It's March, and spring is only a hop away. The days are getting longer, the streets buzzier and Zagreb's event calendar is heating up after the big winter freeze. Keep yourself busy with our round-up of the best events, exhibitions and concerts this month.
RECOMMENDED: Our round-the-clock guide to Zagreb.
6th edition of this city race, which starts from Most Slobode bridge and heads to the park and lake of Bundek. You can take on a challenge of either 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres.
Founded ninety years ago, Zemlja or ‘Earth’ was one of the most influential movements in the history of Croatian art. As this major exhibition demonstrates, the artists who came together under the Zemlja banner shaped a distinctive Croatian visual style that is still very much around today. The main aim of the Zemlja group was to develop an art that could attract a broad public and also function as a critique of an unjust society. According to Zemlja, art should play a documentary role in recording what life in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia was really like: it was no longer enough to idealize the peasantry as some kind of folkloric national bedrock clad in traditional costumes, you also had to describe rural poverty and do something about it. The other key aspect of the Zemlja philosophy was the creation of an authentically local art that would have local roots, and which would not simply be an extension of the latest art trend from Berlin or Paris. Most talented painter of the group was Krsto Hegedušić (1901-1975), an artist committed to depicting the realities of rural and working-class life. Together with painters Juraj Plančić, Ivan Tabaković and Oton Postružnik, he arranged exhibitions which had a clear socialist message. They formed the Zemlja movement in 1929, with architect Drago Ibler writing the manifesto. ‘You have to live the life of your times’ it declared, ‘because art and life are one.’ Hegedušić was also was a key sponsor of the self-taught village pain
Zagreb's annual Festival of Lights kicks off in March, marking the end of winter and the start of spring. For its five-day run, the festival will transform the winding, cobbled streets, grandiose squares and parks and Austro-Hungarian building facades of the upper town area with spectacular lights and projections. Expect dazzling installations at several historical venues, inclusions across the city's parks and green spaces, plus some mind-bending video mapping performances that will alter your perception of famous landmarks.
Are you missing that one LP to complete your Iron Maiden, Kraftwerk or Bijelo Dugme collection? Then this might be the place for you. Sellers from Croatia, Slovenia, BiH, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will be present and there will be CDs, posters, memorabilia and some home soundsystem equipment available too. The event takes place at Zagreb classical gymnasium at Križanićeva 4a with access to the fair gained from the sports hall entrance on Kneza Borne ulica.
Free sessions of lakeside yoga and hippy-sounding exercise such as holistic exercises, meditation, breathing excercises, conscious walking in the forest and energy exercises are offered by an independent practitioner in Maksimir park every Sunday afternoon throughout spring. Check the Facebook page for more details.
There are clear markers in the Croatian capital for the start of the spring season, not least the city's Festival of Lights. This run around Maximir park is another, taking place this year for the sixth time. 2020 also sees the run occur on World Health Day, so it's the perfect time to shake off the winter dust and feel invigorated in the bright sunshine. You'll be able to see the flowers and trees of the city's largest park coming back to life as you tackle the untaxing 8-kilometre course. There's a two-kilometre route for the kids too so the whole family can take part.RECOMMENDED: More great sports events in Croatia where you can join in
The great River Sava is the focal point for this series of simultaneous runs, designed to be accessible to runners of all abilities and from every generation. There's a 5-kilometre route, a 10-kilometre route, a 10-kilometre relay and three children's races of 100 metres which are categorised by age. The children's races kick off at 10am while the adult races are delayed by an hour, starting at 11am, allowing any parents to first watch the kids run before setting off on their own trek. Entry fees are as follows: 5 km - 90 kuna, 10 km - 110 kuna, children's races - 50 kuna, relay race - 7 kuna per participant. The meet-up and starting point is Savski nasip (Sava embankment), in front of Boćarski Dom and the course will take runners over both the pedestrian bridge and Most Slobode (Liberty bridge). Applications can be made by following this link.RECOMMENDED: More great sports events in Croatia where you can join in
The 8th occurrence of this annual celebration of rosé and sparkling wine and champagne brings together local and international producers and enthusiasts. As part of the Green in Pink Festival, producers of extra virgin olive oil from Croatia and abroad will also be exhibiting their products and you'll be able to meet the makers of both.
Starting as a playfully ironic art installation and subsequently an international touring exhibition, the Museum of Broken Relationships has become one of Zagreb's most unusual and most popular museum attractions since opening in 2010. Housed in one of the Upper Town's finest Baroque mansions, the thematic display takes visitors through a series of different emotions associated with a break-up, illustrated by objects donated by members of the public. An electric toaster donated by a jilted American is accompanied by the laconic comment: ‘When I moved out, and across the country, I took the toaster. That'll show you. How are you going to toast anything now?’ Many exhibits are captioned with the kind of surreal narratives that frequently flow from fraught emotional states. Funny, tragic, fascinating, it was named 'most innovative museum' at the European Museum Awards of 2011.
The first lighthouse in Croatia is the one located in Savudrija, Istria, a beautiful attraction and a now-protected cultural asset. Commemorating 200 years of lighthouses in the country and the profession attached to them, this exhibition details the history of each from a Croatian perspective. Documents of time and technology, plus many photographs taken within the last two centuries will lift the lid of the buildings and the men who worked within them, plus trace the progress of this essential warning system for sailors to where we are today. The photo exhibits contain the work of renowned Croatian photographers, such as Željko Višić.