Backstreets and Ballet Zagreb Croatia

Dolac Flower Market
Dolac Flower Market

On Tuesday, I had fun exploring Zagreb’s backstreets! First stop was the Dolac district where I enjoyed a cappuccino and discovered the open-air food market – called “the belly of Zagreb”.

Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts – Wikipedia
Dolac Market

The backdrop to Dolac Market is St. Mary’s Church built in the 18th century. On the other side of the market there’s a square filled with fragrant flower stalls.

Zagreb Vista – AlphaLuxe

“A mischievous looking statue of Petrica Kerempuh stands in the midst of the flowers… Petrica Kerempuh is a Croatian plebeian prophet rascal and cynical commentator on contemporary events – a sort of predecessor to modern-day stand-up comedians.”

Croatian National Theater
Tkalčićeva Street

I continued to Tkalčićeva (tkal-chee-tseva) Street built along the course of the former Medveščak Creek, a Croatian landmark and the location for most of Zagreb’s watermills. During the 18th century it was an industrial site used to produce cloth, soap, paper, and liqueurs.

Marije Jurić –

“Medveščak Creek was the traditional boundary between the settlements of Kaptol and Gradec. Property to the east of the creek belonged to the church-controlled Kaptol. The west side belonged to the secular Gradec.”

The Witch of Gric Marija Jurić – Thread Felt
St. Marks Church – Croatia Travel Information
Marija Jurić

Tkalčićeva Street is famous for colorful architecture and interesting residents. Near the beginning of the street there’s a bronze statue of novelist and equal rights advocate Marija Jurić – the first female journalist in Croatia. Her pen name is Zagorka. Jurić’s popular novels intertwine love stories and historical themes. “The Witch of Gric” is one of her most beloved writings.

Zagreb Ballet Troupe
Glyptotheque Museum

North of Tkalčićeva Street the Glyptotheque Museum houses contemporary art and design exhibitions and plaster copies of famous sculptures. It was a leather tannery before the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences converted it.

Gliptoteka Museum Zagreb – Zagreb Card
Zagreb St. Marks Church
Zagreb Ballet

The Zagreb Ballet performance last night was really something! It was a mixture of classic and contemporary ballet. I’ve never seen stronger or more talented dancers. The ballet was called Baletini Triptih and included three separate pieces specifically choreographed for the Zagreb Grand Ballet. Each piece consisted of three segments with a short break between dances. For three hours the dancers tirelessly gave their all during extremely demanding performances. The audience clearly appreciated their talent and stamina.

National Theater Interior
National Theater Interior

I had a great seat next to a friendly Danish man involved in Croatian ballet production. He explained the layout of the ornate theater. He said in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the presence and support of the royal family was a major part of every performance.

Tkalciceva Street Zagreb – Afar

In Europe the upper front section to the left of the stage was for the king and his friends who were patrons of the ballet. The king’s family occupied the section directly across on the right side of the stage.

Tkalciceva Street Zagreb

During high-profile ballet and opera performances kings and other royalty would show off their daughters and try to find them suitable husbands. He said to this day in Denmark no one will sit in empty seats reserved for the king – even if a performance is sold out.

St. Mary’s Church – Pixers

It was a wonderful evening, and I’m happy to have experienced a ballet in the majestic Croatian National Theater – a fantastic memory!

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