Last Surviving Traditional Craft Stores in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

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Dragana Niksic

Zagrebonline brings a list of traditional craft stores in Zagreb that have managed to resist the ravages of time.

It’s no secret we love traditional craftsmanship here at TCN – you have to admire the skills and the tradition passed down from generation to generation, and even though many have closed down in Zagreb, some are still standing, and they will stay that way for a long time, we hope.

We interviewed Mr Darko Škrgatić, owner of the oldest millinery shop in Zagreb here, but, on August 22, 2017,’s Luka Jagarić managed to compile a great list of many other interesting shops that we’ll be sure to visit soon.

In the centre of the city, across the street from Dolac (Pod zidom 8), you can find Cahun millinery shop, which has been there since 1949. Owner Josipa Cahun is a member of the third generation of her family that has been making hats, caps, and scarves from 1935, and she learnt the trade from her father and grandfather. The workshop in the back looks like a small crafts museum of Zagreb’s cultural heritage, where everything is still hand-made, and a place where satisfied customers still get their classic hats at, the same ones that our grandparents used to wear.

Šeširi i kape Cahun, Facebook

The situation is very similar in Lebarović clockmaking workshop at Maksimirska 52, with a tradition that has been passed down six generations since 1947. The shop is best known for making, maintaining and repairing typical public and church clocks that you can find throughout Croatia. More than 200 clocks in cities and churches, the blue clock next to which everyone meets at the Main Square, on Savski most tram terminal, Kvaternik Square, in Dubrava, Dom sportova… Imagine how many dates and love stories started next to their clocks!
MOJ ZAGREB Facebook group

Ilica has always been known for traditional craft shops, and the same goes for present time.You can find many traditional shops in the section of Ilica between Gundulićeva and Medulićeva Streets, all of them located on the left side.

The first is at number 33 – Strugar Shoe shop. Nenad Strugar is the second generation of his family, after his father started it in 1967, to continue the tradition of premium quality handmade men’s shoes. Tailor-made shoes sound like a luxury, but they are worth every penny … Especially Strugar shoes!

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Cipele Strugar, Facebook

Next, we have Cerovečki Umbrellas in Ilica 49, in the passageway next to the Croatian Chamber of Economy. With a century-old tradition, originally from Varaždin in 1912, the first Zagreb store opened in Ilica 19 in 1936. Until 2004, when the workshop and the shop opened at today’s location, the family sometimes made umbrellas at their home! They take pride in their handmade products and orders from around the world. There’s no better way of fighting the Zagreb rain than by carrying a traditional bright-red Šestine umbrella.

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Kišobrani Cerovečki, Facebook

Our next address is Ilica 51, Marković Glassmaker and Picture Framing Shop. The third generation of the oldest framing trade in Zagreb is led by Damir Marković, who inherited the shop from his father and grandfather, who founded it in 1919. In addition to framing, Mr Marković also creates unique mirrors, glass tables and shelves. For almost 100 years the Markovićs have advised and created frames of paintings and artwork that can be found on the walls of important institutions in Zagreb and around Croatia.

Next, in Ilica 53, we have the Strašek Keycutting Shop, which has been at the same location since it was founded in 1949. Zvonimir Strašek continues his great-grandfather’s tradition, who started his trade in Nova Ves back in 1836. All key-cutting and duplication jobs are still done by hand, and even though there are numerous kiosks around the city, Strašek is the first name that pops into your head when you need to get a new key. If the Strašeks don’t have the old type of key you need, nobody does!

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Brusionica Strašek, Facebook

However, in addition to these happy and somewhat romantic stories about family-owned businesses, unfortunately, there are also sad examples when trades are forced to close down because new generations weren’t interested in continuing the family business.

One of the last old school hair salons was closed last year – Darinka in Preradovićeva 27, which was opened in 1949. After Ms Nada Bočkor and Ms Nada Popović, who managed the salon for 43 years, retired, the space they had been renting was returned to its owners and it has been closed ever since. Behind these doors, you can find a unique hair salon interior that has not undergone any significant changes since it opened. Chairs, mirrors, furniture, hair dryers and tiles are frozen in time.

A millinery shop in Petrinjska 69 also closed down this year. Mr Ivan Horvatić had been running it for over 40 years, so, before he retired, he decided to sell all his men’s hats and caps and closed the door of his shop.

Another shop that will close down is Mr Ivan Prgomet’s hair salon in Ilica 146, which he took over from its previous owner in 1970. After 54 years, Mr Prgomet will retire, and there is no one to continue his trade and his forty regular customers will need to find a new barber.

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