Kaptol

Kaptol is on your sightseeing schedule for today? Exit Main Square Residence and walk through the Harmica passage in the neighbouring building. There will be the right stairway to the Dolac market in front of you; go up, this time resisting the call of the colourful stands, and go right through the market to the large turning point to the right, which leads you to Kaptol.

You will arrive at the heart of the former medieval church centre of Kaptol. First of all, you will be captivated by the magnificent cathedral of the Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary with two towers standing at 105 metres tall. Another one of memorable images of Zagreb. It is believed that the construction of the cathedral started soon after the bishopric was founded in 1094, and finished at the beginning of the 13th century, but was soon after devastated by the Tatars. In the course of centuries it was struck by fires and earthquakes. A bell tower was built in the 17th century that was heavily damaged in the great earthquake of 1880, after which Herman Bollé took over the reconstruction of the cathedral, giving it two towers and its current neo-gothic look.

In front of the cathedral stands a fountain designed by Bollé with Fernkorn's gilded sculptures of the Blessed Virgin Mary and 4 angels (Fernkorn also designed the Ban Jelačić monument on the Main Square). It is a work of two great masters who left a profound artistic trail all over Zagreb.

Kaptol of today is much smaller than the medieval settlement, and it includes the square with the cathedral and the street towards the north which once housed the employees of Kaptol in the so-called curiae. Some of these curiae survived the ravages of time and can be seen even today. Let us add that surrounding the cathedral there are impressive and excellently preserved walls with towers, built for protection against the Turks.

Medieval Kaptol included the Dolac market and its extension Opatovina, which ends in a park (before you enter the park, be sure to take a look at the stained-glass windows in the church of St. Francis of Assisi) from which you can walk down to Tkalčićeva Street. There is also a large park behind the cathedral, where once lay Kaptol fishponds, after which it got its name – Ribnjak (Fishpond).

If you like musicals and operettas, take a look at the repertoire of the Komedija theatre, and later in the evening feel the special ambiance of Kaptol lit by lamps on your way there – enjoy the stroll and the show.

 

Photos: Angel on fountain in front of the cathedral and a view of the cathedral from the Upper Town