THE CITY
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ZAGREB CITY

Teatro Nacional Zagreb Croacia 2014-04-13 DD 02Zagreb 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. 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 1,110,517. It is the only metropolitan area in Croatia with a population of over one million.

 

1040px-Panorama Zagreb

Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The oldest settlement in the urban area of the city is Andautonia, a Roman settlement in the place of today's Ščitarjevo. The name "Zagreb" is mentioned for the first time in 1094 at the founding of the Zagreb diocese of Kaptol, and Zagreb became a free royal town in 1242, whereas the origin of the name still remains a mystery in spite of several theories. 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 it's known nowadays.

Zagreb has a special status in the Republic of 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 Sljeme 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, covering an immense area of the Prigorje region. Its favourable geographic position in the southwestern part of the Pannonian Basin, which extends to the Alpine, Dinaric, Adriatic and Pannonic regions, provides an excellent connection for traffic between Central Europe and the Adriatic Sea.

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 Western 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. Zagreb is a global and cosmopolitan city.

Zagreb3

 

History

The oldest settlement in the urban area of Zagreb was a Roman town of Andautonia, now Šćitarjevo, which datesback 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. One Croat legend says that a Croat ban (viceroy) was leading his thirsty soldiers across a deserted region. He drove his sabre into the ground in frustration and water poured out, so he ordered his soldiers to dig for water. The idea of digging or unearthing is supported by scientists who suggest that the settlement was established beyond a water-filled hole or graba and that the name derives from this.

According to another old legend, a city ruler was thirsty and ordered a girl named Manda to take water from Lake Manduševac (nowadays a fountain in Ban Jelačić Square), using the sentence: "Zagrabi, Mando!" which means, Scoop it up, Manda!.

Some sources suggest that the name derives from the term 'za breg' or 'beyond the hill'. The hill may well have been the river bank of the River Sava (the modern Croatian word "breg" or "brijeg", meaning "hill", originally meant "river bank"), which is believed to have previously flowed closer to the city centre. Another possible origin is the term "za grabom", meaning "behind the moat", as the city was heavily fortified since its beginnings.

During Austria-Hungary, Zagreb was more commonly known outside Croatia by its Austrian German exonym "Agram". In today's German though, "Zagreb" prevails.

Early Zagreb

The history of Zagreb dates as far back as 1094 A.D when the Hungarian King Ladislaus, returning from his campaign against Croatia, founded a diocese. Alongside the bishop's see, the canonical settlement Kaptol developed north of Zagreb Cathedral, as did the fortified settlement Gradec on the neighbouring hill; the border between the two being the Medveščak stream. Today the latter is Zagreb's Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and is one of the best preserved urban nuclei in Croatia. Both settlements came under Tatar attack in 1242. As a sign of gratitude for offering him a safe haven from the Tatars the Croatian and Hungarian King Bela IV bestowed Gradec with a Golden Bull, which offered its citizens exemption from county rule and autonomy, as well as its own judicial system.

16th to 18th centuries

There were numerous connections between the Kaptol diocese and the free sovereign town of Gradec for both economic and political reasons, but they weren't known as an integrated city, even as Zagreb became the political centre and the capital of Croatia and Slavonia. In 1557, the Croatian Parliament, representing both Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, first convened at Gradec. Zagreb was chosen as the seat of the Ban of Croatia in 1621 under ban Nikola Frankopan.

At the invitation of the Croatian Parliament, the Jesuits came to Zagreb and built the first grammar school, the St. Catherine's Church and monastery. In 1669, they founded an academy where philosophy, theology and law were taught, the forerunner of today's University of Zagreb.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Zagreb was badly devastated by fire and the plague. In 1776, the royal council (government) moved from Varaždin to Zagreb and during the reign of Joseph II Zagreb became the headquarters of the Varaždin and Karlovac general command.

19th to early 20th century

In the 19th century, Zagreb was the centre of the Croatian National Revival and saw the erection of important cultural and historic institutions. In 1850, the town was united under its first mayor - Janko Kamauf.

The first railway line to connect Zagreb with Zidani Most and Sisak was opened in 1862 and in 1863 Zagreb received a gasworks. The Zagreb waterworks was opened in 1878.

Zagreb in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, bilingual cancelled in 1900

Sculpture representing the Kingdom

After the 1880 Zagreb earthquake, up to the 1914 outbreak of World War I, development flourished and the town received the characteristic layout which it has today. The first horse-drawn tram was used in 1891. The construction of the railway lines enabled the old suburbs to merge gradually into Donji Grad, characterised by a regular block pattern that prevails in Central European cities. This bustling core hosts many imposing buildings, monuments, and parks as well as a multitude of museums, theatres and cinemas. An electric power plant was built in 1907.

Since 1 January 1877, the Grič cannon is fired daily from the Lotrščak Tower on Grič to mark midday.

The first half of the 20th century saw a considerable expansion of Zagreb. Before World War I, the city expanded and neighbourhoods like Stara Peščenica in the east and Črnomerec in the west were created. After the war, working-class districts such as Trnje emerged between the railway and the Sava, whereas the construction of residential districts on the hills of the southern slopes of Medvednica was completed between the two World Wars.

In the 1920s, the population of Zagreb increased by 70 percent — the largest demographic boom in the history of the town. In 1926, the first radio station in the region began broadcasting out of Zagreb, and in 1947 the Zagreb Fair was opened.

During World War II, Zagreb became the capital of the Independent State of Croatia, which was backed by the Germans and Italians. The city was captured by the partisans at the end of the war.

Modern Zagreb

The area between the railway and the Sava river witnessed a new construction boom after World War II. After the522px-Flag of Zagreb.svg mid-1950s, construction of new residential areas south of the Sava river began, resulting in Novi Zagreb (Croatian for New Zagreb), originally called "Južni Zagreb" (Southern Zagreb). The city also expanded westward and eastward, incorporating Dubrava, Podsused, Jarun, Blato and other settlements. The cargo railway hub and the international airport Pleso were built south of the Sava river. The largest industrial zone (Žitnjak) in the south-eastern part of the city represents an extension of the industrial zones on the eastern outskirts of the city, between the Sava and the Prigorje region. Zagreb also hosted the Summer Universiade in 1987.

During the 1991–1995 Croatian War of Independence, it was a scene of some sporadic fighting surrounding its JNA army barracks, but escaped major damage. In May 1995, it was targeted by Serb rocket artillery in two Zagreb rocket attacks which killed seven civilians.

An urbanised area connects Zagreb with the surrounding towns of Zaprešić, Samobor, Dugo Selo and Velika Gorica. Sesvete was the first and the closest area to become a part of the agglomeration and is already included in the City of Zagreb for administrative purposes and now forms the easternmost city district.

Demographics

Msu-museum-contemporary-art-zagreb

Zagreb is by far the largest city in Croatia in terms of area and population. The official 2011 census counted 792,324residents, although due to a substantial immigrant influx the number of people residing in the city is much higher.

Zagreb metropolitan area population is slightly above 1.2 million inhabitants, as it includes the Zagreb County. In 1997, the City of Zagreb itself was given special County status, separating it from Zagreb County, although it remains the administrative center of both.

The majority of its citizens are Croats making up 90% of the city's population (2001 census). The same census records 60,066 residents belonging to ethnic minorities. Such ethnic minorities comprise: 18,811 Serbs (2.41%), 8,030 Muslims (1.02%), 6,389 Albanians (0.83%), 6,204 Bosniaks (0.80%), 3,946 Romani (0.55%), 3,225 Slovenes (0.41%), 2,315 Macedonians (0.27%), 2,131 Montenegrins (0.27%), together with other smaller minor ethnic communities, especially the historically present Germans.

Economy

Most important branches of industry are: production of electric machines and devices, chemical, pharmaceutical, textile, food and drink processing. Zagreb is an international trade and business centre, and an essential transport hub placed at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Mediterannean and the Balkans. Almost all of the largest Croatian as well as Central European companies and conglomerates such as Agrokor, INA, Hrvatski Telekom have their headquarters in the city.

According to 2008 data, the city of Zagreb has the highest PPP and nominal gross domestic product per capita in Croatia at $32,185 and $27,271 respectively, compared to the Croatian averages of $ 18,686 and $15,758.

As of January 2013, the average monthly net salary in Zagreb was 6,699 kuna, about €900 (Croatian average is 5,399 kuna, about €725). At the end of 2012, the average unemployment rate in Zagreb was around 9.5%. 34% of companies in Croatia have headquarters in Zagreb, and 38.4% of the Croatian workforce works in Zagreb, including almost all banks, utility and public transport companies.

Companies in Zagreb create 52% of total turnover and 60% of total profit of Croatia in 2006 as well as 35% of Croatian export and 57% of Croatian import.

Metropolitan administration

Zrinjevac.j1

According to the Constitution, the city of Zagreb, as the capital of Croatia, has a special status. As such, Zagrebperforms self-governing public affairs of both city and county. It is also the seat of the Zagreb County which encircles Zagreb.

The city administration bodies are the city assembly as the representative body and mayor and the city government as the executive body. The members of the city assembly are elected at direct elections. Prior to 2009, the mayor was elected by the city assembly. It was changed to direct election in 2009. They elect the mayor and members of the city government by majority vote. The city government has 11 members elected on mayor’s proposal by the city assembly by majority vote. The mayor is the head of city government and has two deputies. The city administrative bodies are composed of 12 city offices, 3 city bureaus and 3 city services. They are responsible to the mayor and the city government. Local government is organized in 17 city districts represented by City District Councils. Residents of districts elect members of councils.

Transport

Highways

Zagreb is the hub of five major Croatian highways. Until a few years ago, all Croatian highways either started or ended in Zagreb.

The highway A6 was upgraded in October 2008 and leads from Zagreb to Rijeka, crossing 146.5 kilometers (91.0 mi) and forming a part of the Pan-European Corridor Vb. The upgrade coincided with the opening of the bridge over the Mura river on the A4 and the completion of the Hungarian M7, which marked the opening of the first freeway corridor between Rijeka and Budapest. The A1 starts at the Lučko interchange and concurs with the A6 up to the Bosiljevo 2 interchange, connecting Zagreb and Split (As of October 2008 Vrgorac). A further extension of the A1 up to Dubrovnik is under construction. Both highways are tolled by the Croatian highway authorities Hrvatske autoceste and Autocesta Rijeka - Zagreb.

Highway A3 (formerly named Bratstvo i jedinstvo) was the showpiece of Croatia in the SFRY. It is the oldest Croatian highway. A3 forms a part of the Pan-European Corridor X. The highway starts at the Bregana border crossing, bypasses Zagreb forming the southern arch of the Zagreb bypass and ends at Lipovac near the Bajakovo border crossing. It continues in Southeast Europe in the direction of Near East. This highway is tolled except for the stretch between Bobovica and Ivanja Reka interchanges.

Highway A2 is a part of the Corridor Xa. It connects Zagreb and the frequently congested Macelj border crossing, forming a near-continuous motorway-level link between Zagreb and Western Europe. Forming a part of the Corridor Vb, highway A4 starts in Zagreb forming the northeastern wing of the Zagreb bypass and leads to Hungary until the Goričan border crossing. It is the least used highway around Zagreb.

The railway and the highway A3 along the Sava river that extend to Slavonia (towards Slavonski Brod, Vinkovci, Osijek and Vukovar) are some of the busiest traffic corridors in the country. The railway running along the Sutla river and the A2 highway (Zagreb-Macelj) running through Zagorje, as well as traffic connections with the Pannonian region and Hungary (the Zagorje railroad, the roads and railway to Varaždin - Čakovec and Koprivnica) are linked with truck routes. The southern railway connection to Split operates on a high-speed tilting trains line via the Lika region (renovated in 2004 to allow for a five-hour journey); a faster line along the Una river valley is currently in use only up to the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Public transportation

Public transportation in the city is organized in several layers: the inner parts of the city are mostly covered by trams, the outer city areas and closer suburbs are linked with buses and rapid transit commuter rail .

The public transportation company ZET (Zagrebački električni tramvaj, Zagreb Electric Tram) operates trams, all inner bus lines, and the most of the suburban bus lines, and it is subsidized by the city council.

The national rail operator Croatian Railways (Hrvatske željeznice, HŽ) runs a network of urban and suburban train lines in the metropolitan Zagreb area, and is a government-owned corporation.

The funicular (uspinjača) in the historic part of the city is a tourist attraction.

Taxis are readily available through a network of around 3000 taxi vehicles, but this type of Zagreb's public transport hadn't been particularly popular among the residents until the end of the 2000s due to the monopoly of only one taxi company. In early 2010, numerous transport companies have been allowed to enter the market; consequently the prices significantly dropped whereas the service was immensely improved so the popularity of taxis in Zagreb has been increasing from then onwards.

Tram network

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. Trams usually travel at speeds of 30–70 kilometres per hour (19–43 miles per hour), but slow considerably during rush hour. The network operates at the curb whereas on larger avenues its tracks are situated inside the green belts.

An ambitious program, which entailed replacing old trams with the new and modern ones built mostly in Zagreb by companies Končar elektroindustrija and, to a lesser extent, by TŽV Gredelj, has recently been finished. The new "TMK 2200", trams by the end of 2012 made around 95% of the fleet.

Suburban rail network

The commuter rail network in Zagreb has existed since 1992. In 2005, suburban rail services were increased to a 15-minute frequency serving the middle and outer suburbs of Zagreb, primarily in the east-west direction and to the southern districts. This has enhanced the commuting opportunities across the city.

A new link to the nearby town of Samobor has been announced and is due to start construction in 2014. This link will be standard-gauge and tie in with normal Croatian Railways operations. The previous narrow-gauge line to Samobor called Samoborček was closed in the 1970s.

Air traffic

Zagreb Airport (IATA: ZAG, ICAO: LDZA), known as 'Pleso Airport' is the main Croatian international airport, a 17 km (11 mi) drive southeast of Zagreb in the suburb of Pleso. The airport is also the main Croatian airbase featuring a fighter squadron, helicopters, as well as military and freight transport aircraft. The airport had slightly less than 2.5 million passengers in 2012, but in September 2013 a new terminal is to be built and the airport will be able to receive more than 5 million passengers after the end of construction.

Zagreb also has a second, smaller airport, Lučko (ICAO: LDZL). It is home to sports airplanes and a Croatian special police unit, as well as being a military helicopter airbase. Lučko used to be the main airport of Zagreb from 1947 to 1959.

A third, small grass airfield, Buševec, is located just outside Velika Gorica. It is primarily used for sports purposes.

 

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