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Zagreb, capital of the Republic of Croatia, is also its largest city and the cultural, economic, cinematic, sporting and governmental hub of the country. It is located on the southern slopes of Medvednica Mountain along the banks of the Sava River. Culturally, it is a European city well worth visiting, with its numerous historical monuments and medieval architecture. Its favourable geographic positioning in the Pannonian Basin gives the city instant access to Central Europe and the Adriatic coast. Maybe that's why, for many years, it has remained the economic gateway connecting Central and Western Europe via the Adriatic Sea.

When Croatia achieved independence in 1991, Zagreb was declared the capital and along with it came political and administrative responsibilities. Today, the city has maintained its medieval structure in the Gradec and Kaptol area, which are prime administrative regions of the city. On the other hand, the residential area is located on the southern slopes of the Medvednica Mountains. From the 1950's, when the city started developing technologically, the industries started concentrating their base on the south and south east of the Sava River.

Besides being a major commercial and economical centre, it is also developing into a famed tourist destination. The city attracts many tourists from Austria, Germany and Italy who come to visit the beaches and explore its historical monuments, museums, and art galleries. From a youngster's point of view, the city offers a happening nightlife, plenty of restaurants and cafés and lots of cinema theatres that screen Hollywood films.

Today, it is the only city in Croatia with a population of over one million. Yet, as the city advances into the new millennium, it has retained its old charisma and welcoming attitude towards foreign visitors.

Origin of the name "Zagreb"

The origin of the name Zagreb is linked with a lot oflegends and stories. But the name Zagreb seems to have been first found in 1134 in a document which proves the establishment of Zagreb bishopric around 1094. The Croatian word "zagrabiti" loosely translates to "to dig" and is the source for some of the stories. One theory says a Croat viceroy called for the digging of water to assemble his settlement around the water hole or grabathat later came to be known as Zagreb. According to another etymological theory, the Venetian dialectal name for Saint Gabriel, the protector of the medieval city, is "Za" Gabria.

Area641 km2 (247 sq. mi.)
  • City: 792,875
  • Density: 1,200/km2 (3,200/sq. mi.)
Co-ordinates45°49'0"N 15°59'0"E
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
  • Summer (DST): CEST (UTC+2)
Area Code+385 1
Official languageCroatian