Nestling beneath the eastern spur of the wooded Samobor hills around 25km west of Zagreb, SAMOBOR is every Croat’s idea of what a provincial inland town should look like: a tidy, prosperous agglomeration of pastel-coloured houses, largely unsullied by industry and modern architecture, and with an abundance of hilly woodland on the doorstep. Samobor rivalled Zagreb as a trade and craft centre in the Middle Ages, though it’s nowadays very much a dormitory suburb of its big neighbour, attracting a smattering of day-trippers keen to explore the woods above the town or sample the local delicacy, samoborska kremšnita, a wobbly mass of vanilla custard squeezed between layers of flaky pastry. Other local goodies include samoborski bermet (Samobor vermouth), a brownish, stomach-settling spirit that tastes like cough mixture, and the sharply flavoured samoborska muštarda (mustard).

Trg kralja Tomislava

The town centre revolves around the long, extended triangle of Trg kralja Tomislava, beside which flows the Gradna – a minor tributary of the Sava, and here more of a swollen brook than a river – spanned by a succession of slender bridges. Lined by sober, beige townhouses and overlooked by a canary-yellow parish church, the square has a character that’s overwhelmingly Baroque, which renders the Art Nouveau pharmacy at no. 11 all the more striking – note the haughty, starch-winged angels high up on the facade.

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