is significantly better connected to the center of Rome than Ciampino.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Zagreb Advent 2021 Program is Here! (VIDEO)

November 11, 2021 - It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the Zagreb Advent 2021 program is here! 

Organized by the City of Zagreb, the Zagreb Tourist Board (TZGZ), and institutional and private partners, this year's award-winning Zagreb Advent will be held from November 27, 2021, to January 7, 2022. While respecting the reality of the current pandemic situation, on November 27, the first Advent candle will be lit on Ban Jelačić Square at 5:00 pm. And at 7:00 pm, the Zrinjevac lights will follow. 

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In addition to traditional Croatian toys that are the motif of this year's Zagreb Advent, particular emphasis is placed on cultural and musical events that will enhance the holiday mood and anticipation of Christmas. Namely, 14 music programs will be held with a total of 129 concerts, including the Zagreb Soloists, the Zagreb Chamber Orchestra, and many top Croatian musicians and promising young singers.

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Zagreb museums, including the Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Broken Relationships, and the Chocolate Museum, are included in this year's program, and other events, such as performances at the Croatian National Theater, Gavella at Grič Tunnel, Ilica Project: Q'ART, Advent Run, Advent at Vidra, and other special programs are prepared for the youngest visitors. 

 

Zagreb Tourist Board director, Martina Bienenfeld, introduced the festive event:

"Every year we try to enhance our Advent, and I am especially pleased to announce six new programs, namely: LADO Advent, Academy of Fine Arts (ALU) Christmas Garden, Advent on Katarinac, Zagreb Jingle Mingles in cooperation with Zagreb restaurants, Advent on Prolaz Matice hrvatskih obrtnika in cooperation with our craftspeople, and Advent at Zagreb hotels with a specially designed holiday offer and decorations. I would also like to mention Advent in Zrinjevac, where 13 concerts featuring famous Croatian performers will be held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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In addition, the event will continue with last year's successfully launched augmented reality (AR) exhibition, which will use animated traditional toys as a motif for this year's Advent. This will be showcased in 10 city parks, squares, and large open spaces. Namely, Zagreb Advent 2021 and the Virtual Toys project will take visitors back to their childhood through the long tradition of handmade toys that marked our youth. Visitors will have the opportunity to play with them again with the help of smartphones. The event will also continue with the Advent Light project, where windows will be decorated on selected institutions in the Upper Town.

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In addition, the Zagreb Tourist Board promotes Zagreb Advent through integrated online and offline campaigns in more than 16 markets, following the current epidemiological situation, and has designed a special promotion within the World Exhibition EXPO Dubai. We have also established our traditional promotional cooperation with Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and HŽPP, with which we have provided special ticket prices for anyone visiting Zagreb's Advent."

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In addition, the Zagreb Tourist Board and its partners will decorate 11 locations in the Lower Town: Ban Jelačić Square, Zrinjevac Park, J.J. Strossmayer Square, King Tomislav Square, European Square, Oktogon, Croatian Republic Square, Ivan Mažuranić Square, Matica hrvatskih obrtnika, ALU, and Grič tunnel, and four in the Upper Town: St. Mark's Square, Bela IV Park, Gradec plateau, and Strossmayer promenade west.

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"We invite everyone to responsibly enjoy Advent this year, following all measures and recommendations of the competent authorities, and for those who cannot be with us, we have provided online broadcasts on our social networks. A rich cultural and musical program at various locations in the city will, of course, be held following the latest official measures and recommendations, and all programs are subject to change. Detailed timetables of all programs, as well as current information, are available at www.adventzagreb.hr," concluded the Zagreb Tourist Board. 

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For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Modest 2021 Zagreb Advent: Half as Many Holiday Houses

October 2, 2021 - The 2021 Zagreb Advent will be modest this year, with only 93 spaces for holiday houses available to rent.

The City of Zagreb has announced a tender for renting holiday houses at the upcoming Zagreb Advent, which, judging by the tender, will take place in fewer locations than before the pandemic and will be much more modest, reports Jutarnji List.

Thus, citizens will enjoy the Christmas atmosphere only on Ban Jelačić Square, European Square, Bogovićeva and Gajeva Streets, and Strossmayer Promenade. This year there will be no skating rink on King Tomislav Square or Advent on Gradec.

According to the tender data, only 93 spaces are available to rent, which is twice less than the two hundred that have been available in recent years. In addition, Jutarnji learned from the City that Zrinjevac and Strossmayer promenade would be the space of the City of Zagreb and the Zagreb Tourist Board. 

As before, Zrinjevac will be decorated and lit, and there will be a cultural program and concerts on the Strossmayer promenade. Unfortunately, food will not be available in these locations. The skating rink was too expensive and will not be set up this year, Jutarnji from the City.

The tender for holiday houses was announced on the auction principle - the starting price for a particular house has been determined, and it will be used by the caterer who makes the best offer.

This is an interruption of the current practice according to the decision of the late Mayor Milan Bandić. Namely, as the media wrote, Zagreb's Advent has so far been ruled by the "kings of Advent," a few companies that would get the right to the location and then resell that location expensively. However, according to the new tender, this will no longer be the case because only the person or company that submitted the bid can rent.

As for prices, they vary from location to location. For a 15 sqm holiday house on Gajeva, with a maximum of six high tables, the minimum is 30 thousand kuna, although there is no doubt that the final price will be much higher. They will also have to pay a daily fee of 35 kuna per square meter of the occupied area. Confectioners will pay the same daily fee, but they have smaller houses at their disposal, up to 9 sqm, with a starting price of 15 thousand kuna.

Stands for occasional sales will pay the least - the starting price is 3 thousand for stands up to 4 sqm, while the fee is 20 kuna per day.

The story is similar for Bogovićeva and Ban Jelačić Square. The prices are slightly lower for Augusta Cesarca Street - European Square and Strossmayer Promenade, where the initial prices range from 5,000 to 7,000 kuna.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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.

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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.

TreebyMG_8252.jpeg

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.

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

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Zagreb Advent 2020 Program Announced, Beginning Saturday

November 25, 2020 - Following the recommendations and decisions of the authorities, Zagreb Advent 2020, under the slogan "Advent in Zagreb, feel the light" will be held in a slightly different capacity, from November 28, when the first Advent candle will be lit, until January 1, 2021. 

HRTurizam reports that special emphasis this year has been placed on cultural events, and during Advent, there will be nine different music festivals with a total of 95 concerts.

There are three novelties this year: Zagreb nativity scene, Light of Advent, and an interactive augmented reality exhibition Virtual Christmas Windows.

"Every year we try to enrich our Advent with novelties and we have decided that this year, which is extraordinary by all parameters, will not be an exception. So we prepared the Light of Advent project where we, with 10 institutions in the Upper Town, will decorate their windows in the holiday spirit, and we invite tenants and everyone else to become part of this initiative. Namely, with this project we want to begin a warm story, bring positive emotions, create a sense of community and, ultimately, encourage our fellow citizens to get involved and thus give their contribution to Advent.

Another novelty is the Zagreb Nativity Scene, more precisely the online exhibition of photographs of Christmas nativity scenes taken from 2007 to 2020, and there is also an interactive augmented reality exhibition Virtual Christmas Windows. This exhibition will bring a touch of Christmas atmosphere using animated motifs of this year's Advent in Zagreb, and will be set in 20 locations in the city in parks, squares, and large open spaces," said Martina Bienenfeld, Zagreb Tourist Board Director. 

Virtual Christmas windows

The traditional story of Advent will be connected with modern technologies, and Advent visitors will be directed to about 20 locations in the wider area of the city (squares and parks). Following the recommendations of the CNIPH, visitors will be able to see the animated content by using the Equinox XR application through their mobile phones.

Light of Advent

Light of Advent is a project by which the Zagreb Tourist Board wants to encourage certain cultural institutions in the Upper Town to decorate their windows in the holiday spirit.

"Because of the pandemic, as well as the earthquake, 2020 was and still is challenging, and with this project, we want to begin a warm story, encourage positive emotions, create a sense of community and, ultimately, encourage local people to get involved and contribute to Advent," said the Zagreb Tourist Board and added that they invited cultural institutions to join and decorate windows with Christmas decorations and positive messages from November 28 to December 31, 2020, as an incentive to others.

The Zagreb Tourist Board and its partners will arrange three locations in the Lower Town (King Tomislav Square, Zrinjevac Park, Trg Republike Hrvatske), four in the Upper Town (Gradec plateau, Bele IV Park and Strossmayer promenade east and west), and they will decorate, with the Zrinjevac branch, an Advent wreath around Manduševac and Christmas pines on St. Mark's Square and Ban Jelačić Square.

"We invite everyone to responsibly enjoy Advent this year, following all measures and recommendations of the authorities, and for those who cannot be with us, we have provided online broadcasts on our social networks," concluded the Tourist Board.

As previously announced, this year, due to the epidemiological situation, there will be no Ice Park on Tomislavac.

News, service information, as well as details of individual programs, are available on the Advent website in Zagreb: www.adventzagreb.hr, and there is also an Advent offer of Zagreb hotels that offer special holiday benefits to all guests and visitors.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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