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CROATIA : ZAGREB

Zagreb is  not as popular with tourists as the cities alongside the Dalmatian coast. However, it still offers a few nice attractions that make it worthwhile to stop over for a few days.  

Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia. The city's population was 779,145 in 2001. It is situated between the southern slopes of Medvednica mountain and the northern bank of the Sava river.

Zagreb is also the largest city of  Croatia. It can be roughly divided in two parts : Kaptol and Gradec, two parts that used to be separate cities. During the 1950’s, new suburbs south of the Sava were constructed. This part is now known as Novi Zagreb (New Zagreb). The airport Pleso is also situated south of the river. The traffic position, concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions and industrial tradition underlie its leading economic position. Zagreb seats central state administrative bodies and almost all government ministries.

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 thousand-year old upper town contains the Presidential Palace, the historic church of St. Mark's, the Croatian parliament, museums and galleries which are all set in cobbled streets lit by gas lamps; the 19th century lower town (Donji grad) is the place were visitors will find the shops, restaurants, cafes, theatres, parks

Zagreb is called a city of museums as there are more of them per square foot than any other city in the world. One of the many pleasures that many Zagrebcani enjoy is sitting in one of the numerous cafes, watching the world go by. In the evening, the visitor can go to one of the many restaurants, tasting one of the delicious Croatian dishes, and finish the day in the one of the bars or clubs.  

The cathedral of Zagreb is still under renovation but it is certainly worth a visit. Here is the tomb of Archbishop Stepinac. He was ordained Archbishop in 1937. After World War II he was taken prisoner by the communists and sentenced to 16 years of labour camp. After his liberation in 1951, he was bannished to his native village. He died in 1960 after Tito had refused him to leave Yugoslavia to get special medical treatment. 
 

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