In the southwestern part of the city, along the peaceful oasis of Lake Jarun, the eponymous neighborhood has found its place. Jarun is a newer district whose development began at the end of the 1970s when it was merely a village having only two streets. Development increased in 1987 due to the building of the sports and leisure center that hosted the international sports event Summer Universiade. Soon afterwards, a mass construction of residential buildings came to realization and Jarun neighborhood was divided in numerous parts – Staglišće, Vrbani, Gredice, Gajevo and Horvati. The popularity of this part of Zagreb grows every day due to its good public transport connections with the city center, relatively high quality construction of the buildings and the thing one would never expect in a capital deep in Central Europe: “seaside”.
ART AND CULTURE
Back in the 18th century Jarun area was just an extension of Sava River used for irrigation of corn fields. But in 1964 Sava flooded a lot of Zagreb’s territory and it was decided to build the embankment which made Jarun pond separated from the river. People started to dig deeper and deeper to collect the gravel for building the embankment and the pond became a lake. As the time passed by, nature did its job and made it look like it is today – big and majestic. A lot of concerts, festivals, shows, competitions, and other events are held here, especially in spring and summer, the most famous being In Music festival. Around the lake there is a “Walk of fame” with the pictures and biography information of great athletes of Croatian sport, “Multisensory” park for visually-impaired individuals which includes numerous sculptures alongside the walkways, serving as a tactile guideline and “Solar Plexus of Europe” – an art installation consisting of cosmograms casted into bronze and imprinted on 61 megaliths. One of the symbols of Jarun area, apart from the Sports complex is definitely the votive church Holy Mother of Liberty where Salesian priests gather thousands of believers.
RECREATION AND LEISURE TIME
On weekends and even on workdays, after the office, school or college, Jarun is the place to go for rest and recreation featuring activities for all age groups and being immensely popular destination for Croatians and foreigners alike. You can find sports courts for athletes or recreationists, rowing, canoeing and kayaking clubs as well as sailboat clubs. There is also a skate park, cycling paths, jogging tracks, a mini-golf course, sculpture park, a small botanical garden and playgrounds. Although part of the lake is marked off for boating competitions, there is plenty of space to enjoy a leisurely swim in clear water of Zagreb’s sea. Later on, after dark, Jarun changes character and the handful of landmark nightspots here come into their own.
LIFESTYLE AND GASTRONOMY
In 1980 the area got its modern look. Sports Park Mladost, University Campus Stjepan Radić, elementary schools, kindergartens and Faculty of Kinesiology were built which led to overgrowing interest of people to live there. Nowadays, over twenty residential buildings and about thirty urban villas have already been completed or are under construction. The whole area is sprinkled with bars, restaurants and pizza places. With a beautiful view of the lake, far from the noise of the city, restaurant Lido is a true gastronomic oasis. In Helena you can eat a delicious pizza, Jarunski dvori offer great barbecue, Renić grill has the best čevapi and Funny sticks pastry will satisfy ones cravings for sweet. Jarun is also a popular place to go out in the evenings, as you’ll find several clubs and bars where you can have a drink or dance throughout the night such as Aquarius, Aruba, Gallery, Paooro, Žabac and Roko&Akademija. If you feel like going to the city center, just take the tram line 5 or 17 and in twenty minutes you will find yourself there.