The Square of the Republic of Croatia

This square is the last in the arc of eight green squares that formed Lenuci’s Horseshoe.

The Croatian National Theatre is located on The Square of the Republic of Croatia. This square is the last in the arc of eight green squares that formed Lenuci’s Horseshoe, the central component of 19th century Zagreb’s urban plan. Well-known Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, who designed forty other European theatres, were responsible for the plans for the building, employing a rich Neo-Baroque style that was at the time thought most suitable for theatres. Officially opened in 1895, the building brings the national opera, ballet and drama companies together under a single roof. With a repertoire that ranges from classics to contemporary pieces, and with both Croatian and international works well represented, the theatre occupies a central place in the cultural life of the capital.

Placed in front of the National Theatre in 1912, the Well of Life is one of Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović’s most popular works. Dating from Meštrović’s youthful, playful period, it is a sensual piece of work that many believe to be among his best. It basically consists of a circular pool surrounded by a bronze frieze of intertwined nude figures. From children to loving couples and old people, the figures appear to be reaching over the lip of the fountain to scoop up the water, suggesting a universal theme of human zest for life and interdependence.

Running along the north side of the square is the main administrative building of Zagreb University. Founded in 1669, it is the oldest university in Croatia, and also one of the oldest in Europe. It currently consists of 29 faculties, three academies and one university centre.The administrative building, built in the 19th century, was originally used as a hospital, and for a time even served as a tobacco factory. In front of the entrance is Ivan Meštrović’s “History of the Croats”, a seated figure of a woman (based on the sculptor’s mother) which eloquently symbolizes the calm strength of the nation. The sculpture was placed here in 1971, and has served as a popular patriotic symbol ever since.

Occupying the west side of the square is the Museum of Arts and Crafts, founded in 1880 and one of the first institutions of its kind in Europe. It was originally charged with the cultivation of traditional crafts and their use in modern design and manufacture. As a result, the School of Decorative Arts (the present day School of Applied Arts and Design) was established next to the museum. The permanent exhibition at the museum covers three floors and presents the development of applied arts from the Gothic period right through to Art-Deco. The display includes clocks and watches, metalwork, glass, ceramics and textiles. The museum also organizes themed exhibitions about the history of design as well as contemporary art shows.

The theme of St George killing the dragon has been a popular motif since medieval times, symbolizing the struggle between good and evil and the victory of Christianity over paganism. This particular portrayal of the saint was produced by Austrian sculptor Anton Fernkorn. The original made its way to a noblemans palace in Vienna in 1853, although a zinc cast was brought to Zagreb. This bronze copy was placed at its current location in 1908, since when the virtuous knight has been on display killing the dragon for just over a century.

Built in the late 19th century to serve as a high school, the Neo-Renaissance palace on Roosevelt Square holds the wide-ranging collections of the Mimara Museum. The museum was founded to display the artworks donated by private collector Ante Topić Mimara, and was first opened to the public in 1987. The permanent exhibition at the museum is organized into a chronological sequence of historical periods, from the times of ancient Egypt and Greece to paintings and drawings by great masters like Raphael, Velasquez, Rubens, Rembrandt and Goya. The museum’s glass collection offers a wonderful insight into the changing artistic values of the glass-making trade over the centuries.

CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Celebrities about Zagreb

Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg (actor) spent the autumn in Zagreb in 2007: Zagreb is an incredible town. I enjoyed sightseeing the old parts of the town, and at night I went to clubs. I was thrilled that it was near Austria and Italy, so I visited Venice, Milan, Ljubljana, Graz, Split... over the weekends.

Source: www.vjesnik.com

THE BLACK KEYS (Patrick)

THE BLACK KEYS (Patrick)

This is our first time in Zagreb. We're really having a great time. We won't be able to see the coast, but we'll get some rest and walk around the city...

Source: INmusic festival

Pixies

Pixies

Big thanks on behalf of the PIXIES for another wonderful day in Zagreb! This is a great festival and a wonderful audience (less rain next time, please!). See you.

Source: INmusic festival

Foals

Foals

We're excited about our first concert in Croatia and delighted that we had the opportunity to walk around the wonderful city of Zagreb.

Source: INmusic festival

David Byrne

David Byrne

If we leave out the hills in one part of the town, Zagreb is a perfect town for cycling. vid Byrne (Talking Heads) on releasing his book Cycling Diaries

Source: www.mvinfo.hr

Alex Kapranos

Alex Kapranos

Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) wrote about Zagreb on his blog: http://bit.ly/nO3yin

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

50Cent

50Cent

I was very looking forward to coming to Zagreb, especially because my mother travelled with me. My people found out everything about it, so that we could see the main stuff in the city!

Source: Hotel Antunović Zagreb

The Fratellis (Jon)

The Fratellis (Jon)

Thanks to everybody who came to see us at the INmusic Festival! We're delighted by the city and hope to see you again.

Source: INmusic festival

Baka DJ, Ruth Flowers

Baka DJ, Ruth Flowers

Zagreb is beautiful, but the people thrilled me the most. Everybody is so kind and outgoing. I could not wish for better hosts.

Source: Hotel Antunović Zagreb

Eric Sardinas

Eric Sardinas

I am looking forward to Zagreb as a destination where I always feel good. It seems it has been too long since the last time I was here, although it was just a year or so. 

Source: www.muzika.hr