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Zagreb Sings….Inside My Mind

On my way home today, I was passing by the navy institute here in Zagreb, and, as always, I saw a torpedo inside a garden and, as many times before, my mind started singing the same old tune. It’s kind of funny, every single time I pass by, the same song starts playing inside my mind. I really can’t control this. 

There are other spots all over the city that, for some reason, I tend to associate with certain songs. Some places in Zagreb irresistibly remind me of a song because of personal memories. But I’m not talking about those right now. This post is just an overview of spots that remind me of different melodies, whether it’s for obvious reasons or for pure coincidence. There’s absolutely nothing personal in these, and you can only hope the songs won’t be coming after you as well during your future walks through Zagreb.

Yellow Submarine

Imagine passing by a yellow submarine every week. That’s what inspired me to write down this post in the first place. It’s not really a submarine, it’s a yellow torpedo, but whenever I see it, the Beatles tune just can’t seem to stop. It’s funny at first, you might even see me smiling when I think of it, but then it gets annoying since it’s really hard to get rid of it. 

Stairway to Heaven

This one actually requires a little history lesson. It involves the infamous Zeppelin rigid airship. See, that thing wasn’t really invented by count Zeppelin. The original invention goes to a Zagrebian, Mr David Schwarz. So whenever I pass by his former house on the Zrinjevac square, I start to think how funny it would be if the aircraft kept its original name of Schwarzoplan. Would Stairway to Heaven end up being performed by Led Schwarzoplan? Who knows what would happen to the history of rock music? Maybe a Lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold wouldn’t even exist.  And who knows what other consequences would that trigger? 

Highway to Hell

For the same strange reasoning and deduction, whenever I see the Nikola Tesla monument, I start thinking how great inventors didn’t just change the world in the obvious way, but have also influenced the history of rock music. If it wasn’t for alternating current, AC/DC would have to come up with a different name, and who knows where it would take them. Trust me, if I was able to choose, I’d go for another one of AC/DC songs. In fact, I believe that Thunderstruck is more suitable for Tesla. But, I can’t help it. I got this one, and can’t get rid of it.

Darth Vader theme

When I see this scientist called Ruder Boskovic, I suddenly hear the Imperial March inside my mind. Probably because he had these theories about the Force back in 18th century and this particular sculpture seems a bit alienish to me. That might be the reason. 

Iron Lion Zion

Everyone’s favourite street-art movement around here must be the Pimp My Pump initiative. It’s a fun and inspiring team that’s giving a makeover to old water pumps all over the city. There is one pump that got pimped into Bob Marley, and now, for some reason, whenever I see any of their pumps, Lion Zion starts running like a fugitive all over my brains.

Sheena is a Punk Rocker

This one makes least sense of all, but I have to deal with it almost every time I pass by the statue of the poor Dora Krupiceva. She happens to be a book character, and now she decorates the wall of an old Zagreb tower. Every time I see her, the Ramones hit. I don’t really find Dora a rebellious character. In fact, most of the Doras that I personally know, are sort of good girls.  So, I really don’t remember how the place reminded me of that song in the first place, but there it is… Dora often goes Sheena inside my mind. 

Sweet Sixteen

This one is really obvious.  Famous Croatian 19th century governor Josip Jelacic was almost 50 when he married a 16-year-old Sophie. It was true love, so they say. But he had to keep her entertained somehow, so he built her a beautiful walkway just outside the historical part of the city. Every time I come near that spot, I start thinking about the Billy Idol song, and the story behind it. It was written to honour the strange love of the man who had constructed the Coral Castle in Florida as a monument of his love towards his 16-years-old fiancee. Anyway, Sophie’s walkway (now called Dubravkin put) is in fact melancholic enough to be attached to the Sweet Sixteen song.

I Wanna Be Sedated

Another Ramones song. Sure I love Ramones, who doesn’t, but this is not something you chose. In fact, I’m lucky I’m invaded by a pretty good choice of songs when I walk through Zagreb. Anyway, I hope the representatives of the official city tourist board don’t get to read this one, because this song strikes me every time I see the building where the main Tourist Info Center is. The building is famous for the Pliva sign on top of it. It’s a big pharmaceutical company with a tradition of more than a century. However, the sedated part is probably connected with the early days of the building, that is still known as the Elsa Fluid palace. That’s because the original owner was the producer of miraculous 19th century Elsa Fluid medicine and he decided to decorate his building with a gigantic bottle of his remedy. Well, the bottle is gone, but this tune keeps coming back to me whenever I enter the Tourist Info Center.

Main square with what used to be the Elsa Fluid building

That’s about it…Unfortunately, no local songs made it to this list. All of this probably sounds a bit weird. Trust me, it would be even weirder if you’d find out all about the more personal tunes inside my mind, related to actual memories.

Do you have similar experiences? Places that trigger certain tunes, and then you just can’t get them out of your head?


If you don’t mind weird comparisons and you love fun facts, we’re sure you’re going to love our tours.

Written by Iva Silla

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