More than Words

Exploring a Slice of Zagreb's Urban History

From intriguing shops and cafes to historic landmarks and cultural sites, Frane Petrić Street connects Zagreb's past and present, offering a perfect blend of leisure and discovery.

Sometimes, amidst the hustle and bustle of a city's vibrant streets, we often overlook hidden treasures that hold centuries of history and culture. Just beyond the familiar landmarks and bustling squares lies a place shrouded in mystery, waiting to be discovered—a testament to Zagreb's rich tapestry of urban life and historical significance. Here lies Frane Petrić Street, unassuming yet purposeful, inviting us explorers to delve deeper into its storied past and vibrant present.

A Journey Through History and Architecture

Frane Petrić Street, located in the heart of Zagreb, is named after the prominent Croatian philosopher and scientist from the 16th century, whose historical significance extends beyond Croatia's borders. This pedestrian street is an integral part of the urban fabric of Lower Town (Donji grad), which saw significant development during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This period marked a significant urban and cultural boom for Zagreb, with the construction of numerous important buildings, squares, and streets like Frane Petrić Street.

Source: Fotografije Zagreba

Lower Town, where this street is situated, was shaped according to modern urban plans aimed at expanding the city beyond the medieval boundaries of Upper Town (Gornji grad) and Kaptol. Economic growth and modernization drove the development of this area, resulting in the creation of many significant buildings that today reflect various architectural styles.

Frane Petrić Street is not only a place of rich history and architectural beauty but also a hub of economic activity and urban life catering to both locals and visitors alike. It connects Zagreb's past and present, offering visitors insights into the city's historical development while providing modern amenities and the ambiance of urban hustle and bustle.

The street is filled with plenty of interesting shops, making it a perfect destination for a quick shopping spree while strolling through the city center. You'll also find sidewalk cafes, fast food joints and more. The street is also home to various domestic bakeries, where you can indulge in freshly baked goods, from traditional Croatian pastries to delicious bread and sweets. These bakeries are perfect for a quick snack or a leisurely coffee break.

Source: Fotografije Zagreba

Make the most of your time by sampling the various attractions that offer a wonderful chance to unwind and discover. For example, history lovers will surely enjoy The 1991/1995 Zagreb Rocket Attacks Memorial Center. The museum offers a journey through Zagreb's history from prehistoric times to the present day. It integrates objects with their social contexts and authentic historical documents, spanning politics, church history, economics, urban planning, art, literature, and daily life.

Further along, you can visit the Chapel of the Wounded Jesus, a historic religious site that dates back to the 18th century. This small chapel, nestled amidst the bustling cityscape, offers a serene retreat and a glimpse into Zagreb's religious heritage. Best part? Its is situated right next to Frane Petrić Street, on Ilica Street.

Modern Amenities Amidst Historical Charm

While taking a casual walk around the vibrant surroundings, you will find SOHO, the best novelty gift shop you need to surprise someone you love. 

Jewelry lovers will appreciate the presence of domestic stores like Prahir, known for its exquisite pieces that cater to different tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for a unique gift or a special piece to add to your collection, Prahir offers a wide selection of high-quality jewelry. I can also suggest visiting the Mamić 1970 Rolex boutique on Frane Petrić Street. Here you can peek into Zagreb's horological heritage. Established in 1978, this boutique, in partnership with Rolex, showcases exquisite timepieces and the craftsmanship of Pero Mamić, a pioneer in Croatian watchmaking.

Source: Fotografije Zagreba

Moreover, nearby Frane Petrić Street, you'll find more of Zagreb's most famous attractions. For example, Oktogon is a shopping complex not far from Ban Jelačić Square and just a few meters away from Frane Petrić Street. It is known for its diverse range of shops, restaurants, and cafés, but mostly - its stunning architecture. It's a favorite destination for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy shopping or simply observe city life.

Furthermore, a few steps to the west and Supernova Cvjetni shopping center appears. It offers a diverse array of shops, cafes, and entertainment options, providing a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in a contemporary setting. Need an exchange service? No problem, there are a lot of exchange offices all throughout city's center - one being directly on Frane Petrić Street, so you can easily handle any foreign currency needs.

Also, one practical stop is the ticket-buying store for ZET (Zagreb Electric Tram), where you can purchase tickets for the city's public transportation network, making it convenient for commuters and tourists to navigate the city. But no worries, bus, tram and funicular tickets can be bought at almost every kiosk in the city.

Photo credit: Boška i Krešo

The journey to the street itself is adorned with attractions worth exploring. Along the way, you'll encounter the intriguing Grounded Sun sculpture, a renowned piece of public art with a fascinating history. This sculpture, designed by Ivan Kožarić, was unveiled in 1971 and quickly became a beloved symbol of Zagreb's modern art scene. Up for a scavenger hunt? Find all the planets of the Solar System in Zagreb!

And, of course, Zagreb is no stranger to high-end accommodation, and the city center is rich in hotels and motels. For example, Hotel Dubrovnik is fairly close around, offering top-notch service and an immense book store in the basement. Speaking of books, Petrić Street is surrounded by numerous bookstores, providing a haven for book lovers. From large stores with extensive collections to smaller, specialized shops, there is something for literally (no pun intended) everyone. Whether you're seeking the latest bestsellers, classic literature, or niche genres, the bookstores around Petrić Street are sure to satisfy your literary cravings.

Frane Petrić Street is a must-see destination in Zagreb. Perfect for a leisurely stroll or some casual shopping, the street is conveniently connected to other bustling streets full of attractions - and all this right in the centre of Zagreb. Though it may be short, it is rich in surroundings, seamlessly bridging Zagreb's past and present. 

Come and see for yourself!

Header image credit: Fotografije Zagreba

Author: Valentin Preložiček