Unfolding the Mysteries of Zagreb’s Main Square

In this article, I want to bring your attention to a few interesting facts about the main square of Zagreb  – Ban Jelačić Square. To start with, this is the central square of Zagreb, which also happens to be the most visited place in the city of Zagreb  – logical.

The square is dominated by a large statue of the person named after the square  – Josip Jelačić. The author of the statue is Anton Dominik Fernkorn, born in 1813. The statue today faces south, but when it was erected in 1866, it faced north (towards Hungary).

Few people know that the horse’s name is Emir and Josip Jelačić received it as a gift from Mahmud-beg Bašić from Bihać. Ban rode on the horse for his inauguration in Zagreb, and ten years after Ban’s death, horse Emir, today the most famous horse in Croatia about whom we know very little, also passed away. Anton Dominik Fernkorn used it as a model for the statue in 1866.

The main Zagreb square used to be called Harmica, as is the passage north of the statue that connects Ban Jelačić Square and the Dolac Market today. Harmica comes from the Hungarian word “harmincz”, which translates to “thirty,” and it got this name because it was once the place where “the thirtieth” (there was a customs house where a tax was collected).

The next thing we need to talk about is the Ilica Skyscraper. It is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the city. Opened in 1959, the skyscraper marks the beginning of the most famous Zagreb street – Ilica. On top of the skyscraper there is a 360-degree panorama from which, on a clear day, a large part of the city can be seen. This skyscraper’s viewpoint was opened, but for a couple of years now it is closed, which is unfortunate.

Let’s get back to the positive stuff.

The fountain, located on the eastern part of the square, is the most famous Zagreb fountain with historical significance for the city. This fountain served the people of Zagreb as a water source, and the story goes like this: a beautiful girl named Manda met a knight who asked her for water with the words, “Mando, dear, scoop some water”. According to this sentence, Zagreb and Manduševac got their names (Manduševac from “Mando, dear” and Zagreb from “scoop” (Croatian „zagrabi“). In 1898, the square was paved, which is why Manduševac was buried, but in 1986 it was found again, which is why a plan was made to preserve the memory of this historical source.

I hope I gave you some interesting facts about the main square in Zagreb. Be sure to keep following this website for more informative articles like this one!

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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