Trg Bana Jelacica

Zagreb, Croatia

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

This vibrant square, adjacent to the wonderful Dolac Market, is the center of action in Croatia's greatly underrated capital city.

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Why It Works

Trg Bana Jelacica, Zagreb's main square, epitomizes the city's refined 'Mitteleuropa' urban culture, enriched by Mediterranean and Balkan traditions. Reminiscent of Vienna's squares, it is the outdoor living room of Zagreb. It functions both as a destination--with a number of places all its own--and as a multi-faceted connector. Several of Zagreb's tram lines go along the edge of the square, providing easy transit access and adding to the hustle and bustle of the place. It is also a major link between the medieval town (Gradec) and the 19th Century Donji Grad, as well as a central hub connecting numerous pedestrian retail streets and squares (where outdoor cafés are in abundance).

The square features a number of focal points. The Medusevac fountain and the monument of Josip Jelacic, a Croatian hero and viceroy who defeated the Hungarians in an uprising in 1848, are popular meeting spots. Zagreb's Market Hall often spills its seasonal wares into the square's main space. The buildings that frame the square house several cafés with outdoor terraces lined with marble seatwalls for non-customers. The best thing about these seating areas is that despite their close proximity to the trams, the only thing one can hear when sitting there is other people talking.

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