It is rather difficult to think of the new developments in terms of a distant past as we are inclined to classify everything remaining from those times as antiquities. The seventeenth century, however, introduced new buildings and new developments into Old Zagreb. Gradec and Kaptol, the settlements on two hills fortified by defensive walls and towers, prospered.

The first half of the 17th century witnessed the arrival of three Roman Catholic orders in the Upper Town; they greatly contributed to the building activities and to the development of this settlement, triangular in shape. The first to settle here were the Jesuits in 1606, bringing Baroque to Zagreb. They settled in the south east corner of the town. Here they built the first grammar school at 4; Catherine's Square, St. Catherine's Church and their monastery at 4, Jesuit Square. St. Catherine's Church, built between 1620 and 1632, was not only the earliest Baroque sacral building in Zagreb but also represented the highest achievement in the style which had been made renowned by the Jesuits themselves.

The building and decoration of the church interior were an incentive to native carpenters, sculptors, painters and gilders who were developing their own Baroque style. The Jesuit monastery (collegiate) although more modest than St. Catherine's Church, is undoubtedly an architectural monument of high merit (recently rebuilt for museum purposes).

The second order to arrive in Gradec was the Capuchins (1618) who settled the area of the south west pail of the town. They restored the old St. Mary's Church, built a monastery nearby (in the present day Vranicani Street) and cultivated their garden on the present day site of the park and the playgrounds. Unfortunately, nothing has remained of the Capuchin buildings as they were all pulled down at the beginning of the 19th century. Nuns of the Clarissa order (about 1650) built up the third, north part of the town close to the Tower called Popov toranj. They built a convent and a nunnery, one wing of which flanked the fortification wall and the medieval tower of Popov toranj. Their church was demolished in the first half of the 19th century, and the convent building today houses the Zagreb Town Museum.

The most significant novelty in Kaptol in the 17th century was the massive south belfry of the Cathedral which was built after the fire of 1645. Baroque was introduced into the interiors of the Cathedral, St. Mary's and St. Francis' Churches. Many new mansions and residences were also built in the Baroque style.

In addition to the new elements introduced into the old town nuclei, another new development of vital importance for the town planning of Zagreb took place. The town authorities realized that relatively small squares around St. Mark's Church and in front of the Cathedral were not suited for big fairs which had been held there, and in order to promote trade and manufacture, it was necessary to leave "the walls and ramparts" on the hills. Therefore, the year 1641 was a turning point and a step forward in the life of Zagreb. The town authorities then, made a decision to expropriate the gardens lying in the plain below Gradec and Kaptol and turn them into the site of the future market place. That was the beginning of the present day Ban Jelacic' Square. The area was chosen for two reasons; first, it was very close to both Old Town nuclei and second, it held a spring rich in drinking water. The name of the spring was Mandusevac and the spacious square got its first name after the spring. Later it became Harmica, then Jelacic Square.

The new market place and the fair grounds also became a meeting-place of all "the business world" from Zagreb and many other parts. It encouraged the authorities to develop the fringes of the city and to construct access roads. Thus, during the 18th century many houses were built on the north and east side of Mandugevac and also at the point where Mandusevac turned into Ilica Street (the inn). Gradually, the Long Street (Duga Ulica or the present day Raditeva Street), linking Mandusevac and the Upper Town, developed and eventually became the busiest shopping street in Zagreb. The market place and the fair grounds of Mandusevac attracted people from the southern area of the country and thus, the middle of the 18th century witnessed the beginnings of today's Petrinjska Street. Small dwellings houses sprang up at its north end, which was directly linked with the fair and market grounds.

The street had a fancy name, "Med grabami", (amidst the ditches), which was indicative of its appearance and surroundings. However, the function of the road located amidst the ditches was very important. It linked the new business centre of Old Zagreb with the settlements on the north banks of the Sava, and with the aid of a ferry or pontoon bridge, Zagreb was also linked with the regions on the other side of the river. This was of great importance for the supply of food and other products to the Military Borderland (Petriniska Street was named after Petrinja, the centre of this Military Borderland).

In the 17th century the city records more and more often mention peasants. These were the urban serfs of the nearby villages. In other words, "the free royal city on Gradec, the hill of Zagreb" which had been a feudal holding since 1242, now had its own urban serfs. The settlements, Gracani, Dedici (near Sestine) and Cernomerec were mentioned as early as the 13th and 14th centuries. At the beginning of the 17th century when the Turkish raids across the Sava were no longer a direct threat, the city authorities set up serfs' villages within the town boundaries, and they gradually grew and developed. During the century there were thirteen villages, some situated in the Sava valley and others on the slopes of Mount Medvednica. On the slopes, and down between them, lay the villages of Gradani, Gornje and Donje Prekrizje, Jelenovec, Vrhovci, Cukovici and Domjanici (in the vicinity of Sveti Duh), and in the plain near the river were Trnje, Ilijasici, Bankoviti and Govenka (non-existent today), Horvati and Cernomerec. Across the Sava were the villages of Pobrezje and Otok. The largest of all the urban villages was Trnje, and its inhabitants frequently used the Med grabami Road that was their link with the town. All the villages were under the jurisdiction of the magistrate in the Town Hall at St. Mark's Square, and their religious affiliation was to the parish of St. Mark's.

This large urban area stretching from the mountain ridges of Medvednica down to the River Sava, was presented in a geographical map drawn by the surveyor Leopold Kneidinger in 1766, who succeeded in illustrating the situation on a larger scale in the mid-seventeenth century. The original of Kneidinger's map is kept in the Zagreb Town Museum.

Lower hill settlements (1093)
Gric Promenande (1862)
Tra golden Bull by King Bela IV (1242)
Medieval settlement of Kaptol
Tomislav, first King of Croatia