Thursday, 21 January 2021

Zagreb Summer Today Has 45 More Days Than During 1960s

January 21, 2021 – What will be welcome news to Zagreb's increasing number of transitory summertime visitors, may be more difficult for permanent residents (and their children) to deal with, as it's revealed the hot Zagreb summer has been extended by a considerable 45 days since the 1960s

Over recent years, the Croatian capital's rising popularity with visitors has made it the fastest-growing tourist destination in the country. But, its increasing footfall from those on holiday is not the only similarity the city now shares with the sun-drenched coast; their climates, once separate and distinct, are now closer than ever before. In fact, Zagreb summer now has on average 45 more days to its duration than it did during 1960s.

While summertime tourists don't seem to mind basking in the sunny streets while catching the city sights in t-shirts and shorts, many residents are only too aware of how stifling an entire season can be if spent solely in the capital. Zagreb summer is traditionally a time when many try to get away, to go cool off on the coast. And yet, despite this being a time-honoured tradition, the extent of the rapid and recent extension of Zagreb summer will still come as a shock to many.

The surprising details were revealed in a rather long article in yesterday's Vecernji List. Within the sprawling text, Doctor of Science Ivana Herceg Bulić, a professor at the Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb and the head of the newly established Centre for Climatological Research said “Based on previous measurements, our analysis shows that every ten years the number of Zagreb summer days - the number of days with a maximum temperature above 25 degrees Celsius - on Grič increases by eight days. In Maksimir, on the other hand, located in a less developed part of town, measurements indicate an increase of seven additional summer days in ten years. Only when we approach the end of the city like Pleso do we reach the number of six summer days more. Zagreb today has 45 more summer days than we had in the middle of the last century."

city-3335667_1920.jpgThe centre of Zagreb is the area of the capital which has experienced the most sustained rise in temperatures

The reason for the increase in Zagreb summer is less welcome than the hot days it provides; global warming and climate change are the cause, compounded by inadequate urban planning. As TCN has recently reported, the population of Zagreb continues to rise. As it does so, the demand for new buildings increases and the city boundaries extend. This creates an island of heat whose concrete retains the warmth of the day, long after the sun has set, resulting in sustained high temperatures. Studies show that such conditions are disadvantageous to health.

The information given by Dr Herceg Bulić comes from a new report by the Centre for Climatological Research. Coming just days after Zagreb residents were informed that they had just breathed the worst quality air in the whole of the European Union, you could forgive anyone considering to make their Zagreb summer exodus a more permanent move. But, the news isn't all that bad.

Less built-up areas of the city, those with extensive parkland and who have kept the trees that line their avenues, record a much less harsh summer temperature. In Croatian cities like Osijek and Karlovac, where parkland and trees within the city are cherished, the summers are far from stifling. Though climate change requires a global response, Zagreb can easily address its own summer burden with better urban planning, the preservation of grasslands, parklands and trees, plus the planting of more. Such foresight is necessary to embrace now if we are to ensure that Zagreb summer in the future will be as welcoming to visitors and as wonderful for residents as it is today.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Around Zagreb: Meet Zagreb Statues, Dressed for Tie Day

ZAGREB October 18, 2020 - Happy Tie Day! Worn today by millions across the world, the tie is a Croatian invention. In celebration of its Croatian origin, some of the most prominent monuments in Zagreb are each year dressed temporarily in red cravats. In these photos, we meet Zagreb statues on Tie Day

Croatia is today celebrating Tie Day. The country is the birthplace of the necktie or cravat - the forerunner of the tie worn by millions across the world. In the Croatian capital, Zagreb statues have been fitted with red cravats to mark the occasion. They are instantly noticeable to all of the city's visitors and residents, reminding us of the tie's Croatian origin.

IMG_6805.jpegJosip Jelačić, the most famous and most prominently placed of all Zagreb statues

The cravat originated in the 1630s and was worn by members of the Croatian military. Renowned for their ferocious fighting and bravery, Croatian soldiers fought in the army of King Louis XIII of France. Ever holding a sharp eye for the aesthetic, the French admired the Croats' red neckties and took them back to France where they were popularised. The French word cravat describes how the tie should be worn – a la Croat.

Tie Day is 18 October and to mark the occasion, over 40 city monuments are today wearing red cravats. These figures are scattered across the city, though some of the most famous are located in the heart of the Croatian capital. They can be visited on an untaxing stroll around beautiful Zagreb city centre. In this photos series, join us as we meet Zagreb statues on Tie Day.

IMG_6745.jpegKing Tomislav, facing the main train station - one of the most-striking Zagreb statues

King Tomislav of Croatia

The 10th-century first king of Croatia, Tomislav fended off encroaching influences from all sides in order to hold his kingdom together. That it fell apart after his death perhaps tells us something about the man's singular abilities. He stands impressively at the entrance to the three incredible parks in the heart of Zagreb, facing the main train station. It is thanks to him that Tomislav has remained such a popular boy's name in Croatia.


IMG_6704.jpeg

August Šenoa

Born to an ethnic German and Slovak family, it is for his contributions to Croatian literature, language and identity that August Šenoa is remembered. Although he passed away aged just 43, so influential are his books and writings that he is regarded as the father of the Croatian novel and of modern national literature. 'I have never seen more horrible images, nor deeper sorrow in my life,' he wrote of the destruction visited upon his home city Zagreb in the earthquake of 1880. He died of an illness caught while assisting others in the earthquake's aftermath.

IMG_6800.jpegOne of the more contemporary Zagreb statues, Antun Gustav Matoš sits overlooking Zagreb on Strossmayer Promenade

Antun Gustav Matoš

A giant of Croatian modernist literature, Antun Gustav Matoš's wide-ranging legacy contains poetry, journalism, essays, art critique, short stories and beautifully emotive travel writing. He was separated from his home country of Croatia for 13 years of his 41-year existence, at first, as he was studying overseas, later, because he had deserted from the army. However, his home was never far from his thoughts. Croatian landscapes, Zagorje and the city of Zagreb are common locations depicted in his work (although he was actually born in Tovarnik, Vukovar-Srijem, eastern Croatia).

IMG_6755.jpegAndrija Medulić has two Zagreb statues. You can find this one at the southern entrance to Zrinjevac park, where no less than five Zagreb statues are wearing red cravats.

Andrija Medulić

Born in Zadar in 1510, Andrija Medulić was an artist who worked in fresco, painting and etching. Born to Italian parents and active as a painter in Venice, it's doubtful he ever heard the Croatian version of his family name. He certainly didn't use it. His works are kept in some of the most famous European museums including the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Uffizi and Pitti galleries in Venice and also in the Graphic Collection of the National and University Library in Zagreb.

IMG_6737.jpegAndrija Medulić has two Zagreb statues

IMG_6749.jpegIvan Mažuranić is one of several Zagreb statues you can find in Zrinjevac park

Ivan Mažuranić

Born into a regular, non-aristocratic household in Novi Vinodolski in 1814, Ivan Mažuranić nevertheless rose to the status of Ban of Croatia. He was the first commoner to do so. A poet, linguist, lawyer and politician, he is considered to be one of the most important figures in Croatia's political and cultural life in the mid-19th century thanks to his contributions to the development of the Croatian law system, economics, linguistics, and poetry.

IMG_6784.jpeg

St George

A saint of both the Christian and Islamic religions, George of Lydda was the Christian son of an ethnically-Greek member of the Roman army. He followed in his father's footsteps and was popularised during the Crusades for his refusal to renounce his faith. He is often referenced as a slayer of dragons, as he is here on Radićeva - his horse stands on top of the slain beast. Despite this clear depiction, and St George being the patron saint of England (he is also claimed in the same role by Ethiopia, Georgia, and Catalonia and Aragon in Spain), this English writer still had to ask the tour guide on a Segway in the background who was depicted in this Zagreb statues.

IMG_6665.jpeg

Tin Ujević

One of the more contemporary Croatians to have a statue in Zagreb, Tin Ujević was a Croatian poet, considered by many to be the greatest poet in 20th century Croatian literature. Born in Vrgorac in the Dalmatian hinterland, his continued studies brought him to Zagreb where he studied under Antun Gustav Matoš. In addition to his poetry, Ujević also wrote essays, short stories, literature critique, and worked as a translator on many documents of a philosophical nature from many foreign languages. He lived in many major cities throughout his life including Paris, Split and Belgrade as is remembered as a bit of a bohemian. He is known to have frequented cafe bars in the area around Kino Europa, where his statue now stands.

IMG_6762.jpeg

Marija Juric Zagorka

One of the most widely-read and popular Croatian writers of all time, Marija Juric Zagorka was a trailblazer for women's standing in Croatian society and for liberalism. Highly educated and intelligent, she was forced into an abusive marriage to a Hungarian man 17 years her elder by her own mother. Who could imagine a close Croatian family member meddling so woefully in the affairs of another? She broke free of this disastrous relationship and started life afresh in Zagreb, where she became the country's first female journalist in the 1890s. She died aged 84 and left behind a colossal written legacy, so it's perhaps fitting that her statue now rests in the small, peaceful park area aside Tkalčićeva.

IMG_6758.jpeg

Giorgio Giulio Clovio aka Juraj Julije Klović

Regarded as the last very notable artist in the tradition of the illuminated manuscript's long, original era, Giorgio Giulio Clovio was a painter associated with the Italian High Renaissance. Born in the Kotor village of Grižane in 1498, his works are today among the best preserved and most cherished within his chosen mediums.

IMG_6753.jpeg

Fran Krsto Frankopan

The last male descendant of the Croatian noble house of Frankopan, Fran Krsto is best remembered as the co-founder of a failed attempt (alongside his brother-in-law Ban Petar Zrinski) to rebel against Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary Leopold 1st. He was also a writer of poetry.

IMG_6667.jpeg

Nikola Tesla

An inventor and hugely innovative engineer, Nikola Tesla is best known for pioneering the alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. AC enables electricity to be provided safely to every home, street and business today. He was born in 1856 in the village of Smiljan, in Lika, present-day Croatia. He spent most of his adult life working in America and mystique continues to surround him because many of his wondrous ideas remain unrealised. He also worked within the fields of early x-rays, wireless power supply, electromagnetic radiation and radio waves, before his death in 1943. He sits in a pondering position on a street that also bears his name.

IMG_6770.jpeg

August Cesarec

A native of Zagreb, August Cesarec was a Croatian left-wing intellectual, writer and politician. As a youing man, he was a patriotic idealist. This lead him into trouble when he and cohorts were discovered to be plotting an assassination on Croatia's then-Ban. He was imprisoned and while in captivity, discovered and turned to socialist politics. He wrote poems, plays, short stories and novels and participated in literary magazines run by Miroslav Krleža. Alongside most of the left-wing intelligentsia of Croatia, he was arrested and imprisoned by the fascist Ustasha regime at the start of the Second World War. Following a failed escape attempt, he and others were shot by the Ustasha in Maksimir woods.

IMG_6693.jpeg

Ruđer Bošković

A polymath who operated as a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian and Jesuit priest, Dubrovnik-born Ruđer Bošković is remembered for many groundbreaking discoveries, not least he absence of atmosphere on the Moon, a precursor of atomic theory and many contributions to astronomy. He lends his name to the largest Croatian research institute working in the fields of natural sciences and technology. The Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb has been responsible for countless scientific discoveries and is famous all over the world.

IMG_6660.jpeg

Josip Jelačić

Former Ban of Croatia and commander of all Habsburg troops within the country, Josip Jelačić's reputation can be difficult to understand. He sought autonomy for Croatia while remaining loyal to the Habsburgs, helping to put down similar moves towards independence in neighbouring Hungary. He was born in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (present-day Serbia) in 1801 and the very house where he was born was bought from private owners by the Serbian state and gifted the country's Croatian minority in 2020. The most famous statue in Zagreb because of its location on the main square (also named after Josip Jelačić), he used to face north, signifying the Ban's struggle for autonomy from Hungary. Communists removed the statue. Following Croatia's independence, it was put back facing south, as though warding off invaders from the direction of Bosnia. That doesn't seem to have worked so well (joke!) 'Beneath the horse' is a popular place to arrange meeting a friend.

IMG_6726.jpeg

Josip Juraj Strossmayer

Osijek-born Josip Juraj Strossmayer was a Croatian politician and Catholic bishop. His desire was simultaneously the unification of all south Slavic peoples and the unification of lands that strongly resemble modern-day Croatia into a single autonomous region. He used church money to build schools, libraries, galleries and churches and to help the poor. This incredible statue of Strossmayer was made by Croatia's greatest ever sculptor, the internationally renowned Ivan Meštrović. It sits inside a park also named after the bishop.

IMG_6801.jpeg


On these links you can check out the other features in our Around Zagreb series:

AROUND ZAGREB VIDEO: Zagreb to Zagorje in a Yugo Car

Around Zagreb Mirogoj Cemetery on All Saints


PHOTOS: Around Zagreb Dolac Market with a Michelin-starred Chef





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

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Friday, 7 August 2020

350 Colourful Flags Will Cover Zagreb At New International Flag Festival

August 7, 2020 - Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica, Zrinjevac, Europski trg and Ul. Augusta Cesarca will bloom brightly with banners at the International Flag Festival next week

Zagreb will erupt with colour this August as the city welcomes its first International Flag Festival. Ban Jelačić Square, Zrinjevac park, Europe Square and Ulica Augusta Cesarca will be covered in eye-catching banners made by artists from Argentina, Uruguay, Finland, Russia, India, Italy, Canada, USA, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

38538331_1851442268265080_134240461261897728_o.jpg
© Međunarodni festival umjetničkih zastavica / 

Trial runs for the International Flag Festival have taken place in previous years as part of the popular Cest Is d’Best Festival. However, the adornments have proved such a popular addition to city parks and streets that the run of flags has been expanded and given its own dedicated event.

Artists from over 20 countries will take part in this year’s inaugural event. The theme for the 2020 edition is European Identity and Europe Intimately. Each artist will deliver their own vision of what Europe means to them.

101010308_3026431647432797_9158887771534786560_o.jpg
© Međunarodni festival umjetničkih zastavica / International Flag Festival

Keep an eye out for the festival of flags in the Croatian capital from Monday. It’s doubtful you’ll be able to miss the wonderful display! The International Flag Festival runs from 10th August to 20th August.

Monday, 27 July 2020

After Floods, Earthquake, COVID-19, The City Is Not Broken: This Is Zagreb!

July 27, 2020 – OPINION: Marc Rowlands downplays the doom and gloom, claiming it will take even more than 2020's disasters to permanently damage Zagreb

International readers must think the city has fallen. After the triple hit of COVID-19, the strongest earthquake in a century, and last weekend's floods, they must imagine the people of Zagreb to be largely underwater, the tips of their toes resting on rubble, struggling to breathe above the waves through their surgical masks.

Their suspicions would only be justified if they're reading the comments sections of the coverage. “Oh, whatever next?”, “What will become of us?”, “May God save us!”, “First an earthquake, now snow! It's the end of the world!”, “It's because of global warming, I told you years ago. Now, not even my bitterness can save us”. Jadni smo (poor us).

That's because there are two types of people in this world; the doom-mongers - useless pessimists who sigh, tut, and briefly sympathise while reading the news, and then there are the positive thinkers who actually get up off their ass and help out. Sadly, the internet is full of the former. Thankfully, Zagreb is full of the latter.

Take for example Mirna Mrčela, who rescued a man from a sinking car on Friday night. Did she stop to worry about the implications for her or for the sunken city before diving into waters on Miramarska street to save him? She did not.

What about the young Zagreb residents who gave up their free time to help rebuild people's homes following this year's earthquakes? Or those who volunteered to help move children from the damaged wards of a hospital? What about the thousands of Croats who thought of innovative or compassionate schemes to raise money for those affected? Or the many more who donated? Or those who used their own drones to help assess damage to buildings? Was their assistance delayed by worry and self-pity? No.

image.jpg
Thousands of young people have been gathering outside the Croatian National Theatre at weekends. The real picture in Zagreb © Marc Rowlands

Even aside those who actually helped out, the story of Zagreb in the wake of both the earthquake and the floods has been one of irrepressible resilience, optimism, and joy. Thousands of young people have gathered outside the Croatian National Theatre at weekends simply enjoying to be, and each other. In recent weeks, Ribnjak Park, Zrinjevac Park, and Strossmayer Promenade in the city have come alive with gastronomic events, music, and people enjoying themselves.

On Monday 27 July, as the sun shines brightly above Zagreb, the last remnants of the flood are all but gone. People are at work, as usual, and some tourists can be seen taking tours around Tkalčićeva and the cathedral. No matter what news story comment sections might tell you, this city is open for business. Zagreb has seen much worse than this. And it will take a lot more than rain, earthquakes or, yes, even snow to dampen its spirits.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Irresponsibility in Coronavirus Era Costs: Will Zagreb Parks Close?

Croatia is not in quarantine, and that's extremely important to point out. People can leave their houses amid the coronavirus pandemic, but not their cities/counties/towns of registered permanent residence. People are free to leave their houses to go to pharmacies and the food stores which remain open as they're of course classed as essential. 

What people cannot do, is gather together, wander and sit around aimlessly on benches, on streets or in parks. Social distancing, however it may sound to some, appears to be an effective way of controlling the spread of coronavirus.

Across Facebook, there have been countless posts from people asking if lockdown was over now, because of the amount of people running, jogging, walking and appearing to have very normal family days out in parks. This has unfortunately been especially true in Zagreb, where, ironically, the most coronavirus positive patients are located.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of April, 2020, in the face of people continuing to break the rules, the National Civil Protection Headquarters has warned that there has been no relaxation to the country's stringent anti-epidemic measures, because any failure to comply with the instructions will only prolong this less than ideal situation and put people's health and in some cases, lives, at even more risk.

As Jutarnji list has unofficially reported, in the next few days, there will be increased control of all areas where the gathering of more people has been recorded.

Failure to adhere to the measures which are firmly in place, for which violations are punishable, more specifically, failure to reduce the crowds on popular promenades, picnic areas and parks would result in the complete closure of such areas, which, in Zagreb in particular, would mean the closure of Bundek, Jarun and even Sljeme.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section on coronavirus in Croatia for rolling updates and important information.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Parks of Zagreb

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Zagreb to Get a Large New Park in Blato District

A little more green for the people of Zagreb. 

Search