Zagreb is a city that hides many secrets and legends which make it mysterious, and therefore very interesting. This is a story about Zagreb’s legends and myths!
ZAGREB´S LEGENDS -THE LEGEND OF THE GRIČ CANNON
The Lotrščak Tower is one of the main Zagreb symbols and it houses the Grič Cannon, which marks noon every day with a shot.
At the end of the 16th century the Turks decided that they would occupy the entire Croatian kingdom. During that time, the people of Zagreb were looking towards the other bank of the Sava river, where the villages were burning. They were worried because they didn’t have a cannon that could fire so far from Zagreb.
The Turkish leader, Hasan-Pasha Predojević knew that, so he carelessly set up tents while his army performed the usual exercises.
But, the people of Zagreb knew what Hasan Pasha was up to, so they worked every day to deliver as many weapons as possible so that they could defend themselves. For that purpose they brought a big cannon from Vienna and placed it on the Lotrščak tower. The barrel of the cannon was aimed directly at Hasan-pasha’s tent.
One spring day, a cannon fired from Grič! The bullet from the cannon took the rooster (that Hasan Pasha was preparing to eat) from the tray, and the air vortex that had formed knocked down all the tents.
For a long time, the people of Zagreb didn´t know what effect the cannon had. They learned this from Turkish prisoners after the battle near Sisak was over.
They said the Turkish leader was so frightened that he fled as far as possible from Sisak and Zagreb. The battle of Sisak interrupted all further Turkish progress, and Zagreb never fell into the hands of the Turks.
Every day since then, by firing at noon, the Grič cannon reminds us of that ancient shot that saved the city of Zagreb.
ZAGREB´S LEGENDS – A LEGEND ABOUT HOW ZAGREB GOT ITS NAME
Once upon a time, on the site of today’s main square in Zagreb, there was a water source (today’s Manduševac well). Beside that spring stood the girl Manda. At that moment, a knight on horseback, so tired and thirsty, was passing by and he only managed to say: “Mando, baby, grab it!” (Mando dušo zagrabi!).
According to this saying, Zagreb and Manduševac got their name (Manduševac from “Mando, dušo”, and Zagreb from “zagrabi”).
ZAGREB´S LEGENDS – THE LEGEND OF THE STONE GATES
The Stone gates are part of the former defense system of Zagreb’s Upper Town and are the only preserved city gates to this day, while all the others were demolished in the 19th century. The Stone gates dates back to the 13th century. Thanks to their preservation, but also to its turbulent past, they are today one of the most recognizable symbols of the city of Zagreb.
The Stone gates were destroyed in several fires, but the most famous was one from 1731, which engulfed the town on the night from 30 to 31 May, during which the fire spread from Gradec to Kaptol settlement.
After the fire, an almost completely preserved painting of the Mother of God was found in the area of the Stone gates. True, from the fire, its wooden frame and some parts of the canvas on the painting burned but the image of the Mother of God remained intact. The city has on several occasions given the picture to experts for review to study and detect what actually happened. They have repeatedly confirmed that the painting was engulfed in flames and did not burn even though it was made of a material that is sensitive to fire!
The painting of the Mother of God is the work of an unknown author, and the famous Croatian historian Lelja Dobronić believed that its the work of a local painter who painted it with oil on canvas in the late 17th or early 18th century. expanded and even faster its “undamaged” was attributed to a miracle.
On May 31, 1991, Cardinal Franjo Kuharić proclaimed the Mother of God of the Stone Gate the patron saint of the city of Zagreb. On the same day Zagreb is also celebrating its day!
The Stone gates with the painting of the Mother of God attracts many believers, as well as tourists who turn to the Mother of God for help by lighting candles or to thank her for answered prayers by placing a marble plates with engraved messages of thanks.