Zagreb is the capital and largest city of Croatia. The city of Zagreb itself also has the functions of a county. The immediate surroundings of the town is separated from this, the County of Zagreb, whose headquarters is also the city of Zagreb. Zagreb is situated at the foot of the Medvednica mountains on both sides of the Great Southwest in the Pannonian plain in an area also known as Hrvatsko Prigorje known. The landmark of the city is the Zagreb Cathedral. The city is the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Zagreb.
The name probably comes from ” zagrabiti “(Eng.”(draw water)”). According to other sources of Zagreb means “behind the mountains” (Croatian bregom za) or “behind the dam” (za grebom). Zagreb is Croatia’s largest city. It is also the only one in Croatia, which (with suburbs) more than a million inhabitants. As of the census of 2001 779.145 people lived in the city. According to the city government, there were in 2006 784.900 inhabitants. In the outer suburbs and surrounding areas are located nearby smaller towns, such as Dugo Selo, Samobor, Velika Gorica or Jastrebarsko. The estimated population of this area is approximately 1.1 million (2001 census) and 1.2 million (estimate one study) to 1.6 million (police estimates 2005) represent the majority of the population with 91.94%, the Croats. 2.14% are members of the Serb minority, 3.34% various other minorities, including German language, Bosniaks, Hungarians, Slovenes, Czechs and Ukrainians.
The name Zagreb was first mentioned in 1094, as in the personal union, Croatian-Hungarian king Ladislaus I. The Zagreb diocese was founded. The town developed from the two settlements Kaptol (chapter) and Gradec, which today form the core of the old city of Zagreb. In Gradec, merchants and craftsmen had settled. Kaptol was the city of the clergy, which they shared the canons of the Zagreb diocese. Conflicts of interest between the two communities led to clashes over again.
In the 13th Southeastern Europe at century had devastating looting of the Tatars suffer (Mongolian tribes). The King of Croatia and Hungary, Bela IV, hid himself on the run from the Tatars in Gradec and from there tried to organize the defense. In gratitude for saving his life he gave in 1242 the inhabitants of Gradec the Bulla Aurea, a symbol of freedom and independence. Through this document Gradec became a free royal city. Now it had its economic prosperity. It palaces, churches and fortifications came to Central and Western European model.
1557 Zagreb, Croatia was the first time as capital mentioned. The Lower Town (Donji grad) started to develop rapidly and soon took over the role of Gradec in trade and crafts. 1669 is University of Zagreb was founded.