Sunday, November 24, 2013

Zagreb - Day 2 October 16, 2013

In all honesty, we got a bit of a late start this morning. We had decided not to do anything in Zagreb except the old town and today was dedicated to Kaptol Hill.  That meant the cathedral and its environs, another look at the square, and dinner.  

First, the cathedral. The tallest building in Croatia, it is Neo-Gothic at its most extreme.  So tall, that it is hard to get it all in one picture and made even taller by the scaffolding on the northern tower.  The cathedral has been under renovation for several years as efforts are being made to reverse the years of neglect during the Nazi Occupation of Croatia followed by more neglect during the time of Communist control

These two pillars serve as a good example of the ravages of time on the soft limestone used in the construction of the cathedral.  The one on the right is a recent copy of what the one on the left looked like originally.  (Note to self:  Choose building materials wisely. Pay a bit more if necessary.)

The occasional earthquake doesn't help.  This clock shows the time of the quake in 1880. 

The history of the cathedral reaches all the way back to 1093, but it was after the 1880 earthquake that the cathedral took its present form.
The cathedral is dedicated to Assumption of Mary and to St. Stephen and St. Ladislaus, both former kings.

It is also the resting place of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac.

 I thought the main entrance was beautiful!

The nave
Little details

 The altar

And this dramatic presentation on the back wall.

Fortification walls and towers

And then there were the gardens.  With spires towering above the trees . . . . . 
Majestic trees!

Wide leaf strewn paths.  It was quite a garden.  We each had our favorites.  

For Stanley it was this tree which he declared to be the largest yew he had ever seen.

I chose this demure little maid entitled Modesty.

Across the way was the great city market, Dolac.

The fish market was just closing.

But the vegetable and fruit stalls were still open for business.

And, did I mention flowers?  This was only one of about twenty stalls selling fresh flowers and potted plants. I wanted more than anything to trade my hotel room for an apartment.  It would have been so much fun to walk down the street with a bag full of that beautiful produce topped with a bouquet of flowers.  Not this time.

Back to Ban Jelačić Square.  That's the man himself on the horse. He cuts quite a figure.

Mimes are a common sight on the streets of Europe, but most of them choose very rigid poses that require standing for long periods of time, but this guy was pretty smart.  Behind that black cloth is a very comfortable chair.  

On the way to dinner that evening, we met this group of people. I'm not very good at estimating crowd size, but we met five different groups with at least this many people. They were headed for St. Mark's church where we had seen the political posters the day before.  When we left the restaurant we could hear what seemed to be long, impassioned speeches.  I didn't really need a translator.  

Another fabulous dinner at the Triology.  Robert, our waiter made it all the more interesting with his banter.  He even apologized for not having a more Croatian sounding name.  

Back to Hotel Ilica, one of the funkier places I've found for us to stay. The location was great, and the service was special, but the manager was STRANGE!

Forget the manager.  We slept!  Soundly!