Lonely Planet Writer

Abandoned park transformed into open-air art museum in Zagreb

Two of Zagreb’s street art associations have teamed up, with support from the Zagreb Tourist Board, to transform a derelict city-centre park into a new space for arts and performance. The park, which is located in the city centre between Ilica, Tomićeva and Strossmayerovo streets, had been neglected for some time and was known as “Narkić Parkić” meaning “Junkie Park”.

Relaxing in a Zagreb park.
Relaxing in a Zagreb park. Image by Getty Images

The first stage of the process took place on the weekend of 4-5 June, when a large team of street artists from the local area, including Lonac, Lunar, Artez, Linnch, Bare, Modul and Džedaj, came to the park to clean it up and paint murals on the walls. The next stage kicks off in the afternoon and evening of 12 June, with music performances, workshops, table tennis, screenings and exhibitions creating a festival-like atmosphere in the space right through until September. There will also be canvasses available in the park for members of the public to paint.

Zagreb, Croatia.
Zagreb, Croatia. Image by Mario Fajt / CC BY 2.0

The project is a collaboration between the local street art studio Lapo Lapo and the Pimp my Pump association, which was originally set up to spruce up the city’s old water hydrants with colourful and imaginative paint jobs, but then broadened its mission to restore old spaces by refreshing them and giving them a soul.

The park is located on the edge of the Upper Town neighbourhood of Gradec, close to the Funicular Railway which connects Zagreb’s Upper and Lower towns. Gradec is home to a number of the city’s top sights, including St Mark’s Church, Lotrščak Tower and the Museum of Broken Relationships, which recently opened a sister museum in LA.