Zagreb is a far bigger city than Ljubljana. Ljubljana is more appealing from a touring perspective. But what Zagreb lacks in charm and outstanding attractions, it makes up for with the food options. We had little idea about what we would do in Zagreb other than see the city and visit a few museums. What we found was a Culinary Experience with fish, meat, and other dishes very well prepared paired with fine Croatian wines.
They say that historically, Zagreb was comprised of two rival hilltop settlements. Oddly enough only one hill is at all noticeable, and it isn't very high. This hill is home to the "upper town" which is reached by an easy walk or a very short funicular ride. (Do keep in mind we have recently made serious climbs to castles in several nearby cities. …)
The upper town is most visited for the St Mark's Church with its two shields (one for each settlement, I think) on the roof (interesting for a brief visit) and the Naive Art Museum (housing very fine examples of art with a primitive childlike simplicity...totally worth visiting.)
|St Mark's Church|
|Naive Art by Mijo Kovacic|
|Naive Art by Ivan Vecanj|
|Baby Mackerel & Zucchini|
|Pie & Ice Cream|
The architecture of central Zagreb (housing the theater & several museums) is dominated by buildings from the late 1800's to early 1900's. (Newer Communist architecture is simple and not especially memorable.) What struck us was that so many of the public buildings were kind of a basic mustard yellow color...see a few samples below. Pat has never cared for basic mustard nor does she care for the color. Maybe this also colored her perception of Zagreb?
|Arts & Craft Museum (Mustard Yellow)|
|National Theater (Mustard Yellow)|
|Buildings on the main square (Only one in Mustard Yellow. Phew!)|
|Confused Building- Not quite sure why someone thought this worked.|
|Folk Costumes at Ethnography Museum|
A couple evenings we actually kept things light and had a little wine with small plates of cured meats and excellent cheeses. Our last dinner was a Vinodel. It was far larger than we expected and likely we would have thought it too commercial if it hadn't been so highly praised. It did live up to it's reputation (and hence was quite busy…but the service was quite attentive.) For a starter we share roasted red peppers. Bill had veal ""under the peka (roasted in a special pan) with potatoes, Pat had veal with cheese & spinach. For dessert we shared a Croatian "flan". Delightful.
One surprise in Zagreb was the ceiling lamp in our room. It was a crystal chandelier made in a rainbow of colors…and basically the same as one we arranged to have transported to San Miguel for our friend Anado.
|The Ceiling light in our room|