Bana Jelacic Square is Zagreb’s main square, honouring Count Josip Jelacic. This high achieving army general abolished serfdom and conducted a number of successful military campaigns in the 1848 Revolutions. Although the square’s official title is the Trg Bana Jelacica, locals generally just refer to it as Jelacic Square. You will find it in Zagreb’s Upper Town, not far from Dolac market. A large number of streets, like Radiceva, Illica, Gajeva, Splavnica, Bakaceva, Harmica and Jurišiceva, all meet at this pedestrianised area where no cars can enter, so those on foot and bicycles have greater freedom to explore. Watch out for the trams, however!
Stone Gate (or Kamenita Vrata, as it is known in Croatian) originally was one of five gates in the fortified walls surrounding Gradec (today known as the Old Town of Zagreb), which guarded access to the district. The Stone Gate allowed access to the eastern side. These days, it is the only gate left standing, and is an excellent place from which to begin your explorations of the Old Town. It is said that this was the only structure left standing after the destruction of 1731, as it was decorated with a picture of Jesus and Mary. In order to preserve this picture which had brought about such a miracle, a church was built around it and it now can be viewed inside a case. Worshippers regularly visit to pray here.
Staro Selo Ethnological Museum is unique, in that it contains the perfectly preserved houses of the village of Kumrovec. For this reason it is by far the most significant museum of its kind in Zagreb, found to the north west of the city. The thatched buildings of the village date back to the 1800s, and include businesses such as blacksmiths and candle making workshops. Visitors can inspect real tools from this time which would have been used by the craftsmen. The most famous home in this village cum museum is that of Marshal Tito – on the anniversary of his death and his birthday, more people visit this part of the grounds than anywhere else.
The Atelier-Ivan Mestrovic Foundation is located in the former home and workshop of Atelier-Ivan Mestrovic, the famous Croatian sculptor, architect, designer and painter. The building itself dates from the 1600s and today displays his huge collections of various works. Through the displays and permanent exhibitions, one gets a true sense of his inspiration for his works and his daily life. In the on site shop, catalogues and books on the artist are available for purchase.
The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb is home to a number of the world’s most complete archaeological discoveries. Their amazing level of preservation means we can learn so much more about ancient civilizations. On the ground floor is a permanent display of relics such as ancient coins, paper money and medals. On the second floor are artefacts from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as from the Middle Ages. On the third floor are artefacts from prehistory and ancient Egypt.