Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia.
It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122 m (400 ft) above sea level.
It is a city known for its diverse economy, high quality of living, museums, sporting and entertainment events. Its main branches of economy are high-tech industries and the service sector. Zagreb is a global and cosmopolitan city.
Zagreb is a city of green parks and walks, with many places to visit in the beautiful surroundings. In spite of the rapid development of the economy and transportation, it has retained its charm, and a relaxed feeling that makes it a genuinely human city.
The oldest settlement in the urban area of Zagreb was a Roman town of Andautonia, now Šćitarjevo, which dates back to the 1st century AD.
The first recorded appearance of the name Zagreb is dated to 1094, at which time the city existed as two different city centers: the smaller, eastern Kaptol, inhabited mainly by clergy and housing Zagreb Cathedral, and the larger, western Gradec, inhabited mainly by farmers and merchants. Gradec and Zagreb were united in 1851 by ban Josip Jelačić, who was credited for this, with the naming the main city square, Ban Jelačić Square in his honour.
During the period of former Yugoslavia, Zagreb remained an important economic centre of the country, and was the second largest city. After Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia, Zagreb was proclaimed its capital.
The name Zagreb appears to have been first recorded in 1134 in a document relating to the establishment of the Zagreb bishopric around 1094, although the origins of the name Zagreb are less clear. The Croatian word “zagrabiti” translates approximately to “to scoop”, which forms the basis of some legends.
An old legend says that a city ruler was thirsty and ordered a girl named Manda to take water from the Manduševac lake (nowadays a fountain on Ban Jelačić Square), using the sentence: “Zagrabi, Mando!” which means, Scoop it up, Manda!.
The climate of Zagreb is classified as an oceanic climate, near the boundary of the humid continental climate. The average temperature in winter is −0.5 °C (31.1 °F) and the average temperature in summer is 22.0 °C (71.6 °F). Temperatures rise above 30 °C (86 °F) on an average 17 days each summer.Snowfall is common in the winter months, from December to March, and rain and fog are common in autumn (October to December).
Zagreb has an extensive tram network with 15 day and 4 night lines covering much of the inner- and middle-suburbs of the city. The first tram line was opened on September 5, 1891 and trams have been serving as a vital component of Zagreb mass transit ever since.
Zagreb’s numerous museums reflect the history, art and culture not only of Zagreb and Croatia, but also of Europe and the world. Around thirty collections in museums and galleries comprise more than 3.6 million various exhibits, excluding church and private collections.
Zagreb has been, and is, hosting some of the most popular mainstream artists, most recently their concerts held the Rolling Stones, U2, Eric Clapton, Deep Purple, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Roger Waters, Depeche Mode, Prodigy, Beyoncé, Nick Cave, Jamiroquai, Manu Chao, Massive Attack, Metallica, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga as well as some of world most recognized underground artists such as Dimmu Borgir, Sepultura, Melvins, Mastodon and many more. Zagreb is also a home of INmusic festival, as well as many jazz festivals like Zagreb Jazz Festival which was the host for some of the most popular artists from world jazz scene.
Club festivals like Žedno uho are also held in Zagreb, where many of indie, rock, metal and electronica artists made there performances around the clubs and concert halls of Zagreb.
There are about 20 permanent or seasonal theaters and stages. The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb was built in 1895 and opened by emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Animafest, the World Festival of Animated Films, takes place every even-numbered year, and the Music Bienniale, the international festival of avant-garde music, every odd-numbered year. It also hosts the annual ZagrebDox documentary film festival. The Festival of the Zagreb Philharmonic and the flowers exhibition Floraart (end of May or beginning of June), the Old-timer Rally annual events. In the summer, theater performances and concerts, mostly in the Upper Town, are organized either indoors or outdoors. The stage on Opatovina hosts the Zagreb Histrionic Summer theater events.
Notable Zagreb souvenirs are the tie or cravat, an accessory named after Croats who wore characteristic scarves around their necks in the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century and the ball-point pen, a tool developed from the inventions by Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, an inventor and a citizen of Zagreb.
Many Zagreb restaurants offer various specialities of national and international cuisine. Domestic products which deserve to be tasted include turkey, duck or goose with mlinci (a kind of pasta), štrukli (cottage cheese strudel), sir i vrhnje (cottage cheese with cream), kremšnite (custard slices in flaky pastry), and orehnjača (traditional walnut roll).
Facts and Figures
northern Croatia, 170 km from the Adriatic Sea
45° 10′ N, 15° 30′ E
Central-european time (GMT+1)
650 sq. km.
The Zagreb University
65 galleries and art collections