Happy 926th birthday, Zagreb dearest!
Although our lives are gradually returning to normal after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this process is especially challenging for Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, which during this worst phase of the epidemic, on 22 March 2020, was hit by the largest earthquake it went through in the last 140 years. Struggling to repair extensive damage to many of the historic buildings in the very heart of the city, including such symbols of its centuries-old cultural heritage as the Cathedral, the buildings of the Croatian Parliament and Croatian Government, and its iconic St. Mark’s Church, Zagreb is currently experiencing the unintended aspects of the now popular #DreamNowVisitLater hashtag. Unlike in the case of the majority of other capitals of the world for which this hashtag is a hint about the need to comply with their current anti-epidemic measures, its specific significance when it comes to Zagreb is that it will take some extra time before its world-famous sites are ready to fully welcome visitors again.
Despite the trying circumstances under which Zagreb is this year awaiting its birthday, celebrated on 31 May as the City of Zagreb Day, it is defying its hardships with glimpses of recognisable beauty on its cracked façades, basking in the spring sun. Until their charm is fully restored, the National and University Library in Zagreb is inviting everyone for a virtual walk through Zagreb by means of Greetings from Zagreb, a mobile application for which the Library won third place 2018 BibLibre International Marketing Award. It takes the virtual strollers on an exploration of ten of Zagreb’s most beautiful sights, whose splendour is presented through the digitised versions of old postcards of Zagreb preserved in the Library’s Print Collection and available as part of the NSK Digital Collections online portal. It also enables them sending as many as 50 attractive digital vintage postcards, five of each of the remarkable sights.
Developed through the Library’s cooperation with the Blue factory IT company, Greetings from Zagreb, available in English and Croatian, may be downloaded free of charge on Android devices through Google Play or the application’s microsite, or be accessed via an accompanying online portal providing more information on the project that the application was developed as part of.