If this photo were snapped in an alleyway, or on a mysterious street, it would make the area seem ominous, but even on the snowy and cold winter day as I wandered through the wide cobbled streets around Ban Jelačić Square, I found warmth throughout this neighborhood that made these windows simply charming. If you can spare the time, this is a fascinating part of Zagreb with history, large churches, shops, beautiful architecture, and quaint cafes. If you happen upon the city in December, be sure to wander through the Christmas market.
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Solar System Hunt
I've been having a mad love affair with Zagreb over the last few years. Ssshhh ---don't tell Paris.
One of the reasons is the city's understated element of surprise. Take for example this sculpture, created by Ivan Kožarić in 1971, called The Grounded Sun, found on pedestrian-only Bogovićeva Street, not far from the main square. I walked by it a dozen times before I asked someone about it. Turns out The Grounded Sun inspired artist Davor Preis to create an add-on installation called Nine Views in 2004. The nine models of planets are placed all over Zagreb, which, along with the Kožarić’s sun sculpture, are now often referred to as Zagreb's Solar System. Each planet is designed to scale and the distances from the sun are also to scale.
Most citizens of Zagreb can't tell you where most of the planets are, yet probably walk right by a few every day. Since the planet models are to scale, most are tiny dots on a plaque and not great works of art.
Spotting the outer planets, including now downgraded Pluto, requires some effort, but doing so is a fun way to explore the amazing and celestial Zagreb.
I'll help you out. Grab a map from the tourist office and start at the sun. 3,2,1---blast off!
Mercury – Margaretska 3 Venus – Trg bana Jelačića 3 Earth – Varšavska 9 Mars – Tkalčićeva 21 Jupiter – Voćarska 71 Saturn – Račićeva 1 Uranus – Siget 9 Neptune – Kozari put Pluto – Aleja Bologne (in the underpass)