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