Sunday, 16 February 2020

Medvedgrad: Renovated Fortress to Boast Pantry with 13th Century Scents!

Fancy a coffee in the basement of the fort and "stealing" a recipe from a medieval pantry, seeing three different museums, and visiting the top of the southern part of Medvednica and enjoying a breathtaking view of the Croatian metropolis, Zagreb? At the end of this year, visitors to the legendary Medvedgrad fortress will be able to enjoy all of the above. The beautiful Medvedgrad fortress was built in the 13th century to defend against Tatar attacks, and has never been conquered.

As Vecernji list/Mateja Jezovita writes on the 15th of February, 2020, construction work on the Medvedgrad fortress' third refurbishment, which has been going on since back in November 2018, is currently in its completion phase and in three weeks, everything will be ready for the application for an operational permit. After that, work on landscaping and the museum exhibits will begin, which will run through November. If everything goes according to plan, the official opening of the Medvedgrad fortress will be in December 2020.

The southern tower will house a permanent exhibition called: "In the Kingdom of the Ancient Forests" through which visitors will be able to find out what plant and animal species can be found on Medvednica, such as lynx, deer, wild cats and oak trees. The star will be a small palace where a second exhibition will be housed: ''The Secret of the Ancient Mountain.''

That exhibition will portray the myths and legends of Medvednica through motifs from the forest, such as fairies. In addition, installations called the "Shadow Theatre" will be installed. With a combination of sound, light and shadows, as well as a smoky effect in the room, a costumed guide will introduce visitors to folk tales, such as the one about the so-called Black Queen. The whole experience will be complemented by a pantry where you can see medieval objects and recipes, as well as smell them as if they came directly into the present day from the 13th century. The Grand Palace, however, will have its own "Enchanted History" which will be a time machine through the past of the mountains and Medvedgrad, which has been ruled by more than 150 different masters.

''This part of the Medvedgrad fortress will also include a restaurant, an administrative office and a hall that can be used to hold professional meetings, presentations and educational workshops. Old tiles were specially commissioned 35 years ago, so the requirement was that the same ones should be placed again despite the fact that they are no longer on the market.

''In the end, we found some that are very similar,'' explained the director of Medvednica Nature Park, Marina Popijac.

''Since Medvedgrad is not connected to the water supply, rainwater will be used. That's why we've installed a flushing system,'' said Josip Kujek, the construction manager. They had a big problem, he added, with waterproofing the wall in that room because they couldn't dig outside without damaging the archaeological site. A solution was found in injection, which means that through the special openings on the inside, they released a resin that filled the holes on the outside. As for the smaller palace, that was also a particular challenge.

''The interior was in the worst condition possible, it was completely shabby. We removed the old ceiling panels and installed new ones, and painted and varnished the wooden structure. There used to be land here, and now we have put up panels that mimic the former "peasant" floor,'' said Kujek.

Any material used in the restoration had to be approved by the appropriate institution in order to maintain its original appearance.

''Everything should retain its original appearance. So we tried out dozens of different grout fillings that differed only in their hues until we found the most similar one, which was almost identical to the one of the past. All the walls have been restored, and so far 4,000 square metres have been "drained" explained Marina Popijac and Josip Kujek.

The construction part of the Medvedgrad fortress is now nearing completion, with minor repairs expected over the next few months, and a plan that will include, among other things, the introduction of new trails that will allow pedestrians to walk through and around the fortress. The list also includes the purchase of two electric cars to transport visitors from Zagreb to Medvednica, as well as eight electric bicycles that can be rented.

Video surveillance is yet to be installed, which, according to the director of the Nature Park, will be an important novelty in Medvedgrad.

"We could have used some cameras just a few weeks ago as some vandals broke in and smashed a forklift truck and glass. Fortunately, the Homeland Altar, as it isn't being restored, was protected by pallets and tarpaulins during the works, which now serve as a "defense" against devastation,'' said the director of the Medvednica Nature Park, Marina Popijac.

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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Zagreb Again Breaking All Tourism Records This Year

In spite of the extremely high temperatures in June and now in early July, the streets of Zagreb are filled with tourists, writes, who are breaking the tourism records of the capital.

While the most oft-repeated cliche about the shortcoming of Croatian tourism is just selling "the sun and the sea", Zagreb is successful, and it doesn't have the sea as the selling point. Without the sea around, the sun can be more of a liability when it gets really hot!

So, what has Zagreb done to make up for its obvious lack of the seaside? They've created a bunch of events taking place during the summer, that the tourist agencies can use to attract the tourists. And while Advent in Zagreb still remains the biggest tourist event for the Croatian capital, other events have helped Zagreb outgrow many other towns in Croatia, some of them located on the seaside and with a much longer tourist tradition. Zagreb has managed to find its position on the long list of the European city-break destinations, in all seasons.

The recently reported numbers prove that trend: in April of 2019 more than 10.000 more arrivals have been recorded in Zagreb, compared to April 2018. In the same period, more than 24.000 more overnight stays have also been recorded! Most tourists come to Zagreb from Korea, which is not surprising if you've recently taken a walk around the city centre. In April alone this year, they accounted for more than ten thousand arrivals. Almost seven thousand tourists came to Zagreb from Italy this April, and Germany and China follow.

The number of arrivals is continuously growing in 2019, as well as the total yearly number of arrivals since 2014! It is to be expected that the trend will continue in the really hot months of the year, as last year over 160.000 arrivals were recorded in Zagreb. A lot of those tourists do make their way to the seaside, but the tourist workers of Zagreb have found the way to keep them in the city for a few days, which is what makes those numbers so impressive.

Once the hot days of summer are over, we'll start getting ready for the craziness of Advent in Zagreb in December, which can be expected to break more tourism records.

Read more about Zagreb on our dedicated Zagreb page!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Advent in Zagreb: Free Public Transport at Weekends

December the 5th, 2018 - Advent in Zagreb is well and truly bringing the Croatian capital into the joyous atmosphere of the festive season, and the three time winner of the best advent destination in Europe is offering what it usually does at this time of year, once again - free public transport use at weekends.

As writes, the City of Zagreb has provided Zagreb's residents and tourists alike with the free use of the city's public transport every weekend for the duration of Advent in Zagreb, which will last until January the 6th, 2019.

Zagreb's long standing mayor Milan Bandić confirmed for a previous HRT radio show that the capital's trams and buses operating in zone 1 will not charge for their services on weekends during the period of the current advent festivities in the Croatian capital. The move comes as no surprise and has been the norm during advent.

Nevertheless, a small change is that one of Zagreb's most popular attractions, the Zagreb funicular (Uspinjača), which will be transporting passengers to midnight, has to be paid for as normal for the entire duration of Advent in Zagreb, which has otherwise not been the case over the past few years.

To be more specific, Zagreb's public transport will be free during the period from Friday at 12:00 (midday) to Sunday at midnight. It should be noted that during this period, traffic will be prohibited in certain otherwise busy areas, those areas are Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square (Zrinjevac), Strossmayer Square, and King Tomislav Square, where only public transport vehicles may be used during the aforementioned periods.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated travel and lifestyle pages for further information like this, and much more. If it's just the capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.


Click here for the original article by Anton Smrekar for

Source: HRT

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Tourism: September Remains Three Times Weaker Than August

While Zagreb out-shined its coastal rivals by far, the post-August drop is still steep.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Increase in Tourism for Zagreb County in 2018's First Six Months

Wine roads, bike routes, numerous events and a rich gastronomical offer, coupled with the immediate vicinity of the City of Zagreb and the opening of several new hotels have transformed Zagreb County into a year-round destination. A 34 percent increase in tourism confirms that fact.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Why Has First CETS Zagreb Fair Been Postponed?

The fair has been moved from December this year, to May next year.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

EU Funds Help Zagreb's New Tourist Offer Impress

EU funds help Zagreb's tourism take on a new perspective.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

New Zagreb Fair to Boast Concert Halls, Hotels, Parks...

A face lift for Zagreb Fair?

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Time Travel is Possible with ''Zagreb Time Travel'' - First AR and VR Tour!

Fancy taking a trip back through time in Croatia's capital city? Now you can!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Zagreb's Funicular Needs Servicing - When Will It Be Unavailable?

One of Zagreb's most endearing attractions needs a general service, find out here when it will be out of order.

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