Zagreb Cathedral – Croatia's Largest Sacral Building

Neo-Gothic interior

Zagreb Cathedral, a Neo-Gothic masterpiece, is the most spectacular architectural statement of ecclesiastical architecture southeast of the Alps. Built-in Medieval times and dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and two kings, Stephen I and Ladislaus I, this is Croatia's tallest church building, housing a priceless treasure of objects dating from the 11th to the 19th centuries and the remains of numerous Croatian historical figures.

Cathedrals, particularly those of Roman Catholics, especially appeal to me. They are like the cherry on the cake for those interested in historical sacral architecture, such as myself. With a few exceptions, every cathedral in every European capital is absolutely gorgeous and highly significant in terms of architecture and history.

When in Zagreb, take a stroll across Kaptol Square to marvel at the city's imposing church. Though you may see its soaring spires from many vantage points throughout the city, nothing surpasses being directly in front of Croatia's largest sacral building. Zagreb Cathedral, the city's most famous landmark, undoubtedly represents Croatian pride. The 1993 Croatian kuna 1000 banknote depicts the church on the reverse side.

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Zagreb Map

The Church's Brief History

The church's construction began in the 11th century. King Andrew II consecrated the structure after its completion at the beginning of the 13th century. During the Mongol invasion of Eastern Europe in the 1240s, the invaders destroyed the building. A few years later, Bishop Timothy decided to build a new church dedicated to Hungarian King Stephen I on the ruins of the old one. The Ottoman Empire invaded Croatia and Bosnia at the end of the 15th century. As a result, fortification walls with towers around Kaptol went up; some are still standing today. In addition, in the 17th century, a Renaissance-style fortified watchtower was built to serve as a military observation post against the Ottoman threat.

The earthquake that struck Zagreb in 1880 caused significant damage to the church. Hermann Bollé, a German-born architect, worked on rebuilding the church in the Neo-Gothic style. The building's current look dates from that time. On March 22, 2020, an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale destroyed the top of the cathedral's south bell tower. Restoration work is still ongoing.

Kaptol Square

Zagrebačka katedrala
Zagreb Cathedral before the 2020 earthquake, in the background

Zagrebačka katedrala
The church's exterior

Zagrebačka katedrala
The church's lateral interior

Zagrebačka katedrala

Zagrebačka katedrala
The church's lateral interior details

Zagrebačka katedrala
The church's interior, with the high altar

How to Get There

The Zagreb Cathedral, attached to the Bishop's Palace and surrounded by 16th-century Renaissance walls with round towers, stands in the Kaptol district just above Ban Jelačić Square.

Address: Kaptol ul. 31, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

By Public Transportation:

Kaptol bus stop (lines 105, 106, 201, 203, 226, 238)

Draškovićeva tram stop (lines 4, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15)

Opening Hours & Ticket Prices

The church is temporarily closed due to construction. For more information, please visit the church's website.

Zagreb: 2.5-Hour Walking Tour with Funicular Ride

Explore Zagreb's allures and learn about the cathedral's history, challenges, and renovation on the 2.5-hour Walking Tour with Funicular Ride led by an expert local guide who will show you the city's hidden gems.

Have a wonderful time exploring the Croatian capital's historic sites!


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