Exploring Zagreb: Petar Preradović Square and Its Hidden Gems

The small square between the Ilica Street and Masarykova Street was named after Petar Preradović: a general, poet, and author of patriotic and love themes. However, we all call it Flower Square.

The monument to Petar Preradović is located in the very center of the square where fairs have been held since the 14th century, and it got the name Flower Square from various stands where flowers were sold in the past. On the square’s north side, there is the Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration, built in the late 19th century on the site of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Margaret.

Today, Flower Square is known as the “in” place where many come eager for the entertainment offered by numerous coffee places on the square and nearby streets.

Not far from Flower Square is Varšavska Street, adorned with a monument to one of the greatest Croatian poets  – Augustin Tin Ujević. The statue was erected in commemoration of the poet’s 100th birthday.

Varšavska and the Masarykova mentioned above are connected by a passage with several names, one of which is the most popular  – Miškec’s Passage (Croatian Miškecov prolaz). Although the official name is the Baković Sisters Passage, many associate it with the hero Mihael Erdec, a circus acrobat before World War II who ended up on the street due to an accident.

After the accident, he found a home in the cinema boiler room in the passage, where he performed auxiliary jobs and played the harmonica. Many remember him for his unrequited love for the first Miss Zagreb, Štefica Vidačić.

I’ll mention one more well known passage, the one that connects Flower Square and Ilica  – it’s the Oktogon. It was named after the central octagonal space with a glass roof.

If we move a little away from Flower Square and go down Bogovićeva, we will come across the Grounded Sun sculpture, also known as Kožarić’s Sun. This sculpture, by author Ivan Kožarić, is made of fiberglass and was initially installed in 1971 near the Croatian National Theatre but was later moved to its current location.

The Grounded Sun sculpture inspired the creation of the Zagreb Solar System: all the planets of the Solar System have been placed around Zagreb, distanced from the sun proportionally to the distances of the actual planets. I’ve visited all the planets a couple of years ago, and I’ll tell you how you can also find those in the following articles.

Further east along Bogovićeva, we reach Gajeva, where are the Hotel Dubrovnik and Napredak skyscraper. he skyscraper was built in 1936 and is a residential and commercial building. Architect Stjepan Planić designed this seven-story oval building and, at the time of construction, was considered a real skyscraper, although, at first glance, it doesn’t look high enough to be addressed.

Hotel Dubrovnik
Napredak Skyscraper

The top of the building looks like a cogwheel, which was part of the society’s sign at the time. The color of the facade pays tribute to traditional architecture and blue vitriol, which is used by vine growers in rural parts of Croatia to combat vine diseases.

Have you been to the Flower Square? What do you think about this popualar square?

Hi! My name is Ivan, and I'm an author of discoverzagreb.com. I have been photographing and exploring Zagreb for more than 15 years, and if you want to know more about me and discoverzagreb.com, read the Introduction articles by clicking here.

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