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Zagreb Lower Town

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Zrinjevac Square, Zagreb
Zrinjevac Square

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Zagreb's Lower Town is devoted to business, art and spacious parks. Most Zagreb hotels are in the Lower Town. Unlike the Upper Town, streets are mostly wide and airy and the layout is designed to give a sense of grandeur. It sometimes works. The main shopping street, Ilica, is uninspiring, but take a look at Zagreb's 'Green Horseshoe' that stretches out from the train station or Trg Marsala Tita the vast square capped by the National Theatre. In between are sober streets that are hardly eye-catching but convey a sense of dignity. (see a map)

So, what should you see?

Museums

Zagreb's most famous museum is the Mimara Museum which boasts an archaeological collection, a Far Eastern collection, art objects and works by well-known European masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Vasquez, Murillo, Goya, Manet, Renoir and Degas. Recently, the authenticity of many of the works has been called into question though. The attribution and restoration of the works have been haphazard, to put it kindly.

Art lovers will prefer the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters which displays such notables as Bellini, Veronese, Bruegel and Carpeaux as well as the famous Baska slab, the oldest example of Croatia's native Glagolitic script.

The gallery is in the middle of Zagreb's Zrinjevac Square, part of Zagreb's 'Green Horseshoe', a green and restful park in the middle of town.

The Ethnographic Museum is the place to go if you're curious about the nature and origins of Croatian culture. Folk costumes from various regions, handicrafts, tools and instruments show what is unique about Croatian culture.

Nearby, the Archaeological Museum displays artifacts from prehistoric to medieval times as well as the largest coin collection in Europe.

Had enough museums? Stroll through the Botanical Gardens or take a tram to Maksimir park in eastern Zagreb and do as the Purgers (Zagreb residents) do. Relax!

 

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