Zagreb’s Green Horseshoe is a u-shaped system of parks, squares, fountains, and monuments that “form a horseshoe” around parts of Lower Town. Zrinjevac Park is a good starting point for walking the green horseshoe.
Many of the museums and galleries along the route were damaged during Croatia’s 2020 earthquake and are currently closed to the public. Although that’s disappointing, just looking at the exteriors is a treat! The buildings and their stories are formidable history lessons.
The walk leads you through a myriad of gorgeous buildings and parks, like the Botanical Garden, Marko Marulić Square, and Marshal Tito Square. Notable historical buildings and squares in the green horseshoe include:
- Croatian State Archives
- Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters
- Museum of Arts and Crafts
- King Tomislav Square
- Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square
- Ante Starčević Square
- Hotel Esplanade
- Mimara Museum
- Ivan Mažuranić Square
- Art Pavilion
- Zagreb Main Railway Station
- Archaeological Museum
It’s been cool and rainy in Zagreb, but I’ve walked the green horseshoe a few times. Exploring this area in the rain is nice too, but not ideal for photography, especially while carrying an umbrella. I had to give it up when the bottom part of my jeans got soaking wet. Soon, the area will be gleaming with lights and Christmas market booths which are currently being built.
The green horseshoe was “conceived by urban planner Milan Lenuci as a park system consisting of seven squares aligned on three straight lines”. In 2013, Lenuci’s Green Horseshoe received the silver plaque at the Golden Flower of Europe award.
Fountains and parks continue south of the railway station as “an extension of the green horseshoe”. The area includes modern buildings, like the Importanne Centar, a shopping mall, and Lisinski Concert Hall, where the Zagreb Philharmonic performs.