Cathedral with a turbulent past

In the historical inner city of Zagreb, the 2 towers of the enormous neo-Gothic cathedral rise above the other buildings. Its official name is ‘The Cathedral of Mary’s Assumption’ but the cathedral is popularly known as the Zagreb Cathedral. The stunning exterior is as breathtaking as the interior, and no expense or efforts have been spared to adorn the cathedral with many wall paintings and altars.

Arts & Culture
The cathedral towers over the city

The cathedral towers over the city

A rich history full of renovations

Thanks to its rich history, the cathedral is a huge attraction to both residents and visitors. The building was completed in 1217 but only a few decades later, in 1242, it was devastated by the Tatars. In 1263, the structure was completely renovated in a Gothic style. Walls and towers were added in the 16th century and in the 17th century a huge tower was placed next to the cathedral. Since 1990, the cathedral is undergoing gradual renovations to preserve its condition.

The pulpit of the Zagreb cathedral

The pulpit of the Zagreb cathedral

Not just a pretty façade

The cathedral, which seats 5,000 people, features neo-Gothic marble altars, stained glass and a beautiful pulpit. It is also the final resting place of the controversial Croatian Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac, who is buried in a tomb made by Croatian sculptor and architect Ivan Meštrović. An image of the archbishop can be seen on a raised platform behind the main altar. Stepinac led the Croatian Catholic Church during World War II, and although never proven, there are strong indications that he had ties to the Nazis.

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