At the main square in Zagreb you can find trams, a market, a fountain, many shops and restaurants and always, no matter when you go you are bound to run into somebody that you know :)
I spent a large part of my youth in Zagreb, in fact 8 years and hence the main square in Zagreb will always be very special to me. This is the place where you would meet friends before going to the cinema when younger and the place you would end up before going home after a night out at the club during your high school years.
The square is quite large with several highlights. In the beginning, if you are coming from the east, that is (my usual path) , you will first see the Mandusevac fountain, a place where people often thrown in a coin or two for luck. Walking on you will come to the statue of Josip Jelacic, a “Ban” (Slavic title), a Croatian hero of the 19th century. A bit further on you will see the famous “sata” or the clock, the place where all people gather, young teenagers heading out as well as the pensioners meeting before heading on to “dolac” or the market place just 50 meters away. There is a tram line right through the square and plenty of shops and bakeries, resturants and other places to indulge in a heavy calorie meal!
What I really like about this square is that there is always something happening here. It truly is the main square of the city. What you have to understand about the Croatian people is that they are very proud. Hence frequent celebrations to praise the heros of the nation. Of these heros, sport success seems to be valued above all else. Take for example the late success of alpine skier Janice Kostelic. After each major victory (Olympic gold, World Cup, World Championship gold) about 50,000 (total population 700,000) people went to the square to salute this new hero. Then the handball team won several titles, the waterpolo team, rowers and on the list goes. These constant celebrations are particularly important to the people, as often schools completely shut down to allow the students a chance go to the square, and most offices end up empty (although officially people are still supposed to come to work). Except for celebrations there are also regular concerts held here, even in the winter. If there is no event going on, you can always see one of many street artists (in one picture below there is an older man trying to earn a little bit by showing his dance moves… or a group of South American musicians playing some tunes) a skate board show in one corner close to the statue or simply sit back and look at the people.
Since everyone likes to meet at the square you will almost always bump into somebody that you know here. Now that I live in Vienna I visit the city quite regularly and these shots are the result of my latest trip 2 weeks ago. Also, of course the square is not actually red, but I am a big fan of the reddish tilt of the Velvia :)