Did you know? Zagreb Ice-Skates Since 1874

The history of ice skating in Zagreb dates back to 1874 when the first ice-skating rink was opened to the public and gathered up to a thousand skaters during organised events. The first public ice-skating rink in Zagreb was opened on Christmas Eve in 1874 at the location of the modern-day Square of Ivan Mažuranić. The rink measured 110 meters by 70 meters, and it was one meter below the surface of the road. Since there was no underground piping at the time, firefighters poured water over it, and it froze in contact with the ground thanks to the extreme cold. Since there was no electricity either, the ice rink was illuminated by more than 300 petroleum lanterns, while some skaters carried lanterns with candles, which created an even more, beautiful atmosphere complemented by the music performed by a military orchestra. The entire event was covered by the media of Zagreb, pointing out that the ice rink was visited on Christmas by Croatian Ban Ivan Mažuranić, who learned to skate during his youth.

In mid-February of the following year, the rink was the venue of the first large party, bringing together as many as a thousand skaters. It was a huge number at the time, keeping in mind that Zagreb only had about thirty thousand inhabitants then. Of course, Ban Mažuranić also attended that party, which was the reason to write about it, but also a sign that the city required a more modern ice-skating rink with artificial lighting, changing rooms and spectator stands…

Source: Zagreb Tourist Board