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Trip Planner Europe  /  Croatia  /  Central Croatia  /  Zagreb County  /  Velika Gorica

Velika Gorica

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Velika Gorica is the largest and most populous city in Zagreb County, Croatia. The city itself has a population of 31,341, while the municipality has a population of 63,517 inhabitants (2011).Velika Gorica is the centre of the historical Turopolje region. Franjo Tuđman Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Croatia, is located in the area of Velika Gorica.NameThe name of the city consists of two words. The first one, "Velika", is an adjective, meaning big or great. Second one is "Gorica", which is in standard Croatian diminutive of the word "gora", meaning hill. But in local Kajkavian dialect, "gorica" means vineyard, hence literally translated city's name is Big Vineyard. That is because this area was wine producing since ancient times.Velika Gorica also has (or had) its names in other languages, notably Hungarian: Nagygoricza and German: Gross-Gorica.GeographyThe City of Velika Gorica, located 16km south of Zagreb, is the centre of an area covering 552km2. Up until 1990 Velika Gorica had the status of a municipality and after that it became a part of Zagreb. Velika Gorica gained city status in 1995. The area of the old Municipality of Velika Gorica was split into three municipalities – Kravarsko, Orle and Pokupsko.Velika Gorica is the largest settlement and the administrative centre of the traditional Turopolje region. Regarding the Turopolje name, among the most common opinions is that the name, meaning "Tur field", comes from an old Slavic word "tur" which means Aurochs, an ancient type of cattle with long horns, which was a symbol of fertility and the sun god. These cattle died out in the 16th century. The cattle were closely related to agriculture. Plowing had a symbolic meaning, the fertilization of Mother Earth, so these cattle were often assumed to have "sacred" characteristics. Because of its importance in the life of the plowmen, "tur" became the basis for numerous toponyms. However, as recently as the 16th century, Turopolje was called Campus Zagrebiensis, i.e. "Zagreb field", or just Campus (field). At that time the name was replaced by "Tur field", i.e. Turopolje.
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