Top Historic Sights in Zagreb, Croatia

Explore the historic highlights of Zagreb

Zagreb Greek Catholic Co-cathedral

Greek Catholic Co-cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius is located in the Street of St. Cyril and Methodius on the Upper Town in Zagreb. Greek Catholic church and seminary (built in 1681) existed on the Upper Town before the 17th century. This Church was intended for the Greek Catholic believers, mostly people from Žumberak Mountains, Uskoks and clerics that lived in and around Zagreb. It is not possible to determine ...
Founded: 1886 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

St. Catherine's Church

Before the St. Catherine"s was built, a 14th-century Dominican church occupied the area. When the Jesuits arrived in Zagreb in the early 17th century, they thought the original church too rundown and inadequate, and worked to build a new church. Construction began in 1620 and was completed in 1632. A monastery was built adjacent to the church, but now the spot is home to the Klovićevi dvori art gallery. St. Catheri ...
Founded: 1620-1632 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Lotrscak Tower

The Lotrščak Tower is located in an old part of town called Gradec of Zagreb. The tower, which dates to the 13th century, was built to guard the southern gate of the Gradec town wall. The name is derived from Latin campana latrunculorum, meaning 'thieves" bell', referring to a bell hung in the tower in 1646 to signal the closing of the town gates. The Grič cannon is one of the Zagreb landmarks. In the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

St. Mark's Church

The Romanesque window found in its south facade is the best evidence that the St. Mark's Church must have been built as early as the 13th century as is also the semicircular ground-plan of St. Mary's chapel (later altered). In the second half of the 14th century, the church was radically reconstructed. It was then turned into a late Gothic church of the three-nave type. Massive round columns support heavy ribbed vaults ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Cathedral

The Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and to kings Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus. The cathedral is typically Gothic, as is its sacristy, which is of great architectural value. Its prominent spires are considered to be landmarks as they are visible from most parts of the city. In 1093 when King Ladislaus (1040-1095) moved the bishop"s chair from Sisa ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Orthodox Cathedral

Zagreb Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1865–66 according to designs of architect Franjo Klein. It is ecclessiastically part of the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana and its cathedral.
Founded: 1866 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters

The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters opened in November 1884, named after its founder, Josip Juraj Strossmayer, the bishop of Đakovo. The Strossmayer Gallery exhibits the works of European painters from 14th-19th century. The holdings have been classified into three major groups: Italian, French and Northern European (German, Flemish and Dutch) works, and also some works by Croatian artists. They were given the collect ...
Founded: 1884 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Mimara Museum

The Mimara Museum is an art museum in the city of Zagreb. Of the total of 3,700 varied works of art, more than 1,500 exhibits constitute permanent holdings, dating from the prehistoric period up to the 20th century. Some of the most famous exhibits include works by Lorenzetti, Giorgione, Veronese, Canaletto, 60 paintings by the Dutch masters Van Goyen, Ruisdael, 50 works by the Flemish masters Van der Weyden, Bosch, Rube ...
Founded: 1987 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb has over 450,000 varied artifacts and monuments, gathered from various sources but mostly from Croatia and in particular from the surroundings of Zagreb. The archaeological collection of the State Institute had been kept in the Academy mansion at Zrinski Square from the 1880s and remained there until 1945, when the museum moved to its current location at the 19th-century Vranyczany-Haf ...
Founded: 1846 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Modern Gallery

Modern Gallery holds the most important and comprehensive collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings by 19th and 20th century Croatian artists. The collection numbers around 10,000 works of art, housed since 1934 in the historic Vranyczany Palace in the centre of Zagreb, overlooking the Zrinjevac Park. The Palace underwent a complete renovation between 1993 and 2005, when the current exhibition was opened to the pu ...
Founded: 1905 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Mirogoj Cemetery

The Mirogoj Cemetery is considered to be among the more noteworthy landmarks in Zagreb. The cemetery inters members of all religious groups: Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Latter Day Saints; irreligious graves can all be found. In the arcades are the last resting places of many famous Croatians. The Mirogoj Cemetery was built on a plot of land owned by the linguist Ljudevit Gaj, purchased by the city in ...
Founded: 1876 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Medvedgrad

Medvedgrad is a medieval fortified town located on the south slopes of Medvednica mountain, approximately halfway from the Croatian capital Zagreb to the mountain top Sljeme. For defensive purposes it was built on a hill, Mali Plazur, that is a spur of the main ridge of the mountain that overlooks the city. On a clear day the castle can be seen from far away, especially the high main tower. Below the main tower ...
Founded: 1249-1254 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Basilica of the Heart of Jesus

The Basilica of the Heart of Jesus was designed by the Croatian architect Janko Holjac in the neo-Baroque style. It is the second largest church in Zagreb. The construction of the church is tied to the arrival of Jesuits in Zagreb in 1855. For this purpose, the archbishop Juraj Haulik gave a sum of 60,000 forints in 1860. However, political and economic conditions were not favorable for Haulik"s idea, and it was rev ...
Founded: 1902 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.