The Croatian National Bank Building: An Architectural Tale

The headquarters of the Croatian National Bank is located at the Square of Croatian Greats (Croatian Trg hrvatskih velikana), at the intersection of Martićeva Street and Franjo Rački Street, which connects this square with the Square of Fascism Victims; next to the Draškovićeva Street.

The Croatian National Bank building is a protected cultural property and probably the most important work of the Croatian architect Viktor Kovačić.

The palace was built for the needs of the Zagreb Commodity and Stock Exchange, and since World War II, it has been used by the central bank as a business headquarters.

The building is recognizable by its facade made of white Brač stone (Brač is an island on the Adriatic Sea (Croatian Jadransko more)), emphasized by the execution of four tall Ionic columns reminiscent of a Greek temple.

The history of this palace is tied to the establishment and operation of the Zagreb Stock Exchange, which was officially founded in 1918. The Zagreb Stock Exchange was primarily located on the premises of the Trade House located in Jurišićeva. That space very soon became too small due to the growth of exchange trading and an increase in the number of members.

In 1920, the Zagreb Stock Exchange bought a plot of land from the city and immediately began building the palace. An invitation competition was made in which architects Viktor Kovačić, Aladar Baranyai, Ignjat Fisher, Bruno Bauer, Laza Dungjerski, and Jože Plečnik participated, and Viktor Kovačić’s solution was declared the best.

After Viktor Kovačić died in 1924, the project was taken over by Hugo Ehrlich, Kovačić’s partner, and with him worked architects Alfred Albini and Mladen Kauzlarić.

The building was opened on June 18, 1927, and the Zagreb Stock Exchange ceased operations in 1945.

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