A short film with the goal to capture positive energy of the city of Zagreb, Croatia. Material for this film was filmed during the period 2010-2012 by Marko Vrdoljak, postproduction and special effects were made by Dražen Zeljković while music and sound effects were made by Zvonko Tešić. Video is awarded at 50th International TourFilm Festival, Lecce, Italy, Zagreb TourFilm Festival, Croatia and 15. ITF ’CRO 2012., Solin, Croatia.
The city of Zagreb, capital of Croatia, located on the historic and political threshold between East and West, illustrates both the continental and Mediterranean spirit of the Croatian nation.
Zagreb is the cultural, scientific, economic, political and administrative centre of the Republic of Croatia with nearly one million inhabitants, almost a quarter of the entire Croatian population. Over the centuries, the city was inhabited by people coming from all over Europe; and, in recent years, by people coming from different parts of Croatia, ensuring a rich cultural life.
Zagreb is a safe city whose doors are always open warmly inviting all those who wish to get to know it. The façades of Zagreb’s buildings reflect the ebb and flow of history, while its streets and squares bear witness to the coming together of the many cultures that have shaped the identity of this laid-back capital. The best thing to do is when you first arrive is to take in Zagreb’s wonderful atmosphere, which, as many claim, is only surpassed by the legendary beauty of the local womenfolk.
Zagreb can be described as a city with the biggest lounge. The moment the sun appears in the sky in spring, restaurant, café and coffeehouse terraces open for custom. Streets become promenades, places to get a cup of coffee, relax or have a business meeting. A combination of Mediterranean cordiality and northern business sense make any visitor feel welcome. The traditional International Folklore Festival, the global festival of street performers Cest is d’Best, outdoor summer concerts on Zrinjevac, St. Martin’s Day and many other open-air events increase the feeling of communality. Zagreb Green Horseshoe and the main square of Ban Josip Jelačić have always been hubs of social life in Zagreb. Nowadays, this has spread across the whole city centre, around the pedestrianised zone and even further. People from all walks of life can find something of interest here. Cafés around Ban Jelačić, or simply ‘Square’ as it is often referred to, attract prominent figures. Preradović, also known as Flower Square, is loved by artists and young people, as well as an older crowd.
Tkalčićeva, once the border between Gradec and Kaptol, used to be full of pubs and served as the red-light district, but nowadays it is a trendy destination for rendezvous and relaxation for the whole family. Tkalčićeva is where you want to be for nightlife in Zagreb – a place where the sounds of music mix with laughter and cheering around tables.
The romantic among you can take the funicular on Ilica street, the shortest cable car in the world, only 66 meters long. It has been transporting the citizens of Zagreb between the Upper and Lower Town since 1890 and maintained its original look and construction until today.
By the upper station of the funicular, there is the Lotršćak Tower with Grič cannon. Sited in the upper town, the tower originally was part of the city’s defences and today it contains a museum and a souvenir shop. According to one legend, a cannon shot from the Lotrščak tower soared over the river Sava and landed in the Turks’ encampment, right on a platter of chicken that was being carried to the Pasha for his lunch. The Pasha decided against attacking a city of fearsome sharpshooters so Zagreb escaped invasion. Since this ace shot was fired at noon, a cannon has been fired at that time from the same tower ever since.
The Upper Town, formerly called Gradec, has kept its old appearance to a great extent, and includes a number of Zagreb sites. It was fortified with walls and towers in the 13th century, and many legends are associated with it. Stone Gate, originating from 1266, is the only remaining out of four gates to Gradec. The great fire in 1731 burnt down surrounding houses but the painting of the Mother of God displayed at the Gate miraculously remained undamaged. Grateful citizens built a chapel within the arch of the old Stone Gate that has since become Zagreb’s biggest shrine and is regularly visited by people who come to light a candle and thank Virgin Mary for protecting them.
The colourful Church of St. Mark, one of Zagreb symbols, is located on the Upper Town main square. It was built in the 13th century. In the 14th century it got luxurious Gothic south portal and in the 19th century the roof covered with tiles assorted to represent emblems of Zagreb (white castle on red background) and Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. In the first half of the 20th century the altar was decorated with works of world famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Next to the Church, the seat of the Croatian Parliament and the Croatian Government are located.
The Zagreb Cathedral is the most monumental and the most impressive Gothic-style sacral building southeast of the Alps and largest in Croatia. Its towers are reaching 108 meters. Cathedral is first mentioned in 11th century; however, it was destroyed by the Tatar invasion. The current structure was built in the latter half of the 13th century, although many alterations and renovations have been made since that time, changing the structure almost completely. Due to Turkish threat in 15th century fortifications were built around the cathedral.
Just a few meters off the main Ban Josip Jelačić Square there are stairs leading to Dolac – the biggest and most popular marketplace in Zagreb. Opened in 1930, it provides groceries to citizens ever since. If you need fruit or vegetables, meat or fish or if you just want to experience vivide and colourful rush, Dolac is a great place.