Trg kralja Tomislava
The brave warrior defended continental Croatia from the invading attacks of the Hungarians and for the first time united all Croatian provinces into one country. The wise ruler decided to turn the principality into the Kingdom of Croatia and in 925 he was crowned with the blessing of the Holy See. His death three years later was never clarified. He remains the most famous great man in the history of the Croatian state. The sculptor Robert Frangeš Mihanović made an equestrian monument in 1938, but due to long-lasting controversies and the Second World War, the monument was erected only in 1947.
The first train arrived in Zagreb in 1862, when the city had 40,000 inhabitants. Zagreb is connected with the economic and cultural centers of Vienna and Budapest. The historicist building of the Main Station was designed by Hungarian station expert Ferenc Pfaff. It was built in 1892 and encloses a series of squares on the eastern branch of the green Lenucci horseshoe. When leaving the station, passengers and guests of Zagreb meet one of the most beautiful sights of Zagreb – the monument to King Tomislav, the Art Pavilion, the bell towers of the cathedral and the green slopes of Medvednica.
There is an Art Pavilion on King Tomislav Square. It was built on the occasion of the Millennium Exhibition in Budapest in 1896. Croatia presents itself as an independent pavilion at the exhibition. The latest experiences in construction technology with a metal skeleton have been applied to the pavilion. This allowed the pavilion in Budapest to be dismantled and delivered by train to Zagreb to be reassembled at its current location. The grand opening was held in 1898 with a large exhibition of contemporary artists. Thus, the Art Pavilion became the first exhibition space built just for that purpose. Since then, exhibitions of the greatest domestic and foreign artists have been organized here.
Hotel Esplanade near Central Station was built in a very short time in 1925. The original purpose of the hotel was to provide superior accommodation to passengers of the Orient Express, a luxury train line on which Zagreb was one of the stops on the way from Paris to Istanbul. Many distinguished guests stayed in it and interesting social events were held. Special public attention was drawn to the guest appearance of the provocative dark-skinned dancer Josephine Baker in 1929, when the local virtuous ladies expressed their displeasure. The first Miss 1926 pageant was held there. The winner was crowned Miss Europe next year in Berlin.
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