Sept 18, 2019 – Zagreb, Croatia
Today we decided to discover all the specials in Zagreb – handmade shoes, handmade umbrellas, Nikola Tesla’s statue etc. We started after lunch because we also wanted to catch the gas lamps in the upper town getting lit. Our first stop was near the Meterological Column.
The Meteorological column is near the end of the Zrinjevac park, which is a green patch that makes one side of the horseshoe garden starting from the railway station. The famous physician and amateur meteorologist Adolf Holzer built this meteorological column to record temperature, humidity, and air pressure over time in 1884.
135 years later, all the German made instruments continue to work and many locals still check out the weather data. Neither Krishnan nor I can figure out anything more complex than a temperature gauge and of course the time/humidity numbers but this was fascinating. Note – Since the column doesn’t meet today’s standard measurements by the World Meteorological Organisation, so the data isn’t considered official.
A little further down, we come upon Nikola Tesla’s statue. Its on the street named Tesla … he of course, doesn’t need any further introduction.
We walked around this area a bit before heading out to the Croatian National Theatre established in 1860. In 1870 an opera company was added to the theatre and in 1895 it moved to its current location on Marshal Tito Square in the Lower Town. Its a beautiful building with sculpted gardens all around. We sat in one of the many benches here to just view it at leisure.
Krishnan had stumbled upon this particular “umbrella” store that is the oldest in Croatia. The family of Mr. Mijo Cepanec that runs this store makes all their umbrellas by hand and its the fourth generation that manages the store now. This umbrella and parasol making tradition is continued since 1912 and the store is located in a mall off the main road or Ilica street. We walked into the store but quickly realised that we couldn’t buy any of the umbrellas since the handmade ones were only the old style non-folding kind. They did have a few folding ones but they were from China and not handmade, so we just took pictures and moved on.
Read more about them on this link – https://www.madein-platform.com/crafts/cerovecki-umbrellas-umbrella-and-parasol-making
As we walked back towards the Main Horseman square on Ilica Street, we discovered another Zagreb special – handmade shoes. The store is named as “BB” and an interesting thing is almost all the handmade shoe makers have these lit display boxes on the main road. The “BB” hand made shoes are exclusively for men and since Krishnan wasn’t keen on getting a pair of handmade shoes, we kept walking towards the upper town. I did send a picture to Keshav giving him the coordinates since he has a shoe fetish :):).
As we went towards the upper town from the road that’s on the left of the Dolac Market, we suddenly came upon this tunnel. Later we found out that this is the Grič Tunnel which was built during WWII. It fell into disuse after WWII and was again used during 1990’s as the Croatian war for independence gained traction. In 2016 it was opened to tourists and it connects two streets, Mesnička Street and Stjepan Radić Street plus it has a central hall etc. There are plans to use it for exhibitions and other tourist events.
We soon reached the upper town via the cathedral of Our lady of the Stone Gate. We were just in time to see the gas lamps being lit and I managed to capture a video of the same.
We also clicked a picture of a necktie store on our way back … yes, the Croatians are the creators of the necktie. Its called the Kravata in Croatian.
We then walked back to the Airbnb via a different route and on the way found this beautiful street art on the wall of a building …
A special day spent visiting Zagreb specials !