Odysseys’ Hidden Gems: Zagreb’s Lotrščak Tower Posted August 8, 2016
Imagine walking down tree-lined streets surrounded by colorful buildings capped with red roofs that are home to unique shops, restaurants, and bakeries – welcome to Zagreb! Notable for its 18th– and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture, Zagreb is Croatia’s northwestern capital and a flourishing cultural, arts, and music destination.
While Hvar and Dubrovnik are known for their beauty, Zagreb is just as lovely and has managed to remain relatively undiscovered by travelers. For those on our “Pearls of Dalmatia” tour who have time at leisure to explore this vibrant city, we suggest heading to the Lotrščak Tower for unbeatable 360-degree views of Zagreb’s Upper and Lower towns.
While the city’s main lookout spot is the Zagreb Eye, situated at the top of a modern skyscraper, Lotrščak Tower has historical significance, wonderful views, and is virtually undiscovered (you could have the place to yourself!). Located in Gradec (Upper Town), the tower dates to the 13th century and was originally built to guard the southern gate of the Gradec town wall against Tartars and thieves. The name, derived from Latin, means “thieves’ bell” which refers to a bell that hung in the tower in 1646 to signal the closing of the town gates.
Along with providing views of the city, the tower also serves another purpose. Locals and travelers recognize this tower as the origin for the mid-day boom heard citywide; since 1877, the city blasts a cannon from the roof of the tower every day at noon to help churches and locals ensure their watches are set correctly. But few travelers think to cross the tower’s threshold.
To reach Lotrščak, ride the funicular located on Tomić Street to the top of the hill. Built in 1888, this funicular is one of the steepest, but also shortest funiculars in the world. Then walk across the street to the Lotrščak Tower. Climb the spiral staircase (106 steps) to the wooden deck and enjoy views of red-tiled rooftops, Zagreb Cathedral, and St. Mark’s Church. Along the way you will also be able to check out the history exhibits on each floor.
Cost: 20 kuna (approximately US$2.96)
Address: Strossmayerovo šetalište 9
December 1 – February 28 Open: 09:00 – 17:00; Sat, Sun 10:00 – 17:00.
March 1 – May 31 Open: 09:00 – 19:00; Sat, Sun 10:00 – 19:00.
June 1 – September 30 Open: 09:00 – 21:00; Sat, Sun 10:00 – 21:00.
October 1 – November 30 Open: 09:00 – 19:00; Sat, Sun 10:00 – 19:00.
Photo 1 courtesy of Flickr, Photo 2 courtesy of Flickr, Photo 3 courtesy of Flickr.