Zagreb (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈzâːɡrɛb]) is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is situated in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122 m (400 ft) above sea level. In 2008, Zagreb's population was 804,200.
Its favourable geographic position in the southwestern part of the Pannonian Basin, which extends to the Alpine, Dinaric, Adriatic and Pannonic regions, provides an excellent connection for traffic between Central Europe and the Adriatic Sea. The transport connections, concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions and industrial tradition underlie its leading economic position in Croatia. Zagreb is the seat of the central government, administrative bodies and almost all government ministries.
Zagreb's numerous museums reflect the history, art and culture not only of Zagreb and Croatia, but also of Europe and the world. Around thirty collections in museums and galleries comprise more than 3.6 million various exhibits, excluding church and private collections.
The Archaeological Museum (19 Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square) collections, today consisting of nearly 400,000 varied archaeological artifacts and monuments, have been gathered over the years from many different sources. These holdings include evidence of Croatian presence in the area. The most famous are the Egyptian collection, the Zagreb mummy and bandages with the oldest Etruscan inscription in the world (Liber Linteus Zagrabiensis), as well as the numismatic collection.
Modern Gallery (Croatian: Moderna galerija) holds the most important and comprehensive collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings by 19th and 20th century Croatian artists. The collection numbers around 10,000 works of art, housed since 1934 in the historic Vranyczany Palace in the centre of Zageb, overlooking the Zrinjevac Park. A secondary gallery is the Josip Račić Studio at Margaretska 3.
Croatian Natural History Museum (1 Demetrova Street) holds one of the world's most important collection of Neanderthal remains found at one site. These are the remains, stone weapons and tools of prehistoric Krapina man. The holdings of the Croatian Natural History Museum comprise more than 250,000 specimens distributed among various different collections.
Museum of Technology (18 Savska Street) was founded in 1954 and it maintains the oldest preserved machine in the area, dating from 1830, which is still operational. The museum exhibits numerous historic aircraft, cars, machinery and equipment. There are some distinct sections in the museum: the Planetarium, the Apisarium, the Mine (model of mines for coal, iron and non-ferrous metals, about 300 m (980 ft) long), and the Nikola Tesla study.
Museum of the City of Zagreb (20 Opatička Street) was established in 1907 by the Association of the Braća Hrvatskog Zmaja. It is located in a restored monumental complex (Popov toranj, the Observatory, Zakmardi Granary) of the former Convent of the Poor Clares, of 1650. The Museum deals with topics from the cultural, artistic, economic and political history of the city spanning from Roman finds to the modern period. The holdings comprise 75,000 items arranged systematically into collections of artistic and mundane objects characteristic of the city and its history.
Arts and Crafts Museum (10 Marshal Tito Square) was founded in 1880 with the intention of preserving the works of art and craft against the new predominance of industrial products. With its 160,000 exhibits, the Arts and Crafts Museum is a national-level museum for artistic production and the history of material culture in Croatia.
Ethnographic Museum (14 Ivan Mažuranić Square) was founded in 1919. It lies in the fine Secession building of the one-time Trades Hall of 1903. The ample holdings of about 80,000 items cover the ethnographic heritage of Croatia, classified in the three cultural zones: the Pannonian, Dinaric and Adriatic.
Mimara Museum (5 Roosevelt Square) was founded with a donation from Ante "Mimara" Topić and opened to the public in 1987. It is located in a late 19th century neo-Renaissance palace. The holdings comprise 3,750 works of art of various techniques and materials, and different cultures and civilizations.
Croatian Naïve Art Museum (works by Croatian primitivists at 3 Ćirilometodska Street) is considered to be the first museum of naïve art in the world. The museum keeps works of Croatian naïve expression of the 20th century. It is located in the 18th century Raffay Palace in the Gornji Grad. The museum holdings consist of 1500 works of art - paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, mainly by Croatians but also by other well-known world artists. From time to time, the museum organizes topics and retrospective exhibitions by naïve artists, expert meetings and educational workshops and playrooms.
The Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 1954 and a rich collection of Croatian and foreign contemporary visual art has been collected throughout the decades. The Museum building is located in the center of Novi Zagreb, opened in 2009. The old location, 2 St. Catherine's Square, is part of the Kulmer Palace in the Gornji Grad.
Other museums and galleries
Valuable historical collections are also found in the Croatian School Museum, the Croatian Hunting Museum, the Croatian Sports Museum, the Croatian Post and Telecommunications Museum, the HAZU (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) Glyptotheque (collection of monuments), and the HAZU Graphics Cabinet.
The Strossmayer's Old Masters Gallery (11 Zrinski Square) offers permanent holdings presenting European paintings from the 14th to 19th centuries, and the Ivan Meštrović Studio, (8 Mletačka Street) with sculptures, drawings, lithography portfolios and other items, was a donation of this great artist to his homeland The Museum and Gallery Center (4 Jesuit Square) introduces on various occasions the Croatian and foreign cultural and artistic heritage. The Art Pavilion (22 King Tomislav Square) by Viennese architects Hellmer and Fellmer who were the most famous designers of theaters in Central Europe is a neo-classical exhibition complex and one of the landmarks of the downtown. The exhibitions are also held in the impressive Meštrović building on Žrtava Fašizma Square — the Home of Croatian Fine Artists. The World Center "Wonder of Croatian Naïve Art" (12 Ban Jelačić Square) exhibits masterpieces of Croatian naïve art as well as the works of a new generation of artists. The Modern Gallery (1 Hebrangova Street) comprises all relevant fine artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.