Croatia

Situation: Croatia  lies in the Southeastern Europe on the Adriatic coast.
Surface area: 56.538 km2
Length of the coast: 1778 km
Islands: 1185
Population: 4,8 milions
The capital: Zagreb, cca. 1 milion of inhabitants
Official language: croatian
Currency: Kuna (KN)

Croatia is a parlamentar  democracy, which by its culture and history belongs to the central European circle. It is divided into 10 regions. On the northwest of the land the climate is continental, at the coast mediterranean and in the highland alpine.

Among a large number of economic branches (metal processing, wood, leather, paper, food, chemical, pharmaceutical industries etc.) the most important are tourism and shipbuilding industry. Croatia has good road, air and railway traffic connections, as well as within the country itself as with abroad. Croatia is not only rich in cultural heritage, but it is also a land of natural phenomenon of breathtaking beauty: the Plitvice Lakes, the Brijuni Archipel, the Velebit Mountain, the biggest peninsula of the Adriatic, Istria, just to mention some... Croatia has 8 National Parks and 10 Nature Parks, and ecologically it is the land with the purest environment in the Mediterranean.

Shortly, it is a land of rich culture, which knew how to connect its tradition with a modern way of life and which attracts visitors in many different ways. Croatia is a true paradise for tourists, sailing enthusiasts, fishermen and nature explorers, but also for the gourmands, who will be delighted by its rich gastronomic offer.

Culture and history: from the 9th to the 12th century Croatia was under the rule of croatian dukes and kings (the first Croatian king Tomislav was crowned in 925). From this period date first early Croatian churches and written funds. From the 12th century until 1990 Croatia had many different rulers, among which there was the Habsburg Monarchy, which left deep traces in culture and every-day living in the continental part of the country: its capital, Zagreb, is called «little Vienna», and really, Zagreb has many things in common with Vienna, from the architectural point of view.

The surroundings of Zagreb abound in mediaeval fortresses and burgs, among which the most famous are Trakošćan and Veliki Tabor. On the coast have Romans, Italians and Frenchmen left their traces; the towns on the coast abound in monuments dating back to Roman times (the amphitheatre in Pula, the Diocletian Palace in Split.....) and in monuments from the Renaissance (Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Trogir...). Even under foreign rule Croatia had as a special territorial unit its own administration and has kept its culture and spirit throughout many centuries.

 Croatia has also given many famous artists and scientists during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and in modern times. Long cultural tradition is testimoned by large number of cultural monuments and works of croatian architects, sculpturers, painters, writers and world famous scientists, such as Nikola Tesla, Ruđer Bošković, Juraj Dalmatinac, Ivan Meštrović, Julije Klović, Marin Držić and many others. As for the cultural heritage, the most important monuments have a status of UNESCO-heritage; the town of Dubrovnik, the Šibenik cathedral, Romanc City in Trogir, the St. Euphrasius Basilica in Poreč, the Diokletian Palace in Split and the Plitvice Lakes.

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