||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (August 2012)|
|— Historical region of Croatiaa —|
|• Total||19,403 km2 (7,492 sq mi)|
|• Density||106.74/km2 (276.5/sq mi)|
|a Croatia proper is not an official subdivision of the Republic of Croatia, it is a historical region.
b The figure is an approximation based on the territorial span and population of eight Croatian counties (Bjelovar-Bilogora, Karlovac, Koprivnica-Križevci, Krapina-Zagorje, Međimurje, Sisak-Moslavina, Varaždin, Zagreb) and the City of Zagreb.
Central Croatia (Croatian: Središnja Hrvatska) or Croatia proper is a historical region of Croatia that encompasses territory around Zagreb, located between Slavonia in the east and the Adriatic Sea in the west. The region has no official definition, and its borders and extent are described differently by various sources. Since re-establishment of the counties of Croatia, Central Croatia is considered to encompass the area of the nation's capital, Zagreb, and the eight counties surrounding the city. Central Croatia is the most significant economic area of the country, contributing 54.5 percent of Croatia's gross domestic product. The city of Zagreb has the largest population and is the economic centre of the region and the whole country.
Central Croatia comprises several microregions: Međimurje, Podravina, Posavina, Kordun, Banovina, Prigorje, Turopolje, Moslavina, and Žumberak. The region covers 19,403 square kilometres (7,492 square miles) of land and has a population of 2,071,092. Central Croatia straddles the boundary between the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Basin. The boundary of these two geomorphological units runs from Žumberak to Banovina, along the Sava River. The Dinaric Alps area, south of the boundary, is typified by karst topography, while the Pannonian Basin exhibits plains, especially in the river valleys—along the Sava, Drava, and Kupa—interspersed with hills and mountains developed as horst and graben structures. The tallest mountains are Žumberak, Ivanšćica, and Medvednica. The region belongs to the Black Sea drainage basin and includes most of the large rivers flowing in Croatia.
The boundaries of the region were shaped by territorial losses of medieval Croatia to the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman conquest starting in the 15th century. In effect, Central Croatia loosely corresponds to what was termed reliquiae reliquiarum olim magni et inclyti regni Croatiae (the relics of the relics of the formerly great and glorious Kingdom of Croatia) and the subsequent Kingdom of Croatia within the Habsburg Empire. The region contains most of the 180 preserved or restored castles and manor houses in Croatia, as it was spared any large-scale war damage throughout its history. Varaždin and Zagreb occupy prominent spots in terms of culture among the region's cities.
Central Croatia is a geographic region of Croatia that encompasses territory around Zagreb, located between Slavonia in the east and the Mountainous Croatia in the west. Its borders are not determined unambiguously, and the extent of the region is defined differently by various sources.Ogulin-Plaški Valley and the municipality of Bosiljevo in the western part of the Karlovac County are considered to be a part of the Mountainous Croatia, while the border with Slavonia to the east was variously defined throughout history, depending on the political divisions of Croatia. Since the re-establishment of the counties of Croatia, Central Croatia is considered to encompass the area of the national capital, Zagreb, and eight counties—Bjelovar-Bilogora, Karlovac, Koprivnica-Križevci, Krapina-Zagorje, Međimurje, Sisak-Moslavina, Varaždin, and Zagreb County. Central Croatia, excluding Bjelovar-Bilogora, Karlovac, and Sisak-Moslavina counties, is part of the Northwest Croatia NUTS-2 statistical unit of Croatia, while the three remaining counties are part of Central and Eastern (Pannonian) Croatia, along with all of Slavonia. The eight counties and the capital city cover 19,403 square kilometres (7,492 square miles) of land, corresponding to 34.3 percent of the territory of Croatia, and have a population of 2,071,092 yielding a population density of 106.7408/km2 (276.457/sq mi). Central Croatia comprises several microregions: Međimurje, Podravina, Posavina, Kordun, Banovina, Prigorje, Turopolje, Moslavina, and Žumberak.
|City of Zagreb||Zagreb||641||792,875|
|Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics|
Central Croatia straddles the boundary between the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Basin, two of three major geomorphological parts of Croatia. The boundary runs from the 1,181-metre (3,875 ft) Žumberak range to the Banovina area, along the Sava River. The Dinaric Alps are linked to a fold and thrust belt active from the Late Jurassic to recent times, and is itself part of the Alpine orogeny that extends southeast from the southern Alps.Karst topography is especially prominent in the Dinaric Alps.
The Pannonian Basin took shape through Miocenian thinning and subsidence of crust structures formed during the Late Paleozoic Variscan orogeny. Paleozoic and Mesozoic structures are visible in Papuk and other Slavonian mountains. The processes also led to the formation of a stratovolcanic chain in the basin 12–17 Mya; intensified subsidence was observed until 5 Mya as well as flood basalts at about 7.5 Mya. The contemporary tectonic uplift of the Carpathian Mountains cut off the flow of water to the Black Sea, and the Pannonian Sea formed in the basin. Sediments were transported to the basin from the uplifting Carpathian and Dinaric mountains, with particularly deep fluvial sediments being deposited in the Pleistocene epoch during the formation of the Transdanubian Mountains. Ultimately up to 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) of sediment was deposited in the basin, and the sea eventually drained through the Iron Gate gorge. The result is large plains, particularly in river valleys, and especially along the Sava, Drava, and Kupa rivers. The plains are interspersed with horst and graben structures, believed to have broken the Pannonian Sea's surface as islands. The tallest among these landforms are 1,059-metre (3,474 ft) Ivanšćica and 1,035-metre (3,396 ft) Medvednica, north of Zagreb. Parts of 489-metre (1,604 ft) Moslavačka gora, along with igneous landforms on Papuk and Požeška gora mountains in Slavonia to the east, are possibly remnants of a volcanic arc from the same tectonic plate collision that caused the Dinaric Alps.
|Highest mountains of Central Croatia|
|Žumberak||Sveta Gera||1,181 m (3,875 ft)|
|Ivanšćica||Ivanšćica||1,059 m (3,474 ft)|
|Medvednica||Sljeme||1,035 m (3,396 ft)|
|Samoborska gora||Japetić||879 m (2,884 ft)|
|Strahinščica||Strahinščica||846 m (2,776 ft)|
|Plešivica||Plešivica||777 m (2,549 ft)|
|Ravna gora (Trakošćan)||Ravna gora||686 m (2,251 ft)|
|Kalničko gorje||Kalnik||642 m (2,106 ft)|
|Zrinska gora||Piramida||616 m (2,021 ft)|
|Vodenica||Vodenica||537 m (1,762 ft)|
|Petrova gora||Veliki Petrovac||512 m (1,680 ft)|
Hydrology and climate
The entire Central Croatia region is encompassed by the Black Sea drainage basin. The area includes all the largest rivers flowing in the country—Sava, Drava, Mura, and Kupa—except the Danube. The largest lakes in Central Croatia are 17.1-square-kilometre (6.6 sq mi) Lake Dubrava and 10.1-square-kilometre (3.9 sq mi) Lake Varaždin reservoirs, both near Varaždin, through which the Drava River flows. Central Croatia has a wealth of wetlands. Two out of the four Croatian wetlands included in the Ramsar list of internationally-important wetlands are located in the region—Lonjsko Polje along the Sava and Lonja rivers near Sisak, and Crna Mlaka near Jastrebarsko. A high degree of karstification of the terrain in the Dinaric Alps has resulted in an increased permeability of soil and rocks and the formation of travertine barriers and waterfalls. The finest examples of the interaction of watercourses and karst are the Plitvice Lakes, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Rastoke, to the north of the Plitvice Lakes.
Central Croatia has a moderately warm and rainy continental climate (Dfb) as defined by the Köppen climate classification. Mean monthly temperatures range between −3 °C (27 °F) (in January) and 18 °C (64 °F) (in July). Temperature peaks are pronounced in the region compared to parts of Croatia closer to the Adriatic Sea, because of the absence of its moderating effect. The lowest temperature of −35.5 °C (−31.9 °F) was recorded on 3 February 1919 in Čakovec, and the highest temperature of 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) was recorded on 5 July 1950 in Karlovac.
According to the 2011 census, the total population of the eight counties of Central Croatia, together with that of the city of Zagreb, is 2,071,092—representing 48.3 percent of population of Croatia. The largest proportion of the total population lives in the city of Zagreb, followed by the Zagreb County. The Međimurje County is the least populous county of Central Croatia. The population density of the counties ranges from 156.9 to 35.5 persons per square kilometre, with the highest density recorded in Međimurje County and the lowest in the Karlovac County. The highest population density is recorded in the city of Zagreb area, at 1,236.9 persons per square kilometre. Zagreb is the largest city in Central Croatia, followed by Karlovac, Varaždin, Sisak, and Velika Gorica. Other cities in Central Croatia have populations below 30,000. According to the 2001 census, Croats account for 92.0 percent of population of Central Croatia, and the most significant ethnic minority is the Serbs, comprising 3.4 percent of the population. The largest proportion of the Serb minority was recorded in the Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties (11.7 percent and 11.0 percent respectively), while a significant Czech minority was observed in Bjelovar-Bilogora county, comprising 5.3 percent of population of the county.
|The most populous urban areas in Central Croatia|
|Rank||City||County||Urban population||Municipal population|
|1||Zagreb||City of Zagreb||686,568||792,875|
|Sources: Croatian Bureau of Statistics, 2011 Census|
Central Croatia is the most significant economic area of Croatia in terms of its contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP). The city of Zagreb alone contributes 30.9 percent of Croatia's GDP, followed by Zagreb and Varaždin counties, contributing 5.5 percent and 3.6 percent of the nation's GDP respectively. Overall, the region contributes 54.5 percent of Croatia's GDP and has an average GDP per capita of 12,446 euros—16.7 percent above the national average. By 2011, the national GDP share increased further for the city of Zagreb and Zagreb County, reaching 31.4 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.
The economy of the city of Zagreb represents the bulk of the economy of the Central Croatia macroregion. Its most significant components are wholesale and retail trade, accounting for 38.1% of the city's economic income, followed by the processing industry, encompassing 20.3% of the economy of Zagreb. Further industries, by income share, are the energy industry—the supply of electric power, natural gas, steam, and air conditioning (7.8%); information and communications (7.2%); civil engineering (5.4%), professional technical and scientific services (4.6%); financial services (4.5%); and transport and storage services (3.9%). These account for 91.8% of the total income of the city's economy. Small businesses generate 22% of the total income; 14.4% is attributed to medium enterprises and the rest to large companies. The economy of the Zagreb County, largely contiguous with Zagreb's metropolitan area, is dominated by wholesale and retail trade (53.5% of total income) and the processing industry (25.7%), followed by transport (6.1%) and civil engineering (5.3%). Unlike the economy of the city of Zagreb, the county's economic income is largely generated by small and medium businesses (64.6%). The city of Zagreb and the Zagreb County dominate the economy of the Central Croatia and Croatia as a whole: nearly 91% of all Croatia's wholesale and retail trade companies and 45% of the Croatian processing industry is headquartered there.
In 2010, nine companies headquartered in the Central Croatia ranked among the largest by income among Croatian companies, and 27 out of the top 30 companies were based in the region. The largest were INA, Konzum (a part of Agrokor corporate group), Hrvatska elektroprivreda, and T-Hrvatski Telekom—all of them headquartered in Zagreb.Deloitte ranked these four among the top 500 Central European companies, along with a further nine Croatian companies, all of which are headquartered in the region. Deloitte ranks Agrokor as the largest business among Croatia's enterprises. The largest company by income in the Varaždin County is the 15th-ranked food processing industry company Vindija, while the 17th-ranked petrochemical plant Petrokemija, based in Kutina, is the largest company in the Sisak-Moslavina County. Podravka, a Koprivnica-based food processing company, ranks as the 26th-largest by income in Croatia; it is the largest in the Koprivnica-Križevci County. The largest company by income in the Zagreb County is PIK Vrbovec, a meat processing company headquartered in Vrbovec, which ranks 36th in Croatia. Karlovačka pivovara, a brewery headquartered in Karlovac, is the largest company in the Karlovac County. It ranks 115th in Croatia.
|County||GDP||GDP per capita|
|City of Zagreb||14,622||30.9||18,554||173.7|
|Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics (2008 data)|
Three Pan-European transport corridors and corridor branches run through Central Croatia. The corridor Vb encompasses the A4 motorway, spanning from Zagreb to Varaždin and the border of Hungary, and a section of the A1 and A6 motorways, extending south of Zagreb towards Karlovac and Rijeka. The transport corridor also contains a parallel railway line connecting the Port of Rijeka and Budapest via Zagreb. The second major transport route is the corridor X, represented as the A3 motorway and a double-track railway spanning the region from west to east, as well as the A2 motorway—the Xa branch of the corridor X. The three routes form junctions near Zagreb.
The region is also home to the largest airport in Croatia—the Zagreb Airport. In April 2012, a 30-year concession contract to develop and manage the airport as a regional transport centre was signed by the Government of Croatia and Zagreb Airport International Company Limited. The only navigable river in the region is the Sava, downstream of Sisak. The navigable route became disused after onset of the Croatian War of Independence in 1991, and it has not been fully restored since the end of the war, limiting the size of vessels that may reach Sisak.
Pipeline transport infrastructure in the region comprises the Jadranski naftovod (JANAF) pipeline, connecting the Sisak and Virje crude oil storage facilities and terminals to a terminal in Slavonski Brod further east on the Sava River, and the Omišalj oil terminal—a part of the Port of Rijeka. The JANAF system also includes a petroleum derivatives pipeline to a fuel handling terminal in Zagreb. The region forms a center of Croatia's natural gas supply system, based on an underground storage facility located approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of Zagreb.
Central Croatia is distinguished among the regions of Croatia by its relatively high population density—a consequence of the fact that the region was spared from large-scale war damage. This also allowed preservation of numerous cultural heritage sites, including medieval city cores, hill forts, manor houses, castles, palaces, and churches. Because the medieval Kingdom of Croatia was governed by rulers based further south, in areas closer to the Adriatic Sea coast, there are few Early and High Middle Ages monuments preserved in the region—most of them date back to the Late Middle Ages and later periods. There are, however, archaeological sites with features from prehistory and classical antiquity. The most significant prehistoric site in the region is a Homo neanderthalensis site discovered in Krapina.
The region contains most the 180 preserved or restored castles and manor houses in Croatia—most of the best preserved-ones were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Ottoman conquest was no longer a threat. A substantial number of buildings were destroyed in the Second World War. The largest number of preserved castles and manor houses are situated in Hrvatsko Zagorje, including the Trakošćan Castle—the most beautiful castle in Croatia. Its construction started in the 14th century, and it has been substantially expanded and rebuilt since. Another example is the Veliki Tabor Castle—the best-preserved medieval castle in Croatia—completed in the second half of the 15th century.
Among the cities in the region, Varaždin and Zagreb occupy particularly prominent places in terms of culture. Varaždin is often considered the most significant centre of baroque culture and heritage in Croatia. That claim is reflected in the city's historical architecture and cultural events, based on traditions of the city from the era. Zagreb, on the other hand, is the largest cultural centre, not only in the region, but also in Croatia as a whole. It is home to dozens of galleries, museums, and theatres as well as being the site of numerous landmarks. The landmarks include the Zagreb Cathedral, founded in 1093 and rebuilt numerous times since, the last major reconstruction being after the 1880 earthquake. The cathedral is the tallest structure in Croatia. Zagreb is the most significant centre of scientific work and education in the region and the entire country. It is the site of the University of Zagreb—the oldest place of higher education in Croatia and Southeast Europe, operating continuously since 1669. It is also home to the Ruđer Bošković Institute—the leading Croatia's scientific research institute—and to the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Central Croatia as a region has defined itself historically through territorial losses of the medieval Kingdom of Croatia to the Republic of Venice and Ottoman conquest starting in the 15th century. Venice seized the area of present-day Dalmatia as the Ottomans advanced, winning the decisive Battle of Krbava Field in 1493 and the Battle of Mohács in 1526. This led to the loss of Slavonia and the defeat of the Kingdom of Hungary, to which Croatia was tied through a personal union. The extent of the Ottoman conquest still marks the southern and eastern boundaries of Central Croatia as a geographical region. In effect, Central Croatia loosely corresponds to what was termed the relics of the relics of the formerly great and glorious Kingdom of Croatia (Latin: reliquiae reliquiarum olim magni et inclyti regni Croatiae) and subsequent Kingdom of Croatia within the Habsburg Empire. The Croatian Military Frontier was gradually established in the second half of the 16th century, removing further territory from the Kingdom of Croatia and placing the military zone under direct imperial rule. Ottoman advances into Croatian territory continued until the 1593 Battle of Sisak, the first decisive Ottoman defeat, which led to a more lasting stabilisation of the frontier.
After the Ottoman defeat in the Great Turkish War and the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), a separate Kingdom of Slavonia was formed out of the regained territories, confirming the established borders of the Kingdom of Croatia. Pursuant to provisions of the Croatian-Hungarian Settlement of 1868, Slavionia was added to the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia—the territory ruled from Zagreb—and the military frontier was abolished. Rijeka was removed from the new kingdom, as the Corpus separatum attached it to Hungary instead. Following World War I and the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary lost Rijeka and Međimurje, as well as other territories, to the newly-established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The 1921 constitution defined the country as a unitary state and abolished the historical administrative divisions, effectively ending Croatia's autonomy. Međimurje was assigned to Croatia in 1947—when all the borders of the former Yugoslav constituent republics were defined by demarcation commissions, pursuant to decisions of the AVNOJ of 1943 and 1945.
After the breakup of Yugoslavia and Croatia's declaration of independence in 1991, the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) was proclaimed in parts of Croatia, including parts of the Central Croatia—Banovina and Kordun—encompassing areas east of Karlovac and south of Sisak, marking the start of the Croatian War of Independence. After the January 1992 ceasefire, a United Nations peacekeeping force was deployed to the area. The area remained outside control of the government of Croatia until August 1995, when it was recaptured in Operation Storm. The Croatian Army campaign ended following the surrender of the last operational corps of the RSK military in Viduševac, near Glina.
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