The Stone Gate of the Upper Town is Zagreb’s last remaining medieval gate. It carries with it, many centuries of legends and secrets.
0064 Stone Gate
Tel: +385 01 489 8555|
GPS: 45.815744, 15.975359
The Upper Town of Zagreb originally had five gates. Only one of those gates remains today.
The Stone Gate of the Upper Town is Zagreb’s last remaining gate.
This gate was originally built in the 13th Century, and as you can imagine it has been through a lot.
In the year 1731 there was a massive fire in Zagreb, and half of the town went up in flames, including the Stone Gate.
The Holy Virgin Mary of the Stone Gate
When the flames were extinguished, the people sifting through the ashes found something incredible.
A small painting on a piece of wood, of Mary holding baby Jesus, was completely untouched by the fire.
Of course, this was proclaimed as a miracle.
Today this wooden painting is preserved, behind bars, inside a small chapel located in the Stone Gate passageway.
As you are walking through the gate, you are also walking through the chapel. It is quite an interesting and unique setup.
The chapel is dedicated to this ‘miracle’ painting, and ‘The Holy Virgin Mary of the Stone Gate’ is also the patron saint of the city of Zagreb.
Which makes this chapel the most popular chapel in the city.
There is actually a legend about the ‘miracle’ painting that pre-dates the 1731 fire.
You can find that here.
Thank You Tiles
The walls of the chapel are also covered with stone plaques.
Each of these ‘thank you tiles’ tells the story of how someone’s prayers for a miracle to ‘The Holy Virgin Mary of the Stone Gate’ was answered.
In the past, when your prayer was answered, you would inscribe a tablet with “Hvala” (thank you in Croatian) and then list what prayer was answered.
Most of the tiles refer to the recovered health of loved ones.
A very old sign on the outside of the gate that reads “Through this gate it is forbidden to drive a carriage, ride a horse or pass with cattle”
Part of the gate also has a statue of Dora Krupic, a famous literary character in the Croatian classic novel The Goldsmith’s Treasure.
Stone Gate Air Defense
And lastly, on the roof of the stone gate is a spiked star.
This is could possibly be the earliest example of air defense in history.
These spiked stars on the rooftops in Zagreb were put in place to catch low-flying witches in medieval times.
The only one that had any success with these things, was the crafty guy selling them.
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