The colourful city street in the very heart of the city centre was created in the valley between the two oldest Zagreb settlements of Gradec and Kaptol.
Back in the Middle Ages, on the place of the today's Tkalciceva street was a stream that flowed trough a valley dividing the two oldest Zagreb settlements - Gradec and Kaptol. All surrounding landowners erected mills around the stream, which were for years the reason of various disputes between the settlements - they fought over water use and further construction itself. Although there are no written recordings of victims in these fights, many noses, heads and arms were broken with the river turning red because of the blood, which lead to the name "Bloody bridge" for the one connecting the two lands (today there's still a passage bearing that name - "Krvavi most").
The constructed mills covered the need for flour all over Zagreb until the second half of the XIX. century when driven by progress, many manufactures opened in the vicinity in order to use the stream (soap makers, paper, liquor...) and a leather factory which later grew into the largest plant of that area. Due to contamination of the stream by all the shops around a need raised for one of the largest community-based projects - the construction of the city sewage system. This lead to the largest community-based project for the time - the construction of the sewage of the city. The stream was vaulted and diverted and all the bridges were demolished by 1899 - forming the first street, "Potok" (Croatian for stream).
What about fun in those days?
In the period from 1899 to 1941 almost every house in Tkalciceva street was a brothel. With the official brothel ordinance issued in 1899., Zagreb had 46 /professional/ prostitutes. Since the street was in the city centre, all windows had to have opaque glass and red lanterns at the door. Zagreb was the first city in Europe with that sort of rules. Ha! Guess Zagreb had a proper red light district before the most famous one, De Wallen in Amsterdam!
Recent history and the street today
After WWII and the destruction after several bombs were dropped on Zagreb leading to a destructive appearance of the street itself, in 1953 it was protected as an urban complex of extreme value and in 1967 an detailed urbanistic plan was made with the goal of revitalizing the street. The plan carefully fused the needs, building and public space ratio.
Today Tkalciceva continues a century-old tradition of Zagreb craftsmen and traders and is one of the most attractive streets in the city, where the liveliness is felt in front of bars and restaurants until late at night. The street is lined with numerous restaurants, cafes and boutiques and numerous outdoor events organized on a regular basis give a special sparkle and attract many tourists.All photos: T. Klopan for Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau
Address & contact details
Street: Tkalciceva street