One of the most recognizable souvenirs of Zagreb is the Šestine umbrella
The Šestine umbrella is one of Zagreb’s most recognizable souvenirs. The umbrella is part of the Šestine folk costume, which was worn in the everyday life of the people of Šestine, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Zagreb located on the slopes of Medvednica mountains. The costume was worn until the 1960s. Today, Šestine traditional folk costumes are mostly worn at various events, ceremonies and folklore festivals.
The umbrella received the label “Croatian Creation” (Izvorno hrvatsko) from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, who recognized the importance and cultural heritage of the umbrella. It is carefully handmade from metal wires, wooden rod, chestnut handle and a red cotton canvas bordered with few colourful stripes.
Legend has it that umbrella’s recognizable bright red colour symbolizes the love between a young couple, Jankić and Janica. According to the legend, Jankić came to Janica to profess his eternal love to her. Hidden from the rain under a large black umbrella, the two passionately kissed. So strong was their love, that their black umbrella turned red.
You can see the Šestine umbrellas at the Dolac market, where they are mostly used as parasols.
Romulić & Stojčić
The Šestine umbrella is often given to prestigious companies, government offices, ministries, ambassadors and presidents. This beautiful gift was once given to the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as well as many celebrities such as Robbie Williams.
Today, the only umbrella manufacturer in Croatia which still makes them by hand is Tomislav Cerovečki.
You can grab yours at Cerovečki shop in Ilica 49, or at one of the souvenir shops in Bakačeva Street.