Zagreb Cathedral and History

Shortly after the founding of the diocese in Zagreb (about 1094), the Zagreb Cathedral was built in a  Romanesque-Gothic style. The construction lasted for a long time, and it was fully completed in 1217.  Cathedral was consecrated in the same year.

Very soon after it was difficult to postpone the invasion of Tatars that started around 1242. However, Bishop Timotej (1263-1287) began to thoroughly renovate it in the Gothic style. The renovation was continued in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 16th century the cathedral was laid out by walls and towers, and in the 17th century it gained its massive Renaissance tower.

zagreb cathedral
Photo by: Tihomir Grzincic

The fires and roar of the enemy damaged Zagreb cathedral several times. The hardest hit was in the earthquake of 1880. After the earthquake a thorough reconstruction of the neo-Gothic cathedral (1880-1906) was carried out, according to the designs of the builder F. Schmidt and under the direction of Hermanna Bollé.

At that time, the Zagreb’s first church was given its present shape with two slender tower, high roof, new pillars in the shrine, and altars that replaced those Baroque from the 18th century.

zagreb cathedral

In the place of the old burial tombs of the bishops and the greatman, behind the main altar people built a new tomb  for Zagreb’s patrons. In addition to the other greats, there are also the Croatian martyrs Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan, whose bones were transferred here in 1919 from Wiener Neu Stadt. Also Ivan Antun Zrinski, Eugen Kvaternik and many more are buried here.

The last three Zagreb archbishops were buried here also as Alojzije Stepinac, Franjo Seper and Franjo Kuharić.

zagreb cathedral

Zagreb Cathedral and highlights

Explore the main altar and tomb of Stepinac

What you will see today does not represent the original construction but most of the things are in its almost original form. Entrance is free of charge but please do not use your mobile phones inside. The Cathedral is accessible on foot from main square. It is a short climb. If you have problems climbing, you can take the elevator from inside the Dolac market. 

You can walk inside, watch beautiful main altar. What is very interesting is the tomb of Alojzije Stepinac. His tomb is located in the middle of the bust, right behind the main altar. It is made of silver in combination with other metals. On the silver plates, you can observe events from his life. 

zagreb cathedral

Visit of the Pope

Moreover, we are very proud that in 1994, during the celebration of the 900th anniversary of the Zagreb Archdiocese, Pope John Paul II conducted the holy mass at the Cathedral. He was very proud of Stepinca and he told the following:

It was therefore more desirable to accept suffering than to give up his conscience and to neglect the promise given to Christ and the Church. He was not alone in this brave testimony. Other than that, there were other courageous people who, to preserve the unity of the Church and defend her freedom, agreed to pay a heavy burden of dungeon, ill-treatment and even blood with him. Today, we are admired and thanked to a large number of unselfish souls – bishops, priests and monks.

zagreb cathedral

Very special organs

The Zagreb Cathedral Organ belongs to the concert organs. It  is classified among the top ten finest quality organs in the world. It has more than 6.000 flue pipes, seventy-eight registers and four manuals.

As a zero-category monument of culture, the organ is registered with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia as a protected cultural good.

The treasury

The treasury has been founded in 1094 by the establishment of the bishopric. The treasury consists of church’s gold, silver and attire. It includes also the collection of liturgical books, documents, blueprints and lockets. Finally you can find  various relics, candlesticks and church’s ware.

Out of the whole collection the most special place take St. Ladislav’s cloak, bishop Petretić’s workshop church’s attire and their “God’s Grave” in the shape of the sarchophagus, plenarium made out of ivory, oltar triptych and relic of St Leopold Mandić, the gift of pope Ivan Pavle II. The visit to the treasury is permited with the previous announcement.

zagreb cathedral
Photo by: Bubimir

Opening Hours

  • Monday – Saturday 10:00-17:00
  • Sunday 13:00-17:00

Check more by yourself!

Some more information on Zagreb Cathedral and Croatia you can find on the following links:

For more information click here –>>
Find out more on Zagreb Cathedral in Incredible Croatia

For more information click here –>>
Learn more on Croatia in Incredible Croatia