The “Mosque”, as it is colloquially called by residents of Zagreb, has a very interesting history. It was built according to the designs of the famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović, since its initial purpose was for it to be a monument for the king Petar I. Instead of a statue on the square, it was voted that a building would be erected, which would house an arts museum.
It served as a museum for nearly 10 years, when it was turned into a mosque, with three minarets built around the site. Although it served as a mosque for only 5 years, the name stuck with the people, which is how it is still referred to.
During communism it served as the Museum of the National Revolution up until 1990, when it was returned to its original purpose and given back for use to the Croatian Association of Artists.
Nowadays, apart from housing exhibitions by prominent Croatian contemporary artists, the gallery hosts many visiting exhibitions, artistic manifestations and even concerts of experimental music. With a new director having come in two years ago, the place has been under an interesting revamp of projects and structure. All in all, it is an interesting space to visit, either for the architecture of the place or the contents of its three galleries.