altUphill to the northwest of Trg bana Jelacica, GRADEC (known colloquially as "Gric") is the most ancient and atmospheric part of Zagreb, a leafy, tranquil backwater of tiny streets, small squares and Baroque palaces, whose mottled brown roofs peek out from the hill. The most leisurely approach is to take the funicular (uspinjača; daily 6.30am-9pm every 10min), which ascends from Ilica, about 200m west of Trg bana Jelačića; alternatively, wander up the gentle gradient of Radičeva towards the Kamenita vrata, or "stone gate", which originally formed the main eastern entrance to the town. Inside Kamenita vrata – actually more of a long curving tunnel than a gate – hes one of Zagreb's most popular shrines, a simple sixteenth-century statue of the Virgin in a grille-covered niche. Miraculous powers have been attributed to the statue, largely on account of its surviving a fire in 1731 – a couple of benches inside the gate accommodate passing city folk eager to offer a quick prayer.
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