Named after the man on the horse that sits in its centre, the square of Ban Josip Jelacic is Zagreb’s favourite meeting place and your starting point for both our walks. If a Zagebrian tells you to meet them ‘under the tail,’ this is where they mean. It’s also the main hub for the tram lines.
The square has existed since the 17th century and the oldest standing building dating from the 18th century, is at number 1. Hermann Bolle designed Palace Pongratz which once stood on the square and was unfortunately destroyed between the two World Wars.
Originally called Harmica and then named after Jelacic, in 1946 the square was renamed Trg Republike (Republic Square). Jelacic’s statue was removed in 1947 because the incoming Communist government of Yugoslavia didn’t like the freedom Jelacic stood for. Antun Bauer, a curator at one of the galleries kept the statue in pieces in his gallery cellar.
On October 11 1990, after 1990 elections, Jelacic’s equestrian statue was returned to the square but on the north side facing the south.
For a bird’s eye view of the square, head to the viewing platform at Zagreb Eye, or take a seat on the outdoor balcony above the Znanosti bookshop.