Zagreb has served as the cultural and political focus of the nation since the Middle Ages. By its historical tradition, cultural relations, and above all, its urban planning, Zagreb is a distinctly central European city situated in the middle of the triangle of Vienna, Budapest and Venice. It has always been and remains a part of the cultural circle of central Europe. Zagreb's architecture, streets, squares of Upper and Lower town, open air green markets, churches and monuments are witnesses of a history that successfully resisted the fast tempo of life at the end of the last century. The surrounding areas of Zagreb are particularly attractive, with their rich vineyards and wine roads, Medieval and Baroque castles (the greatest concentration of castles after the Loire valley) and many health spas. Just a few kilometers away are the the undulating hills and charming villages of the rural Zagorje region and the well-preserved Baroque town of VaraĹždin, well worth the visit.