Christmas time is always a very special time of the year. It is celebrated in both Western and the Eastern world as a joyful event symbolizing the birth of a new light. In nature we can see this as the first day of Winter when days grow longer in length, and in religious sense it is represented by the birth of Jesus. This puts the entire month of December in a special atmosphere, where people tend to be in a gentle and more caring mood, as in the rest of the world, so too in Croatia.

Because Croatia is predominantly Catholic country, a lot of emphasis is put on celebration of Christmas. For decades both public and private places are decorated with trees, joyful glittering lights, and the tranquil song of the carols, which during Christmas time one hears in many places across the country. In her ancient past, Croatia shared religion with other Slavic nations, and one of the larger celebrations of the year was for the Winter solstice, where the coming of the new light and consequent rebirth of nature was ascribed to higher forces. Because of that, in some places in the country the traditional Chrismas celebration is combined with ancient traditions that have their roots in pre-Christian era.

The month of December, the time of Christmas and the New Year, is highly esteemed by majority of Croats. Especially in bigger cities a lot of emphasis is put on decoration of the public places and to setting up of appropriate events. Zagreb being the capital and by far the largest city in Croatia, the Tourism Association and the city of Zagreb have done a great job of turning the historical part of the city into a traditional Adventic space where people of all age and various nattionalities come to relax, have fun, and in a modern way feel the sacredness of this time of the year.

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is definitely a city that stands out due to its uniqueness and all that is to see there. Often time when I guide visitors, they are stunned by its beauty. In a surprised manner they are telling me: “We have not expected this at all!”. Certainly there is a special feel to the city, and the layout of its historical center, the pedestrian zones, the calmness and cleanliness, all of that leave a deep impression on visitors. I am not surprised anymore when they tell me, “we will definitely come back!”.

I like to guide walking tours (as well as by using public transport) of both downtown Zagreb and its wider area, so to bring visitors closer to the core of the city, to its history, culture, art, and the everyday living of the people of Zagreb. By doing this, visitors start to feel Zagreb in themselves, rather than just quickly passing through its streets.

There is much to see in the area of historical center of Zagreb. Normally we start our tour from the Josip Jelacic square, which is also the main square of Zagreb, or even better, from King Tomislav square, situated next to the railway station. As we start our walk Northwards we go back in time, to the 19th century, when Lower Town was being built and when dozens of palaces arose, ornamenting the city with its beautiful shapes and facades, that tell us so much about the culture of the time. As we pass by some important buildings in the area we travel further back in time, discovering more about the history of Croatia and how the culture was shaped into what it is today. We observe the life flowing, and people going about their everyday bussiness. We see the past merged with the present.