Podsljeme is the city district situated in the foothills of Medvednica mountain, highest and farthest on the North of Zagreb. The whole area is very steep afforested so it is urbanized only in its Southernmost and South Easternmost parts. The rest belongs to Nature Park Medvednica. The name Podsljeme stands for „under Sljeme“, Sljeme being the peak of Medvednica. It is an affluent part of Zagreb with a high cost per square meter with many of the city’s tycoons, political personalities and celebrities living in the area. During Socialism many illegal houses were built here and the focus was moved from the stream terraces into valleys, hence this area began to lose its functional features of a village. Since 1990s Southwestern part of inhabited area with good traffic connections with the city is attracting new population who is buying flats in newly built “urban villas”. This Southwestern inhabited area has gradually transformed into elite residence. Slightly lower than the old fortress Medvedgrad, centuries-long settlements found their place here: Šestine, Mlinovi, Gračani, Markuševec and Vidovec.
ART AND CULTURE
The patriarchal way of life on the sunny slopes of Medvednica was sustained without major changes up until the 19th century when Zagreb began to spread and those villages were slowly included in the city area, leaving rich ethnic heritage. The most famous historical place is a picturesque medieval castle which has been watching over Zagreb for eight centuries – Medvedgrad. Connected to numerous myths and legends, it intrigues many historians as well as curious tourists. Medieval Days at Medvedgrad and Medvedgrad Music Evenings take place here. Below the main tower of the castle is Altar of the homeland which is dedicated to Croatian soldiers killed in the Croatian War of Independence. In Šestine there is another castle, less mysterious, but very intriguing these days – Kulmerovi dvori, marvellous architectural complex. Parish Church of Sv. Emerika in Šestine dates from 1240 and it got its present appearance in 1909. In its vicinity, between 1756 and 1759, a parish court was built, and a little further from it the Monastery of the Daughter of Mercy Nazareth. In Mlinovi area, named after numerous mills made for grinding the grains for the needs of Zagreb, is a nice art Gallery Divila and Folklore Society Mlinovi which occasionally hosts various cultural events. Old people showed they devotion to God by constructing chapels that they called “kipeci” and “raspela” which can be seen on practically every crossroad throughout Gračani area including Chapel Gračani in Bliznec road, Church of St.Michael in Isce Street and Church of St. Peter and Paul in Bešići Street.
RECREATION AND LEISURE TIME
Medvednica mountain is interesting to a large number of people who love nature and seek rest outside the city crowd, especially over the weekend. Sljeme, its highest peak, provides training slopes for amateurs, night skiing, sledging and snowboarding for enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. There is snow cover on Medvednica for around 100 days a year and the slopes are given a coating of artificial snow when necessary, prolonging the season to four months. Story says there is a hidden treasure in the secret chambers under Medvedgrad fortress – although it might be difficult to believe the truthfulness of these legends, there is no reason not to proceed with the investigation of this famous fortress, its magnificent ramparts and mysterious mediaeval corridors. From there extends a unique and beautiful view of Zagreb, a special experience at night, whilst art lovers will be astonished by the early gothic chapels of St. Phillip and St. Jacob. Explore the dark and chilly underground of Medvednica mountain – the Veternica cave, the sixth cave in Croatia by size, or stay at the foothill of the mountain and have a try at Paintball Toxic.
LIFESTYLE AND GASTRONOMY
Just 15 minutes away from the center, beyond the noise of the hectic city and touched by the breeze from Medvednica, residents of Podsljeme area found their piece of heaven. Šestine and Mlinove are easily reachable by bus, while in Gračani apart from bus there is a tram line going straight to the tunnel Sljeme where the hiking trail starts. Many educational institutions for children have found their place in this area among which are The British International School of Zagreb in Dedići Street, The Learning Tree International Kindergarten in Lovćenska Street, Waldorf kindergarten Šumska vila, Summer camp Korak do znanosti and Sports kindergarten Mačak u čizmama in Gračani, Elementary school Šestine and Elementary school Gračani. Sljeme is an ideal place for picnicking, but you may wish to save your appetite for a local-food lunch in any of the cottages up there: Runolist, Puntijarka, Grofica, Zlatni medvjed, Vidikovac, Grafičar, Lugareva kuća, Pilana Bliznec or Kraljičin zdenac. In the north of Šestine there is a restaurant with a magical terrace view called Šestinski Lagvić, in Mlinovi one will be delighted with a whole-grain flower pizza made at Papavero or with the offer of one of the most authentic and traditional restaurants in northern Croatia – Okrugljak. We should also mention restaurants Puntijarka and Kod debelog in Gračani, which also offer numerous home-made delicacies.