Zagreb’s main cathedral, The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary, is one of the cityâ€™s most impressive architectural and cultural landmarks.This neo-gothic structure rises high above the city. During my first few weeks in the city I used the spires as a route marker. After a day of exploring, it was the church spires, visible from so many different locations, that guided me home.
The cathedral complex, situated close to the main square, is an eye-catching attraction. At the heart of the courtyard, a white marble column shoots towards the sky carrying a golden statue of the Virgin Mary. A little closer to the ground four golden angles glint in the morning light.
Around the column a soothing fountain entertains kids and tourists, and on the benches that are spread out along the edges of the courtyard, the city’s young and old gather.
The cathedralâ€™s history is as rich as the art (paintings, sculptures and frescos) it holds inside. The present day structure stands on the site of a much older cathedral that was razed to the ground in 1242. A phase of reconstruction followed and the 15th century saw the addition of a fortified wall system, a safeguard against the invading Ottomans, around the cathedral.
The cathedral’s history is marked by constant repairs due to a series of fires and finally a devastating earthquake in 1880. An elaborate restoration and extension process followed the quake. The cathedralâ€™s main nave and tower were reconstructed, and two spires were added to the original structures. Today these very spires dominate Zagrebâ€™s skyline.
Best of Zagreb Tips
You’ll find lot of ideas for things to do in Zagreb in our Best of Zagreb collation post.
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