(zä'grĕb), Ger. Agram, Hung. Zágráb, city (2011 pop. 790,017), capital and largest city of Croatia, on the Sava River. Zagreb is Croatia's largest industrial, manufacturing, and financial center and, prior to Yugoslavia's disintegration in the early 1990s, was also Yugoslavia's largest. It has industries that produce machinery, machine tools, electrical and metal products, and chemicals. It is also the cultural center of Croatia, with an Academy of Arts and Sciences (founded 1861), a university (founded 1669), an institute of nuclear physics, an observatory, and several fine museums and art galleries. Zagreb is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop, an Orthodox Eastern archbishop, a Protestant bishop, and a grand rabbi.
The ancient Roman town of Andautonia was southeast of the modern city, which developed from 2 nuclei: Gradec and Kaptol. It was made an episcopal see of the Western church in 1093. In 1242, the year of a Mongol invasion, Gradec became a free royal city and later in the 13th cent. became the chief city of Croatia and Slavonia, which were then joined with Hungary in a personal union under the Hungarian crown. Although the Ottoman Turks attacked Zagreb in the 16th cent., they never conquered this part of Croatia. The bishopric of Kaptol and the city of Gradec merged in 1850. During the 19th cent. Zagreb was a center of the Croatian nationalist movement. With the formation of the dual Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867, the city became capital of autonomous Croatia. It has since been, successively, capital of an Axis-controlled Croatian puppet state (during World War II), the constituent republic of Croatia in Yugoslavia (1945–1992), and the independent Republic of Croatia (since 1992).
A fine modern city, Zagreb has its historic center in the old Kaptol district, with the Catholic cathedral (begun 1093) and the Catholic archiepiscopal palace (18th cent.), and Gornji Grad [upper town], with its baroque palaces and churches.