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Grad Zagreb, or the City of Zagreb, is one of Croatia's 20 counties. Zagreb is located in the northwestern part of Croatia, surrounded by Zagreb County to the west, south, and east. The Grad Zagreb neighbors the Krapina-Zagorje County solely to the north. The city stretches from the Sava River floodplain in the south to the Medvednica Hill slopes in the north. The Zagreb area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Zagreb was formed by merging two medieval settlements on adjacent hills—Gradec (also known as Gornji Grad) and Kaptol. Currently, both of these areas bear several historical landmarks. One of the oldest is the Stone Gate in the east of the city, the only remaining part of Zagreb's fortifications. In terms of local nature, some of the northern areas of Grad Zagreb are part of Medvednica Nature Park, a wooded area with beech trees as prevailing plant species. Other outdoor attractions include Lake Jarun, offering a considerable array of sports activities. The local climate in Grad Zagreb is of oceanic character, influenced by both continental and subtropical climates.
Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia. Thus, the town features several historical and cultural landmarks of national recognition. Among the religious monuments in the city of Zagreb is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Neo-Gothic style, or Saint Mark's Church, which is known for its colorful-tiled roof. Strolling across Zagreb's Old Town, people can walk the historical Tkalčićeva Street or visit the Stone Gate, which is the only surviving piece of Zagreb's fortifications. Another site that is deemed one of the oldest buildings in town is the Lotrščak Tower. However, the oldest part of the city is the Upper Town, historically known as Kaptol and Gradec. Currently, these parts of the town are filled with restaurants, cafes, and bars. There are also several museums to be found within the Zagreb city borders, one of which is the Zagreb City Museum where people can learn about 900 years of Zagreb's history. Other museums in the city include the Croatian State Archives and the Museum of Broken Relationships.
Tourists seeking outdoor recreation and sports opportunities can visit Lake Jarun, located on Zagreb's outskirts. The water area was built in 1987 for the World Student Games, and today it offers walking paths, boating facilities, lakes, beaches, and a variety of restaurants and beach cafés. The area also offers activities such as rowing, paddling, sailing, surfing, swimming, jogging, biking, roller skating, and skateboarding. At night, Zagreb offers a nightlife experience at several of the city's clubs. The platform also hosts Zagreb's annual rock music festival.
In the central part of Zagreb is Zrinjevac Park, which is part of Zagreb Lenuci horseshoe. Zrinjevac Park features several historical elements, including a 19th-century music pavilion, multiple fountains, and a weather monitoring station dating 130 years back. The park is adorned with monuments honoring prominent Croatian figures such as Julije Klović, Andrija Medulić, and Fran Krsto Frankopan. Zagreb's first fountain is also found in the park, designed by Herman Bollé and known as "The Mushroom," which was constructed in 1878. Zrinjevac Park serves as a gathering spot for various art projects, live concerts, and events, often accompanied by food and drink booths.
The city of Zagreb is located in the northwestern part of the country. The city is surrounded by various geographical features. To the north lies Medvednica Mountain, with its highest peak, Sljeme, offering panoramic views of the Velebit Range along the coast and the Julian Alps in neighboring Slovenia. The region of Hrvatsko Zagorje is situated on the northern side of Medvednica. Sljeme hosts skiing championships and has ski runs and lifts for visitors. On Medvednica Hill, the old Medvedgrad fortress overlooks the city and houses the Shrine of the Homeland, a memorial honoring Croatia's fallen heroes. However, the area is also prone to earthquakes due to its proximity to the Žumberak-Medvednica fault zone.
In the northern part of the Grad Zagreb territory are found several nature areas such as Mikulić potok – Vrabečka gora and Pušinjak – Gorščica, which are part of the Medvednica Nature Park. Medvednica Nature Park in the City of Zagreb county is characterized by a considerable amount of forests, which account for 81% of the park's surface area. Sessile oaks and common hornbeam forests cover the lower hillsides, while beech forests dominate the higher elevations. Other notable forest types include Pannonian beech and silver fir forests, relict linden and yew forests, and thermophile oak and ash forests. Beech trees are the most common and adaptable species found throughout the park's altitudinal range.
Zagreb experiences an oceanic climate with notable influences from both continental and subtropical climates. It is situated on the edge of a humid continental and subtropical climate. The city is subjected to four different seasons alternating throughout the year. Regarding climate and weather in Zagreb, the warmest month is generally July, with an average daily temperature of 28°C. Reportedly, January is the coldest month, as temperatures have an average high of 4°C. January also tends to be the driest month in Zagreb because it generally receives 51 millimeters of rainfall on average. The most precipitation falls during September, as it gets an average of about 105 millimeters.
Zagreb has a history dating back to ancient times. Zagreb was formerly known as the Roman town of Andautonia, located near present-day Ščitarjevo, which existed from the 1st to the 5th century AD. The first written mention of Zagreb dates back to 1093, when a Roman Catholic bishopric was established there. Over time, it became a fortified town without royal leadership called Gradec. Zagreb played a fairly crucial role in the history of Croatia, facing Turkish invasions and Germanization attempts by Austria. It was a center for both pan-Yugoslav and Croatian independence movements. In 1918, Croatia declared independence from Austria-Hungary and later entered into a state union with Serbia, Slovenia, and Montenegro. During World War II, Zagreb became the capital of "a puppet Croatian state under rule of the Axis powers," but it was liberated by Yugoslav Partisans in 1945. From 1945 to 1991, Croatia was part of Yugoslavia.
The "Old Zagreb" comprised two settlements on adjacent hills: Gradec, also known as Gornji Grad and Kaptol. Along the former Medveščak Creek (now Tkalčićeva Street), the valley between them housed the residences. The Kaptol part of the Old Town featured a cathedral, which was first mentioned in the 12th century. Defensive towers and walls, that still stand there to this day, were built around the cathedral in the 16th century. In the other part of the city, Gradec, the defensive walls formed a triangular shape, with the Popov Toranj tower at the apex and the Strossmayer Promenade at the base. Four main gates provided entry to the city, from which only the Stone Gate remains today. The keys to three gates have been preserved and are stored in the Zagreb City Museum. St. Mark's Square serves as the central point of Gornji Grad, housing St. Mark's Church and featuring Zagreb's oldest coat of arms. Nearby, Old City Hall and Banski Dvori are notable historical buildings still used today.
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