My first sight of the city was stunning. Stepping out of the Neo-classicalRailway Station, I was amazed by the monumental buildings surroundingthe Tomislav Square (named after King Tomislav, who formed thefirst Croatian state in 925 A.D.). In the middle of the squarewas the statue of the King himself. National flags were everywhere,such was the patriotism in a country at war. But this is a cityof numerous cafes and wide boulevards, with classical bands playingin the parks and lovers strolling in the streets. It was simplyParisian in atmosphere and moods. One could hardly believe thatit was the capital of a nation at war. . The only signs of warwere that men in uniform were everywhere, either on duty or offduty, as well as a few UN vehicles.

A UN Vehicle I saw

King Tomislav's Statue at Tomislav Square
I visited the Sv. Marko Cathedral at Markov Trg (St Mark's Square),Gradec. This church was famous for its colourful roof, whichbears a version of the coat of arms of Croatia and the city of Zagreb. The officialcoat of arms bears the famous Croatian "chessboard"emblem as the main arm, and on top of it, also the arms of otherconstituent historic parts of Croatia, those of Zagreb, Moslavina,Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia.

Sv Martin ; Arms of Croatia

The Markov Trg was also where in 1573, the Austrians crowned MatijaGubec, leader of a peasant revolt, with a band of white-hot steel,and then had his remains hung from a gibbet as a warning to otherwould be revolutionaries.

The presidential residence at the 18th century Banski Dvori Palace,also at the square, was the subject of an attack by the YugoslavAir Force on 7 Oct 95, in an attempt to assassinate the CroatianPresident, Dr Franco Tudjman. The Sabor, or Parliament, whereindependence was declared on 30 May 1991, was located on the squaretoo.

A Croatian wedding procession, with kid waving flag !

Here, at Sv. Marko, I witnessed several wedding processions.These are noisy events, with lots of cheering and shouting fromfriends and relatives. In addition, a traditional band marchedin front of every couple, with a young chap waving freneticallythe Croatian national flag. What a nationalistic people !

Croatian People & Links To Croatia

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