The name Medvednica can be translated as "bear mountain", and there are other toponyms on the mountain using the kajkavian dialect term medved (bear, standard Croatian "medvjed"), notably Medvedgrad, a medieval castle on its southwestern edges.
Most of the area of Medvednica is a nature park (park prirode), a type of preservation lesser than a national park. The area of the park is 228.26 square kilometers. About 63% is covered with forest.
There is a winter sports center on the northern slopes towards Sljeme. The center has hosted four women's FIS World Cup slalom races, in January 2005, January 2006, January 2007, and February 2008 known as the Snow Queen Trophy. It has also hosted one men's FIS World Cup slalom race in February 2008. In 2009, the FIS World Cup slalom races will be held on the 4th and 6th of January.
The winter sports center consists of one chairlift for three persons and two T-bar lifts. Equipment for producing artificial snow has been added, and because of that the skiing season has been prolonged to more than four months.
There are three ways to reach the mountain: by car, on foot (there are numerous mountain paths) or by gondola lift, which starts from the Gračani neighborhood. The cable car has run since 1963, and takes four people, with a 23 minute journey time.
On Medvednica there are dozen of mountain huts for traditional one-day trips in the mountain. Because of its proximity to Zagreb, Medvednica has many visitors, especially during weekends. Among the most popular sites is the Veternica cave with a 2,622 meters long main channel.
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