Calling All Potterheads: Christmas Magic in Enchanted City at Advent in Zagreb

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This year’s Advent in Zagreb has a magical twist to it: created by Here Be Dragons with some help from the Ministry of Magic Croatia, an Enchanted City awaits at Fuliranje – and it’s sure to fill all fantasy fans with glee

Every generation has its own cult book series or movie franchise they grew to love in their childhood and kept going back to even when adulthood rolled around. There’s Star Wars, there’s The Lord of the Rings, there’s a mixture of many, but to me, one particular series stands out as the one that has influenced me and my friends the most as we were growing up – Harry Potter.

I still remember the day my mom brought home two books with colourful covers and said she thought I, her little bookworm, might like them. At that moment, the Potter frenzy still hasn’t gone out of hand in Croatia, and I was intrigued to see what she picked out for me. By the moment dinner was ready, I was already done with the first – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, first published in 1997 in the UK, with the Croatian edition coming out a couple of years later. I don’t remember how old I was when I dove into the magical world created by J. K. Rowling – 11? What I do remember is my mom getting upset with me for ‘reading too fast’, afraid I failed to savour the experience. I didn’t – I devoured, appreciated and then reread all seven books so many times in the following years, I’m still proud to call myself a Potterhead. (After all this time?….)

It’s been 20 years since the first book in the series came out, and the series still hasn’t lost its appeal. You’ll forgive me for the somewhat long introduction, as it serves to show we all have our own Potter-related origin story, and all of us millennials who were lucky enough to be a part of the first tier of readers are now happy to pass on the torch to the younger generations. Knowing there are countless kids out there who will develop a love of reading in the middle of this social-media-obsessed era, all thanks to J.K.Rowling… it fills me with joy. Knowing there’s a special organisation dedicated to gathering all the fans of the popular saga living in Croatia… well, that’s the cherry on the cake.


The Ministry of Magic Croatia, named after the entity that makes a regular appearance in the books, organises meet-ups, quizzes, workshops and similar other gathering for all Potter fans. This holiday season, they joined forces with the fabulous crew behind the Here Be Dragons shop that offers licensed merchandise related to hits such as Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. This winter, however, Harry Potter is the star of the show, taking the Christmas market in Zagreb to a whole another level by sprinkling it with a heavy dash of magic.


Drop by Fuliranje at the Strossmayer square in Zagreb, and you’ll find one part of the venue transformed into an Enchanted City (Začarani grad). In collaboration with HBO GO, Here Be Dragons created a dazzling display that’ll transport all fans of the fantasy genre into a magical world, providing a place where they can hang out and discuss their favourite characters, and also get their own magic wands, wizard cloaks, themed candy and other collectibles inspired by Hogwarts Houses.


It gets better: Here Be Dragons also organised an impressive array of activities for children of all ages (yes, that includes us grown-ups as well) inspired by the Harry Potter saga. Members of the Ministry of Magic Croatia will teach participants how to prepare magic potions, how to write runes, and how to draw and create fantastic beasts, to name just a few workshops. What I particularly love about this is how the activities lean on the popular series in order to teach children some useful skills and tricks: making their own magic wands got them into arts and crafts, while a class on defence against the dark arts taught them how to defend themselves from bullying.


We’ll make sure to bring updates on the upcoming events and workshops; in the meantime, pay a visit to the Enchanted City, treat yourself to hot chocolate or some cotton candy, and enjoy the stunning ambiance. If you’re visiting with kids, make sure to bring them along, as you’ll all have a blast. In case the youngsters still haven’t been introduced to Harry Potter, there’s an idea for a perfect Christmas present – after all, we could all use a bit of magic in this day and age.


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