Croatia

croatia dubrivnik

Croatia is located on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe and borders the Adriatic Sea to the west. For a long time, this region has been considered an intermediary zone, displaying traits of both Central Europe and Southeastern Europe.

Croatia is a popular tourist destination, especially for people living in northern Europe who come down to spend their summer holiday by the warm Adriatic Sea.

After the end of World War II, the Federal State of Croatia became one of the founding members of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, followed by the four year long Croatian War of Independence. Today, Croatia is an independent democratic republic governed by a parliamentary system.

Short facts about Croatia

Name in Croatian Hrvatska
Full name in Croatian Republika Hrvatska
Name in English Croatia
Full name in English Republic of Croatia
Official language Croatian
Alphabet Latin alphabet
Demonym Croatian
Size 56,594 km2
Population 4,154,200 (2017 estimate)
Largest ethnic groups Croats (approximately 90% in 2011)

Serbs (approximately 4.5% in 2011)

Religion Christianity (approximately 91% in 2011, of which a majority are Roman Catholics)

Islam (approximately 1.5% in 2011)

Other religions (approximately 2.9% in 2011)

Irreligious (approximately 4.6% in 2011)

Capital Zagreb

Coordinates: 45°48′N 16°0′E

Largest city Zagreb

Coordinates: 45°48′N 16°0′E

Time zone CET (CUT +1)

Summer: CEST (UTC +2)

Currency Kuna

Sign: kn

Code. HRK

Gambling Gambling is legal. 5 casinos in Zagreb. Online casino industry is regulated
Prostitution  Illegal (but widespread)
Drives on the Right
Calling code +385
Internet TLD .hr

.eu

ISO 3166 code HR

Tourism

Croatia is an important tourist destination, with the tourism sector accounting for roughly one fifth of the Croatian GDP. Data from 2017 show that over 17 million people visited Croatia, making over 86 million overnight stays. A majority of the foreign tourists come from Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Italy or Poland.

Most tourists that come to Croatia head for the beaches of the Adriatic Coast, where the tourist season peaks in July and August. Others come for wildlife experiences, for agrotourism, to get first-class SPA treatments, or to visit cultural landmarks and participate in cultural events. The oldest holiday resort in Croatia in Opatija, with its Mediterranean climate and its historic buildings reminiscent of the Austrian Riviera. In the 1870s, wealthy European families began arriving to Opatija on the newly opened railway to vacation here during the summer season.

Croatia is world famous for its naturism, receiving over one million naturist tourists per year. Many resorts catering specifically to naturists are available here.

Protected nature

There are eight national parks in Croatia, plus well over 400 other protected wildlife areas, such as nature parks and reserves.

These are the eight national parks:

Name Area Established in
Plitvička jezera

(Plitvice Lakes)

296.9 km2

(114.6 sq mi)

1949
Paklenica 95.0 km2

(36.7 sq mi)

1949
Risnjak 63.5 km2

(24.5 sq mi)

1953
Mljet 5.4 km2

(2.1 sq mi)

1960
Kornati 217 km2

(84 sq mi)

1980
Brijuni 33.9 km2

(13.1 sq mi)

1983
Krka 109 km2

(42 sq mi)

1985
Sjeverni Velebit 109.0 km2

(42.1 sq mi)

1999

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Ten sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Site Location(s) in Croatia Year

listed

Type of site Info
Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvička Jezera 1979

natural

A series of lakes, dams, caves and waterfalls.

The surrounding forest is home to many animals, including wolves and bears.

Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian Split 1979

cultural

The palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century AD.

The city Split grew up around the palace, with many notable buildings being erected throughout the centuries. Today, the city is famous for its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style architecture.

Old City of Dubrovnik Dubrovnik 1979

cultural

Dubrovnik is an old port city located by the Adriatic Sea. In the Middle Ages, it was a Maritime Republic.

Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč Poreč 1997

cultural

This is one of the best surviving examples of early Byzantine art and architecture.

Historic city of Trogir Trogir 1997

cultural

Trogir is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in Central Europe.

Cathedral of Saint James Šibenik 2000

cultural

This cathedral is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a tall dome.

 

It is one of the most notable surviving Renaissance architectural monuments in the eastern Adriatic.

Stari Grad Plain Hvar 2008 cultural This agricultural landscape, which is still being used by today’s farmers, was created by ancient Greek colonists in the 4th century BC.

 

The ancient layout has been preserved by careful maintenance of the stone walls over 24 centuries.

Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards Dubravka

 

Cista Velika

2016

cultural

These monolith stone monuments are tombstones erected in the Middle Ages. They are found in a large region encompassing modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro.

Two sites are inscribed for Croatia; one in Dubravka and one in Cista Velika.

Venetian Works of defence between 15th and 17th centuries Zadar

 

Šibenik

2017

cultural

This multinational listing consists of Venetian defence works in Croatia, Italy and Montenegro, a region stretching from Lombardy to the Adriatic Coast.

Sites in Croatia:

– The defensive system of Zadar

– St. Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik

Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe Paklenica on the on the southern slopes of Velebit mountain

 

 

Northern Velebit National Park

2017

natural

This is a multinational entry consisting of isolated refuges of European beech that survived the last Ice Age.

The Croatian sites are Paklenica and Northern Velebit National Park.

What’s the currency?

The Croatian currency is called kuna.

1 kuna is subdivided in to 100 lipa.

The modern-day Croatian kuna was introduced in 1994, replacing the Croatian dinar. The kuna was originally pegged to the the Deutsche Mark, and when Germany switched to Euro, Croatia switched the peg over to the Euro.

Kuna

Kuna means marten in Croatian. In the European Middle Ages, marten pelts where highly valued and used as units of value in trading in Slavonia, the Croatian Littoral, and Dalmatia. When the Croatian coain banovac was introduced in 1235, it was adorned with the image of a marten.

In modern-day Croatia, the marten is depicted on the obverse of the 1 kuna, 2 kuna and 5 kuna coins.

Lipalinden trees

Lipa is the Croatian word for linden tree. Linden trees were planted around marketplaces in Croatia and elsewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the early modern period, a thus became strongly associated with commerce and trade.

Is Croatia a part of the European Union?

Yes, Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July 2013.

At the time of writing, Croatia is not a part of the Schengen Area nor the EMU.

Croatia is a subject to Mifid. This means that brokers and other financial insitutions in other EU countries are allowed to market and offer their services to people in Croatia.

Other memberships

Croatia is a member of:

  • The United Nations (UN)
  • NATO
  • The World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • The Council of Europe
  • The Union for the Mediterranean

UN

As an active member of the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. In 2008-2009, Croatia held one of the seats on the UN Security Council, assuming presidency in December 2008.

NATO

Croatia was included in the Partnership for Peace in 2000 and joined NATO on 1 April 2009.