This morning’s adventure took me into Zagreb and unfortunately I only had a few short hours to explore this wonderful city. My cousin Nenad met me at the bus station and was my tour guide for the day. Our first stop, Mirogoj Cemetery, was recommended by my mother. Mirogoj is the city’s cemetery park, considered a notable landmark, is located just north of the city. Behind the main gate lies Zagreb’s first president of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudman. The cemetery has all denominations interred here.
I didn’t have a lot of time to explore much of the park as Nenad rushed me back to the car to see the many other landmarks within the city. Next stop was Ban Jelacic Square located in the centre of Zagreb. In the square stands Josipa Jelicaca atop his mighty horse with his sword raised – originally it pointed north towards Hungary before the statue was taken down under Marshal Tito’s rule. Franjo Tudman dug it up when Croatia gained its independence from Yugoslavia and the statue now faces south.
We stopped for a quick tea to warm ourselves before plodding on through the rain to the next few sites: Kamenita Vrata (stone gate) and Crkva Svetog Marka (Church of St Mark). I was very excited to see the Church of St. Mark because of its uniqueness. The church was built in the 13th century and in 1880 a colourful tiled roof was added. The roof shows the coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia on the left and the emblem of Zagreb on the right.
The main door is in the gothic style and shows 15 figures in small niches that were sculpted in the 14th century. The statues are of Jesus, Mary, St. Mark and the 12 apostles. After a few shots around the church it was time to leave this beautiful city, at least for now.