What Summer Holidays Looked Like 100 Years Ago: Zagreb Summer Houses

Total Croatia News

It’s a holiday today, so it’s a perfect opportunity to take a walk around the shade of Tuškanac forest and see that summer in Zagreb can be beautiful.

Since you’re stuck in Zagreb over the long weekend while all your friends are posting beach selfies from around the coast, it might be fun to see how people survived agonies like these in the past.
Staying in Zagreb over the summer one hundred years ago was considered chic, believe it or not, HRT magazin reported on August 13, 2017.

Wealthy citizens of Zagreb actually had specialised houses for this scattered around Zagreb hills. Called letnik or ljetište (summer house), they were mostly built in the late 19th c.

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Mirna Meštrović, MS, and Mladen Obad Šćitaroci, F.C.A. from Zagreb’s Faculty of Architecture conducted research about the history of these houses in 2010. 96 were discovered, 55 out of which are still there, more or less in their original state.
The HRT team visited Ivana Gorana Kovačića and Vladimira Nazora streets, where summer houses were built as part of a planned complex, modelled after Viennese cottage complexes, Währing and Döbling.

“It is important to note that the houses were not located directly on the street, but were separated from it by its garden full of ornamental plants,” Ms Meštrović said.

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“These aren’t the villas like the ones you can find in the Lower City. They are detached dwellings, most of them have a turret, romantic elements, or half-timber work. Early historicism romantic elements are incorporated in late historicism urbanism plan,” Alan Braun, PhD, who was in charge of Grbac Summer House renovation, adds.

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Grbac Summer House, which is a protected monument, is an excellent example of this in Ivana Gorana Kovačića Street.

“It was designed in 1889 by architects Hönigsberg and Deutch, who designed another, smaller summer house in 1889, and they did expansion works on the original building again 10 years later and then again in 1906,” Mr Braun says.

After decades of neglect by various owners and dwellers, the summer house was renovated a few years ago. Its original appearance was restored based on the 1906 renovation plans and now it’s a family home.

Not all summer houses in the neighbourhood were as lucky. Many of them are waiting for renovation, and some of them are in dire need of new owners.

It’s a holiday today, so it’s a perfect opportunity to take a walk around this unique Zagreb cottage complex in the shade of Tuškanac forest and see that our ancestors were right and that summer in Zagreb can be beautiful.

Translated from HRT magazin.


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