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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Secrets Of Grič - Nocturnal Medieval Tours Of Zagreb

If anyone has read some previous history related posts of mine, they will come to the conclusion that I have a thing about medieval times. A fascination with medieval times in Croatia especially. And judging by the amount of people who attend these kinds of events, I'm not the only one. Something about that cool chainmail armor, helmets and swords, Royalty, those trysts involving dukes, queens, kings and princesses, wenches, witches, wizards, intrigue and good eats..all that. (To me stuff like this is way more fun an interesting than walking around stooge filled ghetto downtowns or crappy malls) There are annual "medieval times" tours, festivals and events that take place all across Croatian towns and cities throughout the year. The medieval themed Rabska Fjera on the island of Rab and annual summer medieval fair in the city of Trogir are just a few examples. (Even American Emmy Award winner Ashley Colburn went "medieval" on her last trip to Croatia, more about her on a previous post HERE.) This one is concerning "Secrets Of Grič", which started up a few years ago in the city of Zagreb and takes place in the historic medieval part of the city, called Gradec or Grič.

Part of the tours revolves around "The Witch of Grič" (Grička vještica) ..a cycle of 7 novels written by famed Croatian novelist Marija Jurić Zagorka. I've walked  these historic streets and seen the sights on my last few times in Zagreb. There are numerous pubs, cafes, museums and historic buildings close by to visit, during the day many people shop and tourists can be seen walking around, but come nightfall the ambiance changes as those centuries old walls and buildings have histories and stories to tell. This is definitely something cool worth checking out next time I'm there. Then after the tour one can also go to a nearby pub or bar, even a local brewery has a beer named after the Marija Jurić Zagorka classic novel. Sort of like taking a Hallowe'en tour in the summer, with a good chance of running into a witch or medieval wench at the bar after too. All the basic information is below......

Secrets of Grič - theatrical nocturnal tour of the Upper Town, Zagreb, Croatia



Do you want to know the secret side of Zagreb and its history told in a totally different way?

During a one hour walk along the streets and squares of the Upper Town, lantern in hand, you will have an opportunity to get to know the history and the secret side of Zagreb as told by the great Croatian novelist Marija Jurić Zagorka.

In freely interpreted scenes from her famous novel, “Gricka vjestica” (“The Witch of Gric”), numerous costumed characters from a specifically designed program will disclose many fascinating stories, reveal city legends, unfold love stories, or even spook you with an occasional witch.

One can also learn about the legend of Manda, who “walks” along the Gric rooftops to this day, searching for the souls of her two brothers who were killed, because of her, in a duel.

She will “let you know” that she is present by greeting you from the Lotrscak tower.

One will also have an opportunity to witness scenes from the love story between Nera and Sinisa. Sinisa saves Nera from being burned at the stake by galloping up on a horse, whilst masked as the devil.

Zagorka will take you to the Stone Gate where you can hear the story of the great Zagreb fire . One will also get to meet the beggar Petrica Kerempuh, but be careful: he might steal your wallet whilst entertaining!

In front of St. Mark’s church, there will be a re-enactment of the “Peasant Revolt”, an event from the 16th century when the peasant king, Matija Gubec, was killed after being crowned with a crown made of red hot iron.

There will also be various other scenes, but we will let some of them remain a secret. After an exhausting night walk, Marija Juric Zagorka will take you for refreshments at the Cinkuš cafe, where one can enjoy pleasant melodies and snacks.

Tour guide portraying role of Croatian novelist Marija Jurić Zagorka.

As this is a walking tour, we limit the size of the group for the Secrets of Gric Tour to 35 people to ensure you have a positive experience and can see and hear the guide easily.


Friday at 9pm (5 May – 29 September 2012)
Saturday at 9pm (5 May – 29 September 2012)
Private Tours available also on other days ( 5 May – 29 September 2012)

How Long? 1 hour

How much? Adult: 20 Euro Child (Under 12): 14 Euro

Meet where?
The point of assembly is Andrija Kacic Miosic monument, at the corner of Ilica and Mesnicka streets, where the group welcomes the man in black. The tour begins at the Capucin stairs, where the group welcomes Marija Juric Zagorka.

Inclusions? Guide Marija Jurić Zagorka, traditional souvenir from Zagreb, snacks
Exclusions? Other souvenirs (optional)
Private / Group Tours
1 – 35 persons (adults): 10% discount

Image source:

A short trailer of the theatrical "Secrets of Grič" performance tour.

 Secrets Of Grič



Visitors to Zagreb this Summer have a unique opportunity of enjoying the city at night. Zagreb Tourist Board and Katapult Promotion came up with an interesting night tour of the Upper town (Gornji grad – where Grič is hill) – Secrets of Grič.

The tour was inspired by the novel “Grička vještica” (“The Witch of Grič”) by Croatian novelist Marija Jurić Zagorka, and tells the story of the city as seen by the writer. Each Friday and Saturday throughout September, starting at 9 p.m., visitors will follow costumed guides in a one-hour walking tour featuring city legends, love stories, and even spooky mysteries.

Zagreb has hundreds of legends, even ghost stories, such as that of Manda, who still walks along the Grič rooftops, searching for the souls of her two brothers who were killed in a duel.

The tour is interactive, with actors presenting different aspects of the city’s past. Thus Manda will greet participants at the Lotrščak tower, while Nera and Siniša relive their spectacular love story again and again.

You’ll see Siniša, disguised as a devil, galloping to save his beloved Nera from being burned at the stake. Then Zagorka will take you to the Stone Gate, to tell you the story of the great fire of Zagreb, when only a painting of the Mother of God remained unburned.

In front of St. Mark’s church, you will witness scenes form the Peasant Revolt of the 16th century, and see the tragic death of the peasant king, Matija Gubec.

Klet Cinkuš - this is where the tour ends, with music, and excellent Croatian cuisine.
The tour ends after one hour, with refreshments at the Cinkuš cafe, and a live musical programme. participants receive a Licitar heart as a memento of an unforgettable evening.

Secrets of Grič - experience old city legends and stories


If you are a passionate reader of Marija Juric Zagorka's stories and you want to meet Nera, Sinisa, Mandusa or Petrica Kerempuh, evening promenade downtown Gric will make you experience old stories of Zagreb and become a part of that stories during an interactive tour.

For all people who wish to experience the spirit of old Zagreb there will be tours in which visitors can join live history events based on city myths and legends and Marija Juric Zagorka's stories. The tour starts from the corner of Mesnicka and Ilica street.

Posters announcing plays to be performed based on her novels at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb between 1905 and 1917.

Another related project is the medieval times themed performances by the Order of the Silver Dragon, who take part in the St. Marks Fair as part of the "Upper Town in the Past" (Gornji grad u prošlosti)  festivities. More information: and

And these days Zagreb based brewery Medvedgrad has also been producing "Grička vještica" beer.

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