Zagreb became the capital of the country in 1991 following secession from Second Yugoslavia. During the Croatian War of Independence 1991-1995, the city received sporadic fighting surrounding, but was able to escape most damage. Today the city is an economical center for the country and is home to about one million inhabitants. Zagreb is also the hub to the country’s spectacular highway systems. The highways have allowed the country to advance in so many ways and makes touring the country a breeze. The greatest asset of the city is even during the off-season, there is always something to do and see in Zagreb. The hotels stay open, restaurants too and life continues to flourish. However, when the sun starts shining, most people from the big city make their way to the coast to enjoy their sea.
Recognized as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe, I usually don’t find the time to visit these on my adventures. However, this cemetery is fascinating. Constructed in 1876, the architect Hermann Bolle designed the main building and it was not finished until 1929. Home to families of all religions, it also holds some of the most recognized names in history for the country- musicians, artists and politicians. On All Saint’s Day in Croatia, November 1, it seems like every person living in Zagreb comes together at the cemetery. Making a path of candles, the entire cemetery glows as candles are lit for loved ones. This was one of the most spectacular sites to see. While Halloween is slowly becoming a day to dress up, November 1 is really the day that spent with loved ones and to remember those lost.
St. Marks Church
With one of the most original roofs I’ve seen, St. Mark’s Church is located in Gornji Grad or the upper town of Zagreb. Surrounded by Parliament, the square the is in front of the church is worth a visit as well. To get to the church take the path through the Stone Gate and you will be lead to the square.
While Croatia might be a small country, about the size of New Jersey, it sure has accomplished a lot! One thing I find extremely interesting is the cravat, or necktie originated here. When the Croatian military was formed, women would tie a scarf around the neck of their boyfriends in order to show their love and fidelity. Typically the color of red, this turned into a symbol of love. Through the years the tie has changed into more of a business symbol, but it all started with a scarf that became an official part of the uniform for those fighting for their country. During the season Academia Cravatica demonstrates the drills that the army would perform, and you better believe that every soldier will be wearing a scarf.