Before 1866. it was known as "Novi terg" (New Square), because it was located on the outskirt of the city. It was a muddy and ugly field that occasionaly served as a cattle market and a fair with various sellers, entertainers and fortune tellers. The name "New Square" seems a bit ironic today, because Zrinjevac is the oldest planned square in Zagreb. When it got it's original name, it was all right, because it was a completely new square in the southernmost area of the town.
Town council decided to transform this unsightly field into a representative square on 300th anniversary of battle of Siget, and dedicate it to Siget's heroic and tragic defender Nikola Subic Zrinski. Park was opened with ceremony on 14th June 1873. The construction of a park on this location was an turning point in Zagreb's urban development. It is a part of known "Green horseshoe" or "Lenucci's horseshoe" - a series of parks bordering the Lower city in a shape of a horseshoe or letter "U". Zrinjevac is enlisted as a monument of landscape architecture due to its design being preserved for more than 100 years!
150 years later, Zrinjevac is a favourite part of the city for people to walk, rest an tourists to be amazed. Because of the buildings around it, today this park is like an entrance to Croatian history and art. On the north side you'll find The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, The Zagreb Archaeological Museum on the west side, The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts on the south side, and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and the Zagreb County Court on the east side.
Meterological column on the norther part of the park was a donation from known army doctor Adolf Holzer in 1884. Herman bolle made blueprintins for it and it was made from Istrian marble. Meteorological column still works today and people often stop at it and check on the temperature and air humidity. Due to a fact that column doesn't meet today's standard measurment by World Meteorolgical Organisation, data isn't considered as official.
Centerpiece of the park is the music pavilion, donated in 1890. by Eduard Prister, a wealthy trader. It was placed on 6th February 1891. on exact spot where a monument to Nikola Subic Zrinski was supposed to be.
By the end of 19th century, regular concerts were held in the bandstand. In memory to past times, concerts are stil being held during the summertime.
Water fountains are a story on its own. There are three fountains, but the one with the most interesting (and ironic) story is "The mushroom".
The fountain was designed by Hermann Bollé and made by students of School of Crafts out of stone. It was placed in 1893. and citizens immediately nicknamed it "Bolle's mushroom" out of mockery and laughter. It was proclamed a fiasco because the fountain tended to flood the whole part of the park or splash people walking by.
In 1975. Restauration Institute remade the fountain out of granite, fixed flaws and made it functional.
The irony in the whole story is that "the mushroom" became one of symbols of Zagreb and a common motive on postcards, after all the mockery and being an object of laughter.
End of the 19th century witnessed an incredible enthusiasm of Zagreb citizens towards Zrinjevac. Meteorological column and music pavilion were gifts of wealthy citizens, and everyone wanted to contribute. Ones with enough money and influence were building magnificent palaces around the park, but the common folks gave it the final touch.
Ordinary citizens participated in selection of trees that were to be planted in newly founded park. In 1872. two hundred and twenty platanus were planted. Now, trees are under special protection and the most preserved ones from that time (platanus were very popular then).
Advent on Zrinjevac
"Advent on Zrinjevac" is a part of "Advent in Zagreb" programme. Music pavilion comes live again and sounds of classics and waltz take over the park. Unique christmas ornaments by selected artisans are sold and the whole park smells of Zagreb specialties - fried apples, baked strukle and cabbage cloths. Advent on Zrinjevac is to live, hear and taste.
Address & contact details
- Street: Park Zrinjevac
- City: Zagreb