Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is located 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 above sea level. In the last official census of 2011 the population of the City of Zagreb was 792,875. The wider Zagreb metropolitan area includes the City of Zagreb and the separate Zagreb County bringing the total metropolitan area population up to 1,113,111. It is the only metropolitan area in Croatia with a population of over one million.
Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The oldest settlement in the urban area of the city is Andautonia, a Roman settlement in the place of today's Šcitarjevo. The name "Zagreb" is mentioned for the first time in 1094 at the founding of the Zagreb diocese of Kaptol, and Zagreb became a free royal town in 1242, whereas the origin of the name still remains a mystery in spite of several theories. In 1851 Zagreb had its first mayor, Janko Kamauf, and in 1945 it was made the capital of Croatia when the demographic boom and the urban sprawl made the city as it is known today.
Zagreb has a special status in the Republic of Croatia's administrative division and is a consolidated city-county (but separated from Zagreb County), and is administratively subdivided into 17 city districts, most of them being at low elevation along the River Sava valley, whereas northern and northeastern city districts, such as Podsljeme and Sesvete districts are situated in the foothills of the Sljeme mountain, making the city's geographical image rather diverse. The city extends over 30 kilometres east-west and around 20 kilometres north-south.
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. Almost all of the largest Croatian companies, media and scientific institutions have their headquarters in the city. Zagreb is the most important transport hub in Croatia where Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe meet, making the Zagreb area the centre of the road, rail and air networks of Croatia. It is a city known for its diverse economy, high quality of living, museums, sporting and entertainment events. Its main branches of economy are high-tech industries and the service sector.
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Today our tour stopped over the city of Zagreb. Located in northern Croatia, on the Sava River, Zagreb is one of the largest cities of the country and an industrial centre; Zagreb has plants producing chemicals, machinery, leather goods, paper, metals, and textiles. A cultural as well as commercial centre, the city has a university (established in 1669); an opera house; music, art, and film academies; museums; art galleries (such as the Strossmayer, which boasts paintings by the Old Masters); and the former Yugoslav Academy of Science and Arts. Landmarks here include the 15th century Cathedral of St Stephen, an 18th century palace, and the remains of an 11th century cathedral.
In 1991, tensions within the Yugoslav federation erupted into war. Croatia and Slovenia's demands for freedom led to the Balkan civil war, in which the Yugoslav army was pitted against the breakaway republics. Zagreb itself managed to escape relatively unscathed by warfare until 1995, when the city was shelled by the Yugoslav army. The population of Zagreb has been swelled by the influx of thousands of refugees displaced by the civil war.
In relation to that, these images, acquired by the Landsat 5 and 8 satellites with an acquisition time window (before / after) of twenty-eight years, aim to show the urban difference before the war until today. As we see in the overlay of the images, only small differences are visible to the north while clear changes in the fields can be seen, also taking into account the change of seasons in the two images.
Another aim of these images is to promote the opportunity to download Landsat data through the ESA portals, where images captured every day are made available in near real time to the users and the scientific community.
Landsat full resolution data products are freely available for immediate download at:
View Landsat 5 TM high resolution image (JPG 1.3 MB)
View Landsat 8 OLI high resolution image (JPG 1.4 MB)