Zagreb, Croatia in Brief

By: Tatyana Kogut.

Zagreb is the capital and the main city of Croatia, its economical centre and the gates to the Western Europe. The city is located by the foot of the Medvednica mountain along the Sava river. Such a wonderful geographic location provides good connection between the Central Europe and the Adriatic Sea. Convenient transport connections, high level of industry development, great amount of scientific and research institutions as well as the city's culture and traditions - that is the reason why Zagreb is so popular with tourists.

The city's history starts in 1094 when the Hungarian King Ladislaus founded a diocese here. There was another settlement, Gradec, situated on the neighboring hill. However, it was not before the 17th century that these two settlements merged to found the cultural centre of the modern city.

Zagreb is divided into three parts. The thousand-year old Gornji Grad is a well-kept medieval city, known as the Gradec and Kaptol (the Upper City). Here you will find the Presidential Palace, St. Mark's Church, Prliament of Croatia, numerous museums and galleries. Donji Grad (The Lower City) with its shops, restaurants, cafes, theatres and parks dates back to the 19th century. This is the place to do the shopping and visit one of local museums and galleries, such as Strossmayer Gallery & the Archaeological Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Mimara Ethnographic Museum - one of the most wonderful European art galleries. Modern postwar Zagreb, full of high-rise buildings, does not interest tourists that much.

Zagreb is often called the museum city - the number of museums per square meter in Zagreb is larger than in any other city if the world. Museums reflect not only the history of Zagreb and Croatia, its art and culture, but also the history of the whole Europe, and even the world. About 30 collections found in local museums and galleries house more than 3,6 million various exhibits. Mind that churches and private collections are not included.

Local people have one favourite occupation - they like sitting in one of numerous local cafes and look at the world around them. In the evening make a visit to one of luxurious restaurants to try delicious Croatian dishes, and finish your day in a bar or a club.

The city has a rich cultural and theatrical life: there are more than 20 theatres and stages here, the most impressive of which is the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) whereas the most popular concert hall is the one named "Vatroslav Lisinski". Aslo Animafest, the World Festival of Animated Films is organised in Zagreb every year.

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