Thursday 23 Nov 2017



Position: Zagreb, the capital of Croatia is situated on the slopes of Medvednica mountain and along the banks of the Sava river; elevation 120m. The favourable geographic position in the south-western part of the Pannonian Basin which extends to the Alpine, Adriatic, Dinaric and Pannnonic regions, provides the best valuation of traffic connection between Central Europe and the Adriatic Sea.
Zagreb entered the history in 1094 when the Hungarian king Ladislas established the Zagreb diocese. Zagreb developed from the two different municipalities Kaptol and Gradec. In 1242 King Bell IV issued his "Golden Bull" granting Graced the distinction of being a Free Royal City, which started to be called Zagreb since the 16th century. Since Zagreb is considered to be the political centre and capital of Croatia and Slavonia. Jesuits came to Zagreb in 1606 and in 1669 they opened the academy with a curriculum comprising philosophy, theology and laws. The 19th-century cultural development of Zagreb is characterized by foundation of several important cultural and educational institutions (Music Institute in 1826; first theatre stage in 1834; in 1839 Matica Ilirska, since 1874 Matica hrvatska; in 1866 the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences now Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 1874 the University of Zagreb). Development of industry started around the mid-19th century. The first radio station started to broadcast in 1926. Main cultural and scientific institutions were being established in the 1950s.


The cathedral is 77m long and 46.2 m wide. The northern steeple is 104 m high while the southern steeple is 105m in height. The internal area for the faithful is 1617 meters squared and can hold up than 5000 people.
The Hungarian king Ladislav established the Archdiocese of Zagreb in the year 1093. The king also ordered that a cathedral be built in that same year.
A church from the 10/11th century, situated on the place of the present day cathedral, was used as a temporary cathedral. The cathedral was built in the transitional roman style. In 1242, during the Tatar incursions, was the cathedral turned into an almost complete ruin. From 1264 to 1284 the cathedral was rebuild by bishop Timotej in a "new Gothic style". During that time the eastern basilica part of the cathedral was built. The western, so called castle part - the part with the equally high arches in all three naves, was built during the 14th, 15th and the first halve of 16th centuries. From the second half of the 15th century to the first quarter of the 16th, the fortress like walls and towers were built around the cathedral as a defense from the Turks. In the 17th century, the cathedral suffered two large fires. The renovations lasted up until the second half of the 17th century. The final restorations of the cathedral included the building of a massive bell tower to the south that served as a watchtower. Towards the end of the 17th and 18th centuries the cathedral received a marble inventory: a pulpit and 32 altars in 1698 - valuable works of art in the baroque style. In the 19th century a neo-gothic wooden altar was ordered from the sculptor Sickinger from Munchen. A new organ was also ordered from Walcker of Ludwigsburg, which is still located on the choir. The organ was expanded and renewed in 1912, 1939 and 1987. The organ is considered to be among the ten most valuable in the world.


The Stone Gate was one of four gates (towers) set into the walls that surrounded the old town of Gradec. The Stone Gate is one of the most preserved monuments of old Zagreb. The gate received its present form in the year 1760 as is shown on the northern wall. The western facade of the Stone Gate was decorated with a statue of Dora Krupiceva. The statue is the work of the Croatian sculptor Ivo Kerdic (1881-1953) and reminds one of "Zlatarevo zlato" (The jewellers gold) from August Šenoa's (1838-1881) novel of the same title. The Stone Gate is best known as the chapel with the painting of Our Lady of the Stone Gate.
The painting has been venerated since ancient times although it has become well known since 1731. On the 31st of May that year, Zagreb was the site of a huge inferno. The painting of Our Lady, which before had stood above the city gates, was found, untouched under the fire and ashes - only the frame had been destroyed. That same year the picture was placed above the baroque altar in the indent underneath the entrance of the Stone Gate. Above the picture of Our Lady is written the following inscription: "The helper in all afflictions and fires."


The Church of St. Mark is one of the oldest monuments in the city of Zagreb and at the same time is the oldest parish in the city. The church is situated in the Uptown, on St. Mark's Square. The colourful roof is the feature which most stands out. The Church also has many other items of interest: the bell tower and bells, the portal, the sacristy with the pictures of Ljubo Babic, the works of Jozo Kljakovic and Ivan Meštrovic.
The Church of St. Mark is first mentioned in 1256, although the architecture implies that it is from the romance period. The present day church of St. Mark has its origins in the 14th and 15th centuries. Its restoration took place in the 19th century at which time the church received its present interior appearance. Since the Schmidt restoration, the church has had three altars, although before it had even more altars (in the 15th century eight and in the 17th century twelve). In the interwar period the Church of St. Mark was further embellished under the guidance of Jozo Kljakovic (1936-1937). According to the then parish priest, Dr. Svetozar Rittig, Ivan Meštrovic also had an important influence on the interior embellishments.

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