Zagreb (Croatian pronunciation: [zǎːɡreb])is the capital and the largest city 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. In the last official census of 2011 the population of the City of Zagreb was 792,875. The wider Zagreb metropolitan area includes the City of Zagreb and the separate Zagreb County bringing the total metropolitan area population up to 1,237,887. It is the biggest metropolitan area in Croatia, and the only one with a population of over one million.
Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The oldest settlement located in the vicinity of the city was the Roman Andautonia, in today's Ščitarjevo. The name "Zagreb" is recorded in 1134, in reference to the foundation of the settlement at Kaptol in 1094. Zagreb became a free royal town in 1242. In 1851 Zagreb had its first mayor, Janko Kamauf, and in 1945 it was made the capital of Croatia when the demographic boom and the urban sprawl made the city as it is known today.
Zagreb has a special status in the Croatia's administrative division and is a consolidated city-county (but separated from Zagreb County) , and is administratively subdivided into 17 city districts, most of them being at low elevation along the river Sava valley, whereas northern and northeastern city districts, such as Podsljeme] and Sesvete districts are situated in the foothills of the Medvednica mountain, making the city's geographical image rather diverse. The city extends over 30 kilometres
(19 miles) east-west and around 20 kilometres
(12 miles) north-south. The transport connections, concentration
of industry, scientific, and research institutions and industrial tradition underlie its leading economic position in Croatia. Zagreb is the seat of the central government, administrative bodies, and almost all government ministries] Almost all of the largest Croatian companies, media, and scientific institutions have their headquarters in the city. Zagreb is the most important transport hub in Croatia where Central Europe, the Mediterranean
and Southeast Europe meet, making the Zagreb area the centre
of the road, rail and air networks of Croatia. 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.
By its historical tradition, cultural relations, and above all, its urban planning, Zagreb is a distinctly central European city situated in the middle of the triangle of Vienna, Budapest and Venice. It has always been and remains a part of the cultural circle of central Europe.The city with a tradition of almost one thousand years celebrated its 900th birthday in 1994. Zagreb University was founded in the 17th century, and it is one of the oldest in Europe. Nine hundred year old Zagreb, capital of Croatia, lives a rich cultural life, with more than 20 theatres, 3 concert halls, around 60 museums and art galleries. It is a big centre of congress tourism, economic and business events, and trade fairs not only in Croatia but also in this part of Europe.
We could summarize the impressions of the growing number of foreigners who visit Zagreb in one sentence: a city of a million inhabitants that has managed to stay romantic, clean, and which offers visitors pleasant walks and enjoyment in a city full of parks and pedestrian zones. In short, it is a city that has managed to preserve its soul and identity, its cultural and historical heritage, and we are very proud of this.