Ban Jelačić Square

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Night view of the square

Ban Jelačić Square (Croatian: Trg bana Josipa Jelačića or Trg bana Jelačića, pronounced [bâːn jɛ̌lat͡ʃit͡ɕ]) is the central square of the city of Zagreb, Croatia, named after ban Josip Jelačić. The official name is Trg bana Jelačića. It is colloquially referred to as Jelačić plac (derived from Platz, the German word for square or plaza) or simply Trg ("the square").

It is located below Zagreb's old city cores Gradec and Kaptol and directly south of the Dolac Market on the intersection of Ilica from the west, Radićeva Street from the northwest, the small streets Splavnica and Harmica from the north, Bakačeva Street from the northeast, Jurišićeva Street from the east, Praška Street from the southeast and Gajeva Street from the southwest. It is the center of the Zagreb Downtown pedestrian zone.


The square in an 1880 postcard showing the statue facing north, peasant stalls, and the Zagreb Cathedral before the 1880 earthquake

The square has existed since the 17th century. Its first name was Harmica. It features buildings belonging to different architectural styles ranging from classicism, secession and modernism. The oldest standing building is situated at 18 Ban Jelačić Square. It was built in 1827.

The square features a large statue of ban Josip Jelačić on a horse, created by Austrian sculptor Anton Dominik Fernkorn. The statue was originally installed on October 19, 1866 by Austrian authorities, despite protests from Zagreb councilmen.[citation needed] It also caused unease amongst Hungarians, who see Jelacic as a traitor.

The statue was removed in 1947 as the new Communist government of Yugoslavia denounced Jelačić as a "servant of foreign interests".[1] Antun Bauer, a curator of the Gliptoteka gallery, kept it in the gallery cellar. The square was renamed Trg Republike (Republic Square).

The 1987 Summer Universiade (World University Games) was held in Zagreb. The city used the event to renovate and revitalize the city.[2] The square was repaved with stone blocks and made part of the downtown pedestrian zone. A part of the Medveščak stream, which had been running under the sewers since 1898, was uncovered by workers. This part formed the Manduševac fountain that was also covered in 1898.

Modern square[edit]

360-degree panoramic image of the square

On October 11, 1990, during the breakup of Yugoslavia and after 1990 elections in Croatia, and Jelačić's historic role has again been considered positive and the statue was returned to the square but on the north portion facing the south. The name of the square has again been changed to his second name, after Josip Jelačić.

Jelačić Square is the most common meeting place for people in Zagreb. Being a part of the pedestrian zone, it is inaccessible by car, but it is the main hub for trams. ZET tram lines 1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 traverse it by day, and 31, 32 and 34 by night.

Many of the buildings on the square have antique façades which require renovation. This makes them a common target for advertisers, who cover the construction work with large posters.

The square features the Manduševac fountain located in its eastern part. The square is adorned with Christmas trees and lights at Christmas.