The Legend of Bloody Bridge

Bloody Bridge is the name of a short and narrow street, located in the pedestrian zone in the very centre of Zagreb. It connects Tkalčićeva Street and Radićeva Street, where the Medvešćak creek ran in the past, over which a bridge named Pisani most (Colourful Bridge) was built. The striking name of this street has been deliberately left to this day, drawing on a story from Zagreb's past. It tells us of a dark period full of fights and strife between the medieval inhabitants of this region.

In the past, there were two cities here, episcopal Kaptol and civic Gradec, whose inhabitants often clashed. Although violent accounts have been going on since the 13th century, the first written mention of the name of Bloody Bridge dates back to 1667. Evidence of this is provided by Pavao Cindrić in his work The Millennium of Grič, where he describes the conflict over the construction of the bridge. They had always demolished what was being built by the other side, so the people of Kaptol were arranging their part of the bridge. Soon a conflict ensued, after which the bridge was known as "Bloody". Despite numerous and sharp conflicts, a period of peace had to come. It was not until the 18th century that the Bloody Bridge came to life, and the inhabitants repaired and built the bridge, whose task was to connect the Upper Town walls with the Stone Gate, and the Kaptol Gate (at the site of today's Skalinska Street). The bridge connected the town municipality to Kaptol and crossed the Medveščak creek. Unfortunately, the development of industry led to increasing pollution, and the authorities were forced to introduce sewage, which eventually led to the closure of the creek and then in 1899 to the destruction of the bridge. His place was then taken by a street whose name is reminiscent of the past, but also retains a story of progress. Namely, at Zagreb's Bloody Bridge number 2, on New Year's Day 1887, the first Zagreb telephone exchange was built.

Today, this street also houses the City Library dedicated to Marija Jurić Zagorka, the first professional female journalist and the most widely read Croatian writer whose historical novel is called The Secret of the Bloody Bridge, and is inspired by this passage and events from Zagreb's past.