It was our second full day in Zagreb and there was still a lot to see. We were under the impression from what we had read beforehand that one night in Zagreb would be long enough, but we had booked 3 nights instead to deal with jet lag and to explore a new City at our leisure. And we didn’t regret it, as we could have easily stayed another night.
This morning we headed up to the Upper Town (Gradec) via the funicular, although it wasn’t operating at the time, so we climbed the steps instead, which was an effortless hike.
At the top of the funicular there are two amazing museums; The Museum of Broken Relationships and the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.
I was somewhat skeptical of the Museum of Broken Relationships since it was such an unusual idea for a museum, I just couldn’t imagine ahead of time what it would be like. But I had read that it was a must-see place to visit so we wandered in. It’s a rather amazing exhibit about people sharing their failed relationship stories. Each person wrote something about their relationship and then donated an object that represented the relationship to them. There were all types of relationships and a wide range of objects, which created a touching, emotional and interesting exhibit. We spent an hour and a half reading the stories, many of which were humorous, some were romantic while a few were achingly sad. It has a very strong universal human element to it and I would highly recommend it.
One of the many interesting stories in the Museum of Broken Relationships.
Just across the way is the Croatian Museum of Naive Art. Since I had never heard of this art movement, in spite of taking several art history courses, I was a bit skeptical of this museum as well, but we decided to check it out.
It is a small museum with a wonderful display of paintings and a few sculpture pieces from the era. At first we viewed the artwork on our own but on our way out a tour group arrived led by a docent guide and we tagged along going through the museum a second time. Understanding the history of the movement, and learning about the artists, made a big difference in our experience and I would definitely recommend it.
Ivan Generalic was the founder of the Croatian Naive Art movement. He painted on glass because that is what was available at the time. This required him to paint the foreground of his composition first and then work in layers to the back of the painting.
The artists of the Naive Art movement believed that anyone can create worthwhile art regardless of formal training.
There are several other museums to visit in Zagreb but since it was Sunday we decided to head over to the Antiques Market (open 9am to 2 pm Sundays) only a few blocks away.
Th Antiques Market was a fun place to find hand made and antique jewelry and to talk to the locals.
I enjoyed Zagreb more than I expected to, and I would definitely return if the opportunity arose.