If you’re walking around Upper town in Zagreb, there’s no chance you will miss this place. From outside, it looks like a simple passage, but you might want to stick around a while longer.
I’m talking about the Stone gate (Kamenita vrata), the only remaining gate out of four that once connected Lower town to a part of Upper town known as Gradec. In 1242, the Croatian king Bela IV gave Gradec a status of a free royal city, which automatically made the Stone gate one of the most important passages in Zagreb. Yet, the historical aspect of this place isn’t as important as the spiritual one: today, the Stone gate serves as a chapel where people take a moment to light a candle and say their prayers. The feeling is quite special: in an instant you’re no longer in the urban rush; instead, you find yourself in a calm place lighted only by dozens of candles. The main point of the chapel is the painting of Mary with baby Jesus, which miraculously survived a fire in 1731, and is now placed behind a beautiful large iron grille.
Even if you’re not religious, I suggest you buy a candle from the old lady standing at the entrance. You might want to think of your loved ones while lighting it, you can make a wish, say a silent prayer, or just enjoy the atmosphere of the place and the simple act of placing your candle next to all those that are already burning.
Stone gate | Art & culture, Relaxing | Candles from Kn 2.50
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