I started my walk as always, at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Avenija Dubrovnik, my favourite indoors attraction. I make a straight line from there, over the motorways and the River Sava (past the statue, the National Library, the concert hall and bus terminal, through the 3 main squares until ever such a slight right to the Cathedral. It takes around an hour and a quarter if you don’t stop too many times to take photos!
Zagreb Cathedral is right in front of those hills – I can see it getting bigger as I get nearer but the camera cannot – and it was gleaming white on this, my second last day in the city. I am not sure why I left it until now to see the famous monument.
It was so warm that I was glad to get to the city square for some shade.
Zagreb was first mentioned in 1094 when it was made up of two settlements Kaptol and Gradec.
The Cathedral suffered terribly in the earthquake of 1880 and has been under repair, more or less, ever since.
And opposite the entrance to the park is perhaps my favourite of the churches, the quiet chapel of St Francis.
It has amazing stained glass, some at least by the Croatian artist Ivo Dulčić whose work was so groundbreaking that it sometimes incurred the wrath of the church authorities of the time. The windows, which he made in 1960, depict scenes from St Francis’ song “Canticle of the Sun”.
I somehow could not find St Mark’s with its famous roof but here is the spire
Then I found all the other) tourists. They were sitting in the cafes with English and German names on the little streets behind the market and jostling to take photos with their phones on sticks.
Not a little footsore, I set out for Booksa to sit and drink tea and write some.
It was a picturesque end to the day.
There are better photos than mine of the interior of the St Francis chapel here.
There is so much else to see:
The Shrine of the Mother of God of Kamenita vrata (the “Stone Gate”), the patron saint of the city of Zagreb, is a place where people go to pray before a picture of the Virgin Mary which survived a great fire in 1761. The most important day here is the day when Zagreb remembers its patron saint and holds its annual town celebrations, 31 May.
Also, don’t miss the chance to see the south portal of St Mark’s Church in Gornji grad (Zagreb’s “Upper Town”), which dates back to the 15th century and depicts the saints in stone and wood. In the church’s interior you can also see typically powerful works by the great Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.
The two above paragrpahs are from this website on Religious Toursim.
Halloween 31 October 2018: Museum of Contemporary Art, the permanent collection.
Not to be confused with the Moderna Galerija which is a Baroque building, Vranyczany Palace housing art works from the 19th century and after, the Museum of Contemporary Art is (during the day time anyway) a modern block of uninspiring concrete in Novi Zagreb, at the crossroads of Većeslava Holjevca and Dubrovnik Avenues. Do not be put off! It has a modernist interior with sharp, clear lines and is beautifully designed to show off its collection of post 1950s performance and Retroavantgarde art.
I got carried away by the red line theme.
The red neon is in the foyer of the Museum; the red tube which starts on one floor and hooks over the edge of the next level up is Red Line by Ivan Kozaric, 2011; the block with a thin horizontal line (part of a bigger work) is Circles between Surfaces by Dalibor Martinis; and the drawing is part of the presentation for the 32nd Venice Biennale in 1964.
I am currently writing about death so was not surprised to find a number on that theme.
There was an interesting ‘sculpture’ in the Gradski Park – photographer Romeo Ibrisivika has been ‘pulling the wrecks out of the environment’ (dragging rivers, that sort of thing), and then there was a sculpture in the Museum which reminded me of it.
There were two which took a Scottish theme: a video Midges by Dorothy Cross (2000) and these two photos (from a series of three).
I seemed to be picking up on a theme of doorways – what is behind? what will come through?
.. the lip of light beneath a sill.
Women Who Run With The Wolves, Bluebeard commentary Claudia Pinkola
There was a twisted two-slide shute which must be really fun and doubles up as an art work (which was not working). Then everywhere I looked were coils of metal and chrome.
A poster I saw in Padua reminded me of Lea (before she changed her hair colour!) whose hospitality here in Croatia has been amazing, and the art work in the gallery – Untitled by Antun Motika (1943-44).
Shots through windows.
Even the toilet door signs were related to an artwork!
Tiles like this one are in all the lavatories.
Free admission for all visitors on the first Wednesnday of the month!