Brief history of Croatian capital – Zagreb

Today’s city of Zagreb grew out of two medieval settlements, called Gradec and Kaptol, that developed over two neighboring hills for centuries. The first written mention of Zagreb dates from 1094 when the diocese was established at Kaptol, while neighboring Gradec was proclaimed a free royal city in 1242. Both of these settlements were surrounded by solid ramparts and towers, the remains of which have been preserved to this day.

During Turkish invasions of Europe, from XIV. to XVIII. Zagreb is an important border fortress. Baroque reconstruction of the city in XVII. and XVIII. changes the appearance of Gradec and Kaptol. Old wooden houses are being demolished and lavish palaces, monasteries and churches are being erected. The wealth of the city is contributed by numerous trade fairs, property income and numerous craft workshops.

Wealthy noble families, royal officials, church dignitaries and wealthy merchants from all over Europe are coming to the city. Schools and hospitals are being opened, cultural customs of European capitals are being adopted. The city outgrows its medieval borders and expands over a vast plain. The first parks and country estates are being built. Zagreb is recognized as the administrative, economic and cultural center of Croatia.

With the administrative unification of Kaptol, Gradec and the surrounding settlements in the unique city of Zagreb in 1850, its development has accelerated further. The devastating earthquake of 1880 triggered the renovation and modernization of many weathered neighborhoods and buildings. Representative public buildings are being erected, parks and fountains are being erected, public transport and utilities are being organized.

In the XIX. century the population has quadrupled. The twentieth century brought the spirit of secession to Zagreb. The city lives in an abundance of civil society, firmly linked to the then European centers of culture, art and science. With the growth of wealth and industry, the city has been expanding rapidly since the 1960s along the vast plain along the Sava River, where a modern business city, ready for the challenges of the third millennium, is emerging.

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