Zagreb Cathedral – Croatia's Tallest 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.

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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. The majority of cathedrals in European capitals are stunning and highly significant both architecturally and historically.

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.

Zagreb Cathedral in Photos

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

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. Mongols destroyed the building during the invasion of Eastern Europe in the 1240s. 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.

How to Get There

The Zagreb Cathedral, surrounded by 16th-century Renaissance walls with round towers, stands in the Kaptol district close to 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)

Where to Stay in Zagreb offers a wide range of lodging options, various discounts, and exceptional customer service. For a list of places to stay in Zagreb, click here.

Zagreb: 2.5-Hour Walking Tour with Funicular Ride

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 also show you hidden gems of the city.

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Have you ever visited the Zagreb Cathedral? Do you agree it looks impressive? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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