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The first human settlement in, and near Zaprešić dates from the Neolithic, and several Roman roads were constructed in the area. The first records of the modern town date from 1334. Since that date, the town's history includes being a part of a feudal estate to operating the first meat packaging plant in Croatia. However, it was not formally established as a city until 1995. The city is governed by a mayor, a city government of seven members (upper house), and a city council of nineteen members (lower house). The current ruling party is the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), and the current mayor is Željko Turk. Zaprešić has its own fire department, but police coverage is provided by the city of Zagreb. Komunalno poduzeće Zaprešić manages all utilities except electricity. Tap water in Zaprešić is of high quality.
Due to its many rail, and road transport corridors, Zaprešić has been dubbed the "northwestern gate to Zagreb County". It lies directly next to the A2 highway connecting Zagreb to Central Europe. It also is adjacent to the main railway leading northwest out of Zagreb. Centered around the tertiary sector, the city's economy is booming due to a large population influx.
Zaprešić's educational facilities range from kindergartens to centers of higher education. The city is home to four elementary schools, one high school, and two universities. The Zaprešić metropolitan area contains six castles that together make up what is known as the "palace path." The town also has a museum and an art gallery. The most popular sport in the region is football, and the local team is NK Inter Zaprešić, a member of the First Football League of Croatia. Other sports are also present in Zaprešić, and the city is home to a golf resort.