Sunday, May 24, 2015

The city with a thousand faces

It is obvious that Zagreb hides a lot of secrets. The best coffee bars seem to be hiding from pedestrians and are only accessible to you if you dare to enter a not so promising courtyard. The best sculptures appear only when you look up. The most surprising architecture in the shapes of domes and pointy towers are only visible if you dare to take some perspective and time to find them. Zagreb is a city full of secrets and it seems like it has so many that I will never learn all of them.

This is why I decided to do something I rarely do, try to join a local guide hoping she/he would unveil some of these secrets and this is when I found Secret Zagreb. I took two of their tours and I left knowing a lot more about Zagreb and at the same time feeling that I would never be able to reach all the secrets the city is hiding. Here are some of the weird things I learn, and I hope they will be intriguing enough that you will decide to visit Zagreb soon.
  • Dragons: I heard that now in Game of Thrones there needs to be an image of a dragon in every episode, otherwise they lose audience. Well, if you are part of the dragon madness you definitely need to visit Zagreb, there are plenty of dragon stories for you, including a secret society.
  • There sculptures of planets spread out through the city that you can find, they are situated in proportional distance to the sun that is in the center of Zagreb. There is a map that tells you where they are. This is just one of the examples of tours that you can do by yourself. Zagreb seems to be a perfect city where you can organize your own quest, I think you could do other self-guided tours looking for:
  • Theatrical faces coming out of buildings
  • Graffiti
  • Masonic symbols
  • Mansions
  • Cast iron work
  • Sculptures
  • And certainly 100 million tours about architecture; the city has a lot of variety!
  • Zagreb is a city that has welcomed a lot of expats, what does this city that attracts foreigners? I think that even though is not a big metropolis, Zagreb has many faces: there is the preppy Zagreb, the Austrian Zagreb, the socialist Zagreb, the sweat pants Zagreb, artistic Zagreb,… another example of a place that has been part of different empires and that has a had a very absorbing culture that today leads to a very diverse society.
  • The key to partly understand Etruscan society resides here.
  • It is part of the Croatian character to complain about everything. During the tour we saw some examples of the society complaining about things that for today’s eyes are perfectly beautiful, like a nice fountain in the middle of a park. Do they complain and that gives them energy to excel? Do they complain and just keep complaining without advancing? Not sure yet, I think I will write more about this topic in the future because it is certainly interesting.
I hope I convinced you. More stories from Zagreb coming soon!!!!

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