One of the city’s green oases was originally the first children’s park in Croatia.
Krešimirov trg (King Petar Krešimir Square) is definitely one of the hidden gems of the city – you won’t really stumble upon it, being located just off Branimirova/Šubićeva intersection, but once you do, you’ll start wondering how come you’ve never heard of it before.
The plans to build a park here were in the works in early 20th c., and the initial plan was to build it along the Medveščak Creek, which used to go through Tkalča and which is now underground. The square around it was built in 1928, and first it was called King Petar Krešimir Square, then Stalin Square after 1928, then Lenin Square after 1950, and, finally, it was renamed back to its original name in 1990.
With its 220 x 210 m, the Square is actually the biggest square in Zagreb and in Croatia, covering a surface of 43,500 m2 and it’s a meeting point of 10 different streets.
A big landscape park, built in 1937/38, with a children’s playground covers almost the entire Square.
The fish pond at the park used to be a pool where children would swim to cool down in Zagreb’s heat, but, unfortunately, due to polio epidemic and unsanitary conditions, it was shut down in the ‘50s.
The little boy’s statue at the park has a morbid urban legend about how it came to be – it is said that the 5 year old son of a local businessman, Antun Res, got into a fight with another boy over a teddy bear. The other boy went home, took a hammer, and hit Dado, Mr Res’ son, on the head, who later died. That’s why the statue has a cut on his forehead and is holding a teddy bear and a hammer. According to another story, Dado is alive and well and is currently living in America with his family.
Noone knows for sure, but we certainly hope that the latter is true.
Now that the heatwave is gone, it’s a perfect time to go visit this hidden green oasis and enjoy the shade of its huge sycamore trees.
All photos from Zagreb – kakav je bio nekada Facebook group, where you can find more great photos of Zagreb in history.