Zagreb: Tito, Yugoslavia & Communism

Zagreb is a hidden gem in Croatia. It boasts of a splendid old town and rich history.

Zagreb is a must visit for those interested in history and culture. Zagreb’s history can be traced to the Roman times. Walking through the old town in Zagreb, one can take in the marvellous sights of elegant medieval architecture and cobblestoned streets. The main shopping centre is also in the old town and is beautifully lit at night with the lights from retail and fancy designer outlets.

Opting for a walking tour of Zagreb’s medieval past is a great way to learn about the country’s medieval history including the infamous witch-burning rituals that were prevalent in those times. One can admire the colourful mosaic rooftop of St. Mark’s Church and the enchanting interiors of Cathedral of Zagreb.

However, the Museum of Broken Relationships is an attraction unique to Zagreb. The museum has mementos and stories of broken relationships. Anyone who has suffered from heartbreak can send the tokens from their past relationships along with a note to this museum for closure. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone from India in the exhibits. However, the very first exhibit I saw was from a man from India. There were exhibits from people whose relationships were terminated because of cheating, or because of stubborn parents. There were stories about women who lost their loved ones during the world wars. There were stories about people who truly loved each other but could not be together because of parental stubbornness and reservations. This was by far the most interesting museum I have ever visited. I recommend it to anyone who has suffered from heartbreak at any point in their lives.

Zagreb’s many viewpoints are a great delight for the photographers. I decided to enjoy the sunset from Zagreb 360 degrees. It is a tall glass building in the old town and the signboard is hard to miss. The arena on top offers breathtaking views of Zagreb’s crimson rooftops. When lit by the orange hues during sunset, Zagreb’s red rooftops offer a sight that is absolutely stunning. If you are looking for the perfect Instagram post for your feed, this attraction should not be missed.

Pictures taken by me.

Pictures taken by me.

Lastly, Zagreb has a socialist past. Modern history lovers could engage in learning about Marshall Tito and his socialist Yugoslavia. Croatia was one of the six states in former Yugoslavia. The other states included Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The break up of Yugoslavia was largely initiated by Slovenia and Croatia.

Contrary to popular belief, there were many people who deeply admired Marshal Tito as a ruler. The people of Croatia are also quite religious, as they couldn’t freely practice their religion during the socialist times. It is notable that the long history of socialism in Croatia could not destroy the religiosity within its people.

If time permits, one can visit Tito’s birthplace, Kumrovec. It is an hour’s drive from Zagreb. The village has been turned into a museum about life before Tito and Tito’s past. It is an interesting visit for history lovers. Other than that, Zagreb is dotted with little reminders of the city’s communist past in the form communist architecture and its many museums.

Zagreb is truly a hidden gem as I hadn’t heard much about the city and therefore, my expectations were low. I am happy to say that Zagreb far surpassed all my expectations. It is lovely city and I hope I get the chance to visit it again.

Pictures taken from http://www.pixaby.com

 

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