Archeological evidence has been found to support specialists’ claims that the territory of Zagreb has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Later, people from all over Europe, even Asia, arrived in the region. Some of the first were the Celts who settled there to work the land, and then the Romans who deployed military bases in the region. The town’s proper history starts from the Middle Ages, from the two hills of Gradets and Kaptol, and the name Zagreb was given in 1094. In 1242 Zagreb became a free royal town. To mark this occasion, every year for the last hundred years, a cannonball is shot to remind local residents and tourists of the past times. In the Middle Ages every night a bell sounded to warn people that they had to go back to the fortress so that they don’t end up locked outside until the next day. Zagreb was declared the capital of Croatia in 1845.
The capital of Croatia, Zagreb, is located in the northwestern part of the country, at 122 meters above sea level. The city boasts a population of nearly 800,000, while the entire Zagreb region has a population of more than 1,200,000. The city's area encompasses a total of 614 sq. km which is divided into 17 administrative districts, most of which are located along the valley of the Sava River.
Zagreb is the economic centre of the country and it houses all administrative institutions as well as many branches of international companies. At the heart of the city's economy are electronics, pharmaceuticals, textile and food industries. Zagreb is also an international trade and transport centre for Central Europe, the Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe. Many of the Croatian companies' headquarters are also located in Zagreb.
Zagreb is a major tourist destination in Croatia. The most famous landmarks in the city include historical monuments, museums and galleries, such as the National Museum of Natural History, the Technical Museum and the Ethnographic Museum. One of the most visited and more modern museums is the Museum of Broken Relationships, the idea for which dates back to 2006. The Museum of Contemporary Art also attracts many visitors. There are many parks as well, the most famous of which is the Maksimir Park, founded in 1794, designed in the style of English parks and gardens.