The Country of a Thousand Islands

About Croatia and the many Islands of Croatia

History of Croatia

Croatia is a small republic located in southern Europe, with Italy on one side and Hungary on the other. The population is about 5 million and the capital is Zagreb. Croatia used to be part of former Yugoslavia. After World War I, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenians formed a kingdom known as Yugoslavia.

Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a Communist, Socialist country ruled by President Tito for over 40 years. Yugoslavia was never behind the iron curtain of Russia, like many people believe, but a free independent country. Unlike other Communist Country, the borders were open and people could freely come and go as they please.

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When Tito died in 1980, a political system was instituted which resulted in the presidency rotating annually between the 5 republics. The 5 republics couldn't agree on whether to remain as a social/communist country or become westernized and democratized.

Croatia wanted to break-away from Yugoslavia and become a democratic state, and therefore declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, which lead to a 4 year brutal civil war and resulted in hundreds of thousands civilian casualties, and more than 2.5 million refugees. The Serbs continued to hold on to the idea and name of Yugoslavia, although it comprises now only of Serbia and Montenegro.

If you want to learn more about the civil war in Yugoslavia read this book Balkan Holocausts: the War in Yugoslavia.

In 1995 Croatia was finally recognized world wide as an independent, democratic country. In Dec. 1999, Tudjman, who was involved in the civil war, and the first new president of Croatia, died. Stjepan Mesic is the current president of Croatia. Find out more about Croatia in this book Healing the Heart of Croatia.

Croatia is definitely the most popular tourist destination and according to "Lonely Planet Travel Guide" Croatia has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Croatia is one of the sunniest countries in Europe.

One of Croatia's Island

Marco Polo, the famous traveler and explorer, was born in Croatia in 1254. Read more in this great book The Travels of Marco Polo.

And let's not forget about the tie:

Today's ties is the same tie that Napoleon admired around the necks of the Croatian soldiers who fought with the French forces in the 17th century. As the French encyclopedia tells us, the fashion sensible French started to call them "cravate".

How about the ball-pen you write with? It was invented by Mr. Penkala, a Croationa enginer in 1906 along with the first fountain pen. Find out the history of the ball pen in this great book The Incredible Ball Point Pen: A Comprehensive History.

Croatia is truly the land of a thousand islands and one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world.


Geographical Position:
Croatia extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowlands and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central region is covered by the Dinara mountain range, and its southern parts extend to the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

About Croatia's Coastline:
5,835 km of which 4,058 km comprise a coastline of islands, solitary rocks and reefs. Number of islands, solitary rocks and reefs: 1,185; the largest islands are Krk and Cres; there are 50 inhabited islands.

About Croatia's Language and Alphabet:
Croatian, Latin Alphabet.

About Croatia's System of Government:
multi-party parliamentary republic

About Croatia's Capital:
Zagreb (population about 1 million), the economic, traffic, cultural and academic centre of the country.

About Croatia's Population:
4,437,460 inhabitants; composition of population: the majority of the population are Croats; national minorities are Serbs, Slovenes, Hungarians, Bosnians, Italians, Czechs and others.

About Croatia's Climate:
There are two climate zones; a temperate continental climate, locally also a mountainous climate, prevails in the interior, whereas a pleasant Mediterranean climate prevails along the Adriatic coast, with an overwhelming number of sunny days, dry and hot summers, mild and humid winters; average temperature in the inland: January 0 to 2°C, August 19 to 23°C; average temperature at the seaside: January 6 to 11°C, August 21 to 27 °C; the temperature is about 12°C in winter, and 25°C in summer.

About Croatia's Currency:
Croatia's Kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas; cheques can be cashed in banks.
6 Kuna = about $1.00 US. Click on the currency converter to get today's exchange rates.
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