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Jastrebarsko has derived its name from the Croatian word for 'hawk' or ‘falcon’ (jastreb), due to the falconry practices in the area. A trace of this tradition can be seen in the Jastrebarsko coat of arms, featuring a yellow goshawk on a blue background. The first mention of “Jastraburcza", described as a trade and judicial centre, is found in a 1249 document of the Croatian ban Stjepan Gutkeled.
In 1257 Croato-Hungarian King Bela IV awarded Jastrebarsko the status of a “free royal trading centre” which shielded the town from the appetites of local feudal lords.
From 1518 to 1848 Jastrebarsko was heavily influenced by the Croat-Hungarian noble family Erdody which was victorious against the spreading Ottoman Empire. From 1809 to 1813, during the expansion of Napoleon`s First French Empire, Jastrebarsko was temporarily incorporated in the Illyrian Provinces.
Jastrebarsko started rapid development following the 1848 abolishment of feudalism. In 1865 the Zagreb-Karlovac railway was built, providing the town with a major source of employment. The local elementary school, founded in the 17th century, was augmented by a number of other cultural, social and sports organizations, including a library, the singing society "Javor", the association of tamburica players, a volunteer fire brigade, a theatre and others.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Jastrebarsko was a district capital in the Zagreb Country of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slovenia.
The town was the site of a concentration camp for Serb children operated by the authorities of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II.
Jastrebarsko is a small town half way between Zagreb and Karlovac, half way between urban and rural country, and half way between tranquility and big city bustle. And all those roads merge together in an idyllic landscape of characteristic spirit and homey atmosphere.
According to the 2011 census, Jastrebarsko has a population of 16,667 spread out through 60 neighborhoods.
Billing itself as “Your Business-Friendly Town”, Jastrebarsko has launched a multi-year initiative with the goal of long-term economic development. The process began in 2002 and covers a range of strategic activities. The focus is on the development of the business infrastructure in the Economic Zone of Jalševac, opening the doors to domestic and foreign investment in order to create new jobs, promoting entrepreneurship and overcoming administrative hurdles by adopting effective local government policies.
Jastrebarsko area holds some of the best-preserved landscapes and picturesque villages, which make it a jewel of the Zagreb County in Croatia. Surrounded by sunny wine-growing hills filled with family farms, picnic areas, forests and other beautiful places coupled with crystal clear spring water, the area becomes the perfect spot for relaxation and return to the roots.
This charming little town holds absolutely everything you need to fill your heart and soul: picturesque landscapes to warm your heart, pure spring water to quench your thirst, forest air to fill your lungs, rich past, castles, a wealth of cultural monuments and a whole array of vineyards along the Plešivica Wine Road… You might even run into the eponymous hawk carefully watching over its town which has been awarded the flattering title of European City of the Future.