Zagreb is a city in Europe, the capital of Croatia. It is located between the hill Medvednica and the river Sava, in central Croatia.
The town came to existence in the 11th century, when two smaller towns called Kaptol and Gradec merged. Kaptol was home to nobles and priests, while the residents of Gradec were small traders and craftsmen.
The Croato-Hungarian king Bella IV found protection from the Turks within Zagreb town walls, and as a sign of gratitude, in 1094 he decided to officially declare the settlement a "free royal town".
Croatian Parliament ("Sabor") has been meeting in Zagreb since the 16th century.
In the 1860ies, Zagreb became an important railroad junction: one railway went from Zidani most in the west to Sisak in the southeast, and the other went from Budapest in the northeast to Rijeka in the southwest. The part of the town now called Donji grad was built at that time. Today, Donji grad is practically a part of the city center.
The area between the rail station (south of Donji grad) and the river Sava was built in the time between the two world wars. These city parts are called Trnje and Trešnjevka, and they were inhabited by poor industrial workers. Conversely, rich neighbourhoods such as Šalata, Tuškanac and Pantovčak were created on the north of the city, just below the Medvednica hill.
After the WWII the city has grown immensely. It spread to the east to a small town of Sesvete, to the west up to Podsused. The so called New Zagreb districts were built to the south, on the opposite bank of Sava. New neighbourhoods were erected on the north, too, Gračani, Šestine etc.
According to the 2001 census, Zagreb and its suburbs have 770 058 residents. The whole metropolitan area barely exceeds one million people.
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, politically and in many other ways. Major industries are located in the city (and suburbs), such as Pliva (pharmaceuticals), INA (oil), Končar (electronics) and Tesla (also electronics). The city hosts a major fair called Zagrebački Velesajam.
Trams and buses are used for mass transit, and it's not hard to navigate around the place. The city centre is the ban Jelačić square.
The city is known for its theatres such as HNK, Kerempuh, ZKM and Gavella. Zagreb's University is the largest and most accomplished university in the country.
There are various sport clubs in the city, but most popular sports are football (Dinamo and Zagreb), basketball (Cibona and Zrinjevac), handball (Badel 1862) and water polo (Mladost).