St. Mark’s Church, St. Mark’s Square, Zagreb
St. Mark’s Church, Zagreb
St. Mark’s Square, Upper Town (Gronji Grad), Zagreb
See also: FAM (Familiarization) tour of Croatia
St. Mark’s Church, stands at the centre of the St. Mark’s Square (Trg Svetog Marka) in Upper Town (Gronji Grad) of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Dominating the St. Mark’s Square in Zagreb is the St. Mark’s Church, with its beautiful coloured roof tiles and towering clock tower.
The St. Mark’s Church is flanked on the right (East) by the Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski sabor) and on the left (West) by Government building Banski Dvori.
The Croatian Parliament Building is a mix of classical, neo – renaissance, and art nouveau style and was completed in 1911.
The building on the left is known as Banski Dvori, which literally means Ban’s (Viceroy) residence. It served as the Croatian Viceroy’s residence from 1809 – 1918.
The boroque building of Banski Dvori also served as the residence of Ban Josip Jelačić. Zagreb’s main square Ban Jelačić Square is named after him.
The St. Mark’s Church dates back to the 13th century and has undergone several renovations, but the basic structure has remained the same.
The arch above the southern gateway of the St. Mark’s Square is marked with 11 shallow niches housing 15 statues.
They include Joseph and Mary with infant Jesus, St. Mark with the lion and the 12 Apostles.
These statues were added in the 14th century and were sculptured by the Palmer family in Prague.
The North – West corner of the St. Mark’s Church houses the oldest coat of arms of Zagreb, dating back to 1499.
The original plaque have been removed to the nearby Zagreb City Museum but the replica can still be seen on the outer walls.
The star attraction of the St. mark’s Church is its roof, paved with multi- colored glazed tiles.
It depicts the coat of arms of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia, along with the coat of arms of the city of Zagreb.
The interiors of the St. Mark’s Church are said to be as elegant as its exterior but sadly during my visit, it was under lock and key, thus my activity was restricted to the exteriors only.
Over the centuries, the St. Mark’s Church has played a leading part in the lives of the citizens of Zagreb. It was at this St. Mark’s Square, the leader of Croatian peasant’s revolution, Matija Gubec, was tortured and hanged.
Even today, every newly married couple in Zagreb poses in the St. Mark’s Square, with the St. Mark’s Church in the background.
Every Saturday and Sunday (it is also held on public holidays) the most spectacular event unfolds in front of the St. Mark’s Church, in the St. Mark’s Square, the changing of the guards of the Kravat Regiment.
Kravat Regiment is a Croatian light cavalry from the 17th century, which was not only known for its bravery but also for its distinguished uniform, consisting of colorful scarves tied in knots.
The two hour event starts sharp at 12 noon, with the cannon firing from the nearby Lotrščak Tower. It is a well synchronized drill of soldiers and horses, with the military band playing in the background.