There’s a passage in the centre of Zagreb that has no specific historical importance; no events take place there, it’s not the first thing the tourists rush to see upon their arrival. And yet I take a short walk through it every time I find myself downtown. I’m talking about the Oktogon, a place named after the octagonal stained glass dome that vaults the central area of the passage.
I can’t tell you much about Oktogon’s history; today it simply houses an ensemble of shops and maybe doesn’t seem like an attractive spot to visit, but I suggest you go take a look anyway. There’s something calming about its ambient – it’s a welcome shadowed shelter from the summer’s burning sun, and a refuge in autumn when it starts to rain and you don’t have an umbrella.
The neoclassical architecture is visually appealing, culminating with the mentioned dome that looks beautiful even on the dark cloudy days – imagine how the glass beams with light when it’s sunny outside. On an average day you’ll also probably find a street musician or a group of young dancers practising their routine.
Places like Oktogon have a certain quality that you can’t really describe or even grasp to understand, but that’s what really makes them special – even though it may seem as just another downtown building, its magic might win you over.