Just outside Croatia's capital Zagreb you will find the little town of Jastrebarsko. Despite its low number of residents, the small city from the beginning of the 15th century has a lot to offer. Jastrebarsko counts little over 5,000 inhabitants.

Already in 1520 the people of Jastrebarsko built themselves a fort to keep the Turkish enemy army out of the city. The Erdödy castle is surrounded by a beautiful park, while the citadel itself strikes the eye because of its two towers. It hosts a museum on the inside, whereas the courtyard is reputed for its acoustics. Concerts and plays are held here in summer. The baroque Marija church was built in 1740.

A small river called Reka flows parallel to the main street in town, offering Jastrebarsko some lovely looks. It ends in a pond in the park. The closeby Pljesevica hills are covered with grapes, which are the basis of the excellent wine called grasevina. The swamp area Crna Mlaka, which is also close to Jastrebarsko, is a protected bird reserve. It's home to a very rare eagle species while lots of hawks can be spotted here as well. Probably the city owes its name to these birds since jastreb is the Croatian word for hawk. Jastrebarsko - sometimes also called Jaska - carries a yellow hawk in its coat of arms.

The town southwest of Zagreb is also a spot for fanatic anglers. The Kupa, Kupcina, Slivara and Slapnica rivers are packed with fish, which is even caught in relative masses for consumption in Jastrebarsko.

Just like Jastrebarsko, the nearby villages of Gornji Desnici, Mladina and Jana have excellent wine cellars, visited by busloads of tourists. Jastrebarsko is the commercial, cultural and administrative center of a region with the same name that consist of five districts covering an area of 632 square kilometres. The population of region is 33,000. Despite its low number of inhabitants, Jastrebarsko is represented online with its own domain: http://www.jastrebarsko.com. Unfortunately information is only available in Croatian, but you can still enjoy the pictures if you do not understand the language. Some English spoken words about Jastrebarsko can be found at http://www.tzzz.hr/engleski/jastrebarsko/.

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