This running tour is ideal for runners who prefer easy or moderate pace, runners who like to make a photo stop wherever they prefer, and for those who simply wish to enjoy Zagreb architecture through the history.
Throughout history, Zagreb was a geographical, cultural, historical and political intersection of the East and West, and therefore it offers a fusion of the continental and Mediterranean spirit. All throughout the tour runners experience Zagreb architecture: since the first written record in 1094, when the city was founded, up to the end of the 19th century when the city witnessed the most significant urban planning in the history of Croatian architecture and all the way to the second half of the 20th century when Zagreb started with new developments in urban planning based on the model of Le Corbusier and socialist realism. Zagreb offers an eclectic mix of styles and interesting sights for the runner to take in.
On this tour runners reach Vukovarska Street that represents the best example of post-war planning in the 1950s. The influences that shaped the post-war architecture of Croatia, as well as Vukovarska Street are dichotomous: on the one hand, there is Le Corbusier’s theory of housing, contrasted by the newly formed direction of socialist realism. The name Vukovarska Street hails from the town of Vukovar, which is most noted for its tragic fate during the Homeland war in the early 1990’s and is often called “The Hero Town”. It is the only town in Europe since World War II that was completely devastated. Just off Vukovarska Street, is the building of the National and University Library overlooking the Zagreb Fountains – dubbed Bandić’s fountains among locals, as it was mayor Bandić’s idea to build them. Zagreb Fountains are also unique due to the fact that they are the venue of the spectacular event during IAAF Hanžeković Memorial – the world’s best shot putter competition.
As the running tour continues, runners enjoy the most significant sights, buildings and parks, but they will also pass by hidden gems, including a residential building in Laginjina Street, the astonishing Mirogoj Cemetery and a residential area built after World War II of twenty villas in Novakova Street – the finest example of modern housing from the 1930s, which although located in the very centre of the city, is still a quiet and green oasis.
As the running comes to an end, runners will run through some of the most beautiful parks in the city that are part of the so-called Green Horseshoe, a sequence of seven squares created in the second half of the nineteenth century. During the December, the parks host Advent or Zagreb Christmas Market, voted as the “Best Christmas Market” in Europe by European Best Destinations’ online poll.
Finally, on this route there are many popular restaurants and bars, as well as a few gastronomic hidden gems, i.e. highly recommended places to eat and drink. You will have plenty of recommendations on how and where to reload with energy.
My friend Donna and myself flew to Zagreb to see Iron Maiden on the Sunday. Eager to look around the city but also big on fitness we thought we’d combine the two and booked a running tour of the city for the Saturday morning. What a great decision it proved to be. Our guide, Ivana, was bubbly and friendly and showed us all the sights with stories and explanations for thier significance. Zagreb is reasonably small and flat so the running wasn’t too arduous and Ivana was a very sympathetic. This was the end of May and the temperature was in the upper 20’s. We ran over 7 miles in two hours and took in the museums, government buildings, churches and parks. It was a great way to orientate ourselves in the city and allowed us to go and investigate in more detail in the afternoon (as well as build up and appetite for lunch). Would thoroughly recommend doing this and I’m going to do it again when I go to Dubrovnik
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