Gradec, Zagreb

Gradec, Zagreb

Gradec is a part of the Zagreb, Croatia nucleus and it's situated on the hill of Gornji Grad.


Gradec was given a royal charter by King Bela IV in 1242. The royal charter, also called the Golden Bull, was a very important document by which Gradec was declared and proclaimed "a free royal city on Gradec, the hill of Zagreb". This act made Gradec a feudal holding responsible directly to the king. The citizens were given rights of different kinds; among other things they were entitled to elect their own "city judge" ( _hr. gradski sudac) fulfilling the role of a mayor. They were also entitled to manage their own affairs.

The citizens engaged in building defensive walls and towers around their settlement, fearing a new Tatar invasion. They completed the defensive system at a time between 1242 and 1261. It could be rightly assumed that by building its fortification walls in the middle of the 13th century, Gradec acquired its outward appearance that can be clearly seen in today's Gornji Grad. The defensive walls enclosed the settlement in the shape of a triangle, its top located near the tower called Popov Toranj and its base at the south end (the Strossmayer Promenade), which could be explained by the shape of the hill. In some places, rectangular and semicircular towers fortified the defensive walls.

There were four main gates leading to the town: the west gate in the Mesnička Street, the new north gate, later known as the Opatička Street gate, Dverce in the south and the "Kamenita vrata" ( _en. Stone gate) in the east. Kamenita vrata is the only gate still preserved to date.

Gradec today

Undoubtedly, the focal point of Gornji Grad is the square around St. Mark's Church that had been called St. Mark's Square for years. St. Mark's Church is the parish church of Old Zagreb. When guilds developed in Gradec in the 15th, and later in the 17th century, being the societies of craftsmen, their members including masters, journeymen and apprentices would gather regularly in St. Mark's Church.

On the opposite side of the Square at the corner of Basaričekova Street lies the St. Mark's parish office. The house has been standing there since the 16th century, although it underwent reconstruction in the 18th century and had an extension added in the 19th century. At the west end of St. Mark's Square, the mansion called Dvori, the former residence of the Civil Governor of Croatia, was built at the beginning of the 19th century and yet, it can be classed among the Zagreb antiquities. The government of the Republic of Croatia meets in the Baroque mansion beside it. Since 1734, the Croatian Parliament has taken up the east side of St. Mark's Square.

Gradec was recently closed to car traffic except for residents, making it prima facie a pedestrian zone.cite web
url =
title = Gornji grad napokon postaje zona rezervirana za pješake
date = 2008-05-29
last = Kekić
first = Jasmina
accessdate = 2008-08-03
work = Vjesnik
language = Croatian) (PDF, 144 KB

See also

*History of Zagreb
*History of Croatia
*Zagreb cathedral
*St. Mark's Church
*Gornji Grad - Medveščak
*Ban Jelačić Square

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