City Organizer: Cultural Centre Tresnjevka – Tresnjevka Mapping Team
Walk Leaders: Vanja Radovanović, Mladen Perušić, Jasminka Klemenčić Zlica, Antonio Jurčev, Petra Bilić Križan, Saša Šimpraga, Milan Dalmacija, and Goran Pinter
Text by: Vanja Radovanović
Photographs by: Mladen Sokele and Vanja Radovanović
This year was the third year Zagreb participated in Jane’s Walk, with eight walks that covered different parts of the city. The walks were dispersed throughout the May weekend, averaging 32 participants on each one.
Vanja Radovanović led a group of 35 walkers along the eastern railway line from the city center towards the eastern outskirts. This area is interesting, because from the 1920s to the 1960s it was the heart of the local manufacturers and rising industry, but now it has completely transformed: today new housing projects and highrise office buildings have replaced the factory chimneys that once fueled this city.
Mladen Perušić, an architect who designed a building as part of the city’s central recreation centre, Jarun, led the walk around the centre and its buildings. The centre consists of several lakes and water sports facilities to host international competitions, which is no small feat, as Mladen described in detail.
Jasminka Klemenčić Zlica, an inhabitant of the Trnje district, led a walk through different parts of the neighbourhood. This area is a combination of suburban family homes from the past and huge concrete buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s, at the time when this area was designated to be a new centre of the city (which never really happened).
Antonio Jurčev, a head of a local elementary school, led a walk around Masimir, the biggest and most famous park in Zagreb. The park has its roots in the 18th century, when a local bishop decided to make a public park, and in the last 300 years it has become the favourite recreational spot for Zagrebers, with five lakes, several pavilions, a zoo, and many walking trails.
Petra Bilić Križan, an inhabitant of the Zapruđe, a housing community that is part of the New Zagreb, told a story about the first housing project built on the southern bank of the Sava River, opposite of the city centre on the northern bank. This housing development in the 1960s was a breakthrough point for the urbanisation of this part of the city.
Saša Šimpraga led a walk through residential districts of Rim and Remete that were once villages, but, with their proximity to nature and view of the city, became a major spot for villas and appartments for the wealthy, especially during the 1990s. Among others we saw a former residence of Richarde Gere (who onced filmed a movie here in Zagreb), an exceptionally beautiful old wooden villa from early 19th century.
Milan Dalmacija led a walk which took us along one of the longest streets in Zagreb, the Workers street. Once there were factories there, but now it is the financial hub and business centre of Zagreb, filled with international companies, night clubs, fancy stores.
Finally, Goran Pinter led a walk to a Medvedski breg (Bear Hill) under the Medvednica (Bear Mountain; its summit, Sljeme, peaks at 1033 m), a mountain that guards the back of Zagreb. Today the Medvednica is a humble suburban village that sits on the top of the same-name hill and one of the remaining inhabitants told us stories about the life in the past.