This vibrant square, adjacent to the wonderful Dolac Market, is the center of action in Croatia's greatly underrated capital city.
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 caf_s 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 caf_s 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.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
Many great public spaces have grown out of communities resisting development. It is the evolution from opposition to proactive visioning - helping to create, finance, and manage public spaces - that often makes the opposition successful. Congress Square, and the community around it, are forging this story of transformation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio caused quite a stir around New York City yesterday as he floated the idea of tearing up the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. This statement was the culmination of several days of debate centered around predatory panhandling and the square’s growing number of “street performers.”