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Ban Jelačić Square

Coordinates: 45°48′47″N 15°58′38″E / 45.81306°N 15.97722°E / 45.81306; 15.97722
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Ban Jelačić Square
Native nameTrg bana Jelačića (Croatian)
Former name(s)Harmica (until 1848)
Republic Square (1946–1990)
NamesakeBan Josip Jelačić
LocationDonji grad, Zagreb, Croatia
Coordinates45°48′47″N 15°58′38″E / 45.81306°N 15.97722°E / 45.81306; 15.97722
NorthSplavnica and Harmica streets
EastJurišićeva Street
SouthPraška and Gajeva streets
WestIlica Street
Completionc. 17th century

Ban Jelačić Square (pronounced [bâːn jɛ̌lat͡ʃit͡ɕ]; Croatian: Trg bana Jelačića) is the central square of the city of Zagreb, Croatia, named after Ban Josip Jelačić. The official name is Trg bana Josipa Jelačića. The square is colloquially called Jelačić plac.

The square 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.


Postcard of Ban Jelačić Square in Zagreb under the Habsburgs, at the end of the 19th century

The square's history begins in 1641 when a new marketplace was created on a plain below Gradec and Kaptol, near Manduševec spring. Over time, buildings and access roads were constructed around the marketplace. The location, initially called Manduševec, was later named Harmica.[1] The oldest standing building, dating from the 18th century, is situated at 1 Ban Jelačić Square.[2]

In 1826, the cattle market was relocated to what is now Zrinjevac Park. Groceries, transported to Harmica on carts, continued to be sold there until 1858.[3]

In 1848, the square was renamed to its present name.[2] A large statue of Ban Josip Jelačić on a horse, created by Austrian sculptor Anton Dominik Fernkorn was installed on 19 October 1866 by Austrian authorities, despite protests from Zagreb councilmen.[citation needed] It also caused unease amongst Hungarians, who saw Jelačić as a traitor.

A horsecar line passing through the square's southern side was introduced in 1891. Between 1910 and 1911, horses were replaced by electric trams.[2]

In 1946, the square was renamed to Republic Square (Trg Republike).[2] Jelačić's statue was removed in 1947 as the new communist government of SFR Yugoslavia denounced him as a "servant of foreign interests".[4] Antun Bauer, a curator of the Gliptoteka gallery, kept it in the gallery cellar.

After World War II, car traffic through the square intensified. In 1975, the square became a car-free zone.[2]

Panoramic image of the square

Modern square[edit]

The 1987 Summer Universiade (World University Games) was held in Zagreb. The city used the event to renovate and revitalize the city.[5] 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.[citation needed]

On 11 October 1990, during the breakup of Yugoslavia and after 1990 elections in Croatia, Jelačić's historic role had 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 was again changed to be named after Josip Jelačić.

Jelačić Square is the most common meeting place for people in Zagreb.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

The present-day square features buildings belonging to different architectural styles ranging from classicism, secession, and modernism. Many of them 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.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Iz povijesti". zagreb.hr (in Croatian). City of Zagreb. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bilić, Josip; Ivanković, Hrvoje, eds. (2006). "Jelačićev trg (Trg bana Josipa Jelačića)". Zagrebački leksikon (in Croatian). Zagreb: Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography and Masmedia. ISBN 953-157-486-3.
  3. ^ "Stočni sajmovi grada Zagreba kroz povijest" (PDF). Hrvatski veterinarski vjesnik (in Croatian). 28 (2). 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Ban Josip Jelačić". hrt.hr (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  5. ^ Zekić, Jasenko (October 2007). "Univerzijada '87. – drugi ilirski preporod" (PDF). Časopis za suvremenu povijest (in Croatian). 39 (2): 299–318. Retrieved 16 December 2015.

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