To visit Zagreb and not go to Dolac, Zagreb’s central market, would be a real pity. Visiting the Dolac Market early in the morning is the best way for you to get to know Zagreb and its inhabitants.
A symbol of Dolac, the oldest market in Zagreb, are the cheerful red umbrellas. Below the umbrellas, you will find plenty of fruits, vegetables, and homemade products such as cottage cheese and cream, which are a popular local dish. Cottage cheese and cream are used to prepare homemade strukli, a traditional Croatian dish which you have to try when you are in Zagreb. Interestingly enough, the umbrellas themselves have a story to tell.
The Sestine umbrella which has become a recognizable souvenir of Zagreb over the years has always complemented the traditional costume of Zagreb, the folk costume from Sestine. The picture of these umbrellas in Dolac is one of the most popular images of the city of Zagreb.
At Dolac, you will come across a large number of saleswomen whom the inhabitants of Zagreb still call kumice (farm women).It was a title given to women from Prigorje who used to carry baskets filled with domestic fruits and vegetables on their heads from the farms every day. In their honour, a statue of kumica was placed in 2006 right at the entrance to the market, when you climb up the stairs from Ban Josip Jelacic Square. The statue is very popular among the visitors of Dolac, many of whom have taken a ‘selfie’ with kumica Barica.
Today’s saleswomen are also in the mood for taking photos. Kumica Matica Stef has been selling produce for 50 years, and has had her own stand in Dolac for 20 years. Her regular customers, as well as anyone new who comes there, can always find kale, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, and other domestic and fresh vegetables.
The Dolac Market is not only a plateau between the church of St. Mary and Kaptol. Below the plateau there is the best fish market in the city, and in the lower part there is a rich offer of other domestic products.
To visit Dolac you need to give yourself time, get to know it thoroughly, and find and get acquainted with the best groceries and saleswomen. Dolac and its surrounding cafes, delicatessen shops, wine bars and bistros are the best places for morning coffee, mingling and breakfast in the city. Do not miss it.
Photo: Boris Kovacev / Hanza Media