(Photo: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL) (Photo: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL)

"Zagreb is again opening its doors to the magic of Advent. As we await the most beautiful Christian holiday, Christmas,our city is again open to a festive atmosphere, full of joy, fun, good and unity. Zagreb is truly becoming a pre-Christmas fairy tale," said Milan Bandić after officially kicking off the festivities.

After lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath, Mayor Bandić and his associates walked through Zrinjevac park to King Tomislav Square, where the spectacular ice rink was opened by Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek and Martina Bienenfeld, the head of the Zagreb Tourist Board.

Advent in Zagreb, which is set to last until January 7th, will feature numerous events at a number of locations around the city, inspired by The Nutcracker ballet, the environment, and culture.

Bienenfeld said Advent in Zagreb was the city's preeminent tourism manifestation and that this year the capital city could expect even more visitors than last year, especially considering that Croatia will be chairing the EU as of January 1st.

Source: HRT