Ilica Skyscraper Coffehouse in the ’60s

Total Croatia News

The first business skyscraper in Zagreb, designed by Slobodan Jovičić, Josip Hitil and Ivan Žuljević, was built in 1957.
As with every modern building, there were conflicting opinions: some people were convinced that it would disrupt the appearance of the square, while others felt that this was a much needed break with tradition.

The subject was so controversial that the construction workers were supposedly thrown litter at, and architect Andrija Mutnjaković called the building “awkward and characterless”.

Nevertheless, the skyscraper was the first building in ex-Yugoslavia to have featured an aluminium facade, and its 16 storeys earned it the title of the first real skyscraper and tallest building in Yugoslavia at the time.
The observation deck was a huge hit among the people of Zagreb and tourists, and the Neboder (Skyscraper) coffee shop, pictured above, was the it place during the ‘60s and the ‘70s.

There was always either live music, or music playing from record players, so it was always filled with people having a good time and dancing to the sounds of evergreens.

Ms. Zdenka Kršćanski told Jutarnji list that the coffee shop was so popular that even Marshal Tito celebrated New Year’s Eve there once.
Liftboys and elevator girls were in charge of operating the lifts at the time, so one of them didn’t recognize Tito when he was climbing up for a cup of coffee, so she charged him the ticket, Ms. Kršćanski remembers.

The coffee shop was turned into a disco club in the ‘90s (Klub 1), and then closed completely during the renovation period in the ‘00s.
The windows, originally clear, were replaced with dark gray glass, and an observation deck was added on the top floor. It was closed in 2007, but it opened as Zagreb Eye in 2013.

Whatever your opinion on its appearance might be, the skyscraper remains one of the unmistakable symbols of Ban Jelačić Square, and serves as a reminder of times gone by to several generations.

If you’re an incurable nostalgic, or simply like vintage things, you can buy Kavana Neboder’s menu for 30 kn here.

Visit Zagreb – kakav je bio nekad for more photos of old Zagreb.



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