Zagreb … Croatia’s cure for a broken heart, and how to out-run a funicular

It is a shame, for the local economy at least, that most tourists arriving in Croatia via Zagreb skip the capital altogether and head straight for the beautiful Dalmatian coast. Zagreb is arguably not as glamorous as Split nor as beautiful as Dubrovnik, but it does have some rather charming sights of its own for visitors to enjoy.

Lots of tourist attractions to enjoy in Zagreb, but there's only one way to go, literally, in order to see them all

Lots of tourist attractions to enjoy in Zagreb, but there’s only one way to go, literally, in order to see them all

Trg ban Josip Jelačić, the main square and geographical heart of Zagreb, showcasing a mix of 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture

Trg ban Josip Jelačić, the main square and geographical heart of Zagreb, showcasing a mix of 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture

The statue of Josip Jelačić declaring war on twentieth century architecture infiltrating his square

The statue of Josip Jelačić declaring war on twentieth century architecture infiltrating his square

Dolac Market, the city's historic and most popular marketplace just a stone's throw away from Trg ban Josip Jelačić, with the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary seen in the background. Every day since the 1930s, locally produced food products and ornaments have been sold here

Dolac Market, the city’s historic and most popular marketplace just a stone’s throw away from Trg ban Josip Jelačić, with the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary seen in the background. Every day since the 1930s, locally produced food products and ornaments have been sold here

The statue of a traditional Dolac Market saleswoman, celebrating the local tradition of carrying produce on one's head without losing balance and tripping down the market steps

The statue of a traditional Dolac Market saleswoman, celebrating the local tradition of carrying produce on one’s head without losing balance and tripping down the market steps

Zagreb is fiercely proud of its Croatian identity and hosts several national museums that celebrate the country’s contribution to art and culture. One fascinating museum is the Croatian Naïve Art Museum, showcasing hundreds of pieces of work by celebrated Croatian artists. This simplistic, almost child-like style of painting was once very popular in the country, often depicting life in rural Croatia.

Zagreb's "Easter Egg from the Heart" outside the Croatian Naive Art Museum, painted by Martin and Stjepan Dukin, Vladimir Ivancan, Dragutin Kovacic and Drago Zufika

Zagreb’s “Easter Egg from the Heart” outside the Croatian Naive Art Museum, painted by Martin and Stjepan Dukin, Vladimir Ivancan, Dragutin Kovacic and Drago Zufika

As well as showcasing Croatian naïve art, this egg also celebrates the tradition of painting eggs for Easter in the Croatian region of Podravina. The size and type of creature that laid this huge egg remains a mystery

As well as showcasing Croatian naïve art, this egg also celebrates the tradition of painting eggs for Easter in the Croatian region of Podravina. The size and type of creature that laid this huge egg remains a mystery

Zagreb Croatia, what to see and do in Zagreb, Easter Egg from the Heart, Croatian Naive Art, Martin and Stjepan Dukin, Vladimir Ivancan, Dragutin Kovacic, Drago Zufika, Podravina, Cirilmetodska, close up farmers

Another fabulous museum found in Zagreb is the unique Museum of Broken Relationships. People worldwide are invited to share their stories about heartache with the museum and to contribute an artefact that symbolises their lose. Far from being morbid, the collection of objects and stories on display in the handful of small rooms making up the museum, is simply delightful revealing a great deal about our insatiable desire to love and be loved. Some of the stories are incredibly moving, some are a little disturbing and most are intended to make one laugh with the contributor who is clearly dealing with his/her lose with a reasonable amount of dignity. Only the most cold-hearted visitor will leave this museum without feeling moved by it in some way.

A rollercoaster of emotion awaits any visitor to the fascinating Museum of Broken Relationships

A rollercoaster of emotion awaits any visitor to the fascinating Museum of Broken Relationships

Zagreb Croatia, things to see and do in Zagreb, Museum of Broken Relationships, Cirilometodska, holy water bottle shaped as the Virgin Mary close up

© Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb

© Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb (click on the photo the see the text more clearly)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb

© Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb

Zagreb Croatia, things to see and do in Zagreb, Museum of Broken Relationships, Cirilometodska, Linksys router close upZagreb Croatia, things to see and do in Zagreb, Museum of Broken Relationships, Cirilometodska, toaster

Enough said

Enough said

Most of the destinations mentioned here and in a previous post on Zagreb’s sights are located in Gradec, the Upper Town of the city. Gradec sits on top of Gornji Grad, a hill that is not terribly high but is rather steep. The easiest way to travel between the Upper and Lower Town areas is via the Zagreb Funicular. It is not too much of an effort – unless one is inflicted with bad knees, lack of stamina or carrying a lot of shopping – to climb the steps running alongside the funicular up to Gornji Grad, and with less than seventy metres of track, the Zagreb Funicular is one of the shortest in the world. Yet, regardless of how able (or lazy) one is, who can resist the charm of a nineteenth century funicular?

The delightful Zagreb Funicular, transporting passengers up and down Grodji Grad since 1893

The delightful Zagreb Funicular, transporting passengers up and down Grodji Grad since 1893

Zagreb Croatia, things to see and do in Zagreb, Funicular entrance Lower Town

Looking down all, er, 66 metres of track towards the Lower Town from the top of the Zagreb Funicular

Looking down all, er, 66 metres of track towards the Lower Town from the top of the Zagreb Funicular

Zagreb Croatia, things to see and do in Zagreb, Funicular, two cars in motion

Next to the top of the Zagreb Funicular is the thirteenth century Lotrščak Tower

Next to the top of the Zagreb Funicular is the thirteenth century Lotrščak Tower

The Lotrščak Tower was originally built in the thirteenth century to protect the southern gate of the city. It now exhibits local art work and keeps time for the city, firing a cannon from the top floor every day at precisely noon.

The cannon used to signal midday from the top of Lotrščak Tower. Thankfully, I was standing next to it well into the afternoon

The cannon used to signal midday from the top of Lotrščak Tower. Thankfully, I was standing next to it well into the afternoon

Apart from its historical interest, and its rather narrow series of ladders to get to the upper floors of the building, Lotrščak Tower also offers some of the most stunning panoramic views across Zagreb.

Looking south towards the Lower Town of Zagreb through one of the windows of Lotrščak Tower

Looking south towards the Lower Town of Zagreb through one of the windows of Lotrščak Tower

Standing out on the roof of Lotrščak Tower, one can enjoy 360 degree views of Zagreb, including St Mark's Church to the north ...

Standing out on the roof of Lotrščak Tower, one can enjoy 360 degree views of Zagreb, including St Mark’s Church to the north …

... and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the east

… and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the east

The Croatian Naïve Art Museum is found in the restaurant district along Tkalčićeva. More about the museum, its opening times and the naïve art movement can be found on the museum’s official website here.

The original Museum of Broken Relationships is found along Cirilometodska Ulica between St Mark’s Church and Lotrščak Tower. Opening times, galleries and details on how you too can contribute your own story of heartbreak to the museum can be found here.

A single ride on the Zagreb Funicular (2014) costs 4 Croatian kuna (around 0.50€/30pence) regardless of the passenger’s age. Excess baggage will cost an extra 4 kuna. The funicular operates every ten minutes, Monday to Sunday between 0630 and 2200. Tickets can be bought from either station, and local travelcards can also be used to cover the cost of the ride.

The Lotrščak Tower is open daily from 9am until 9pm. Admission is just a few Croatian kuna. Try to reach the top before sundown to capture the best photo opportunities, and preferably not just before noon as that cannon is terribly loud when it goes off.

TLT x

 

Zagreb Croatia, things to see and do in Zagreb, St Mark's Church, Crkva Svetog Marka, Trg Svetog Marka, front angleAdmiring the roof rather than raising it: more great sights to enjoy (for free!) in the Croatian capital of Zagreb

 

 

 

 


 

The first great viewpoint along the top of the Old City Walls via Pile Gate: the Placa (Stradun), the Old Town's main street ...

Walking in the footsteps of Lannisters and other characters from Game of Thrones, in the beautiful Croatian city of Dubrovnik

 

 

 

 

 


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1 Response to Zagreb … Croatia’s cure for a broken heart, and how to out-run a funicular

  1. Anne Guy says:

    Well there’s plenty to see and do in Zagreb! You do always manage to seek out the quirky and unusual tourist sights too…the museum of broken hearts is surreal!!! Great looking funicular railway…you just have to take a trip on these remarkable means of transport and much easier on the legs than the steps to achieve your trademark vertiginous photos…many thanks for introducing this entertaining city to your readers!

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