CROATIA

Date of establishment: June 25, 1991

Brief history:

7th century: Slavic tribes, including the Croats, arrive in the territory of present-day Croatia.

925: Croatia becomes an independent state under the rule of Prince Branimir.

1102: Croatia unites with and is incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary.

1527: Croatia becomes part of the Habsburg Monarchy after the Battle of Mohács.

19th century: Croatia becomes one of the regions of Austria-Hungary.

1918: After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, Croatia unites with other South Slavic nations and forms the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

1941: During World War II, Croatia becomes an independent fascist state under the leadership of Ante Pavelic.

1945: Croatia becomes part of Yugoslavia again.

1991: After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Croatia declares independence.

1995: The war in Croatia ends following the signing of the Dayton Agreement.

2009: Croatia joins NATO

2013: Croatia joins the EU.

 

International abbreviation: HR

 

Currency: Euro (EUR)

 

Internet domain: .hr

 

Dialing code: +385

 

Geography:

Croatia shares borders with Hungary to the north, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, Montenegro to the south, and the Adriatic Sea to the west, where Croatia also has its coastline.

Croatia can be divided into three main geographical regions. In the north, there is the flat area of Pannonia, which extends across Central Europe. This area includes cities such as Zagreb, the capital, and Osijek.

In the central part of the country, there are the Dinaric Mountains, which stretch along the Adriatic Sea coast and consist of several mountain ranges. This area is also home to many natural beauties, including Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park.

In southern Croatia, there is the coastal area known for its beautiful beaches and tourist resorts. The coastline stretches over a length of over 1 700 km (1 056 miles) and includes cities such as Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar.

 

Highest peak: Dinara, 1 831 meters (6 007 feet) above sea level.

It is located on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dinara reaches a height of 1 831 meters (6 007 feet) above sea level and is part of the Dinaric Mountains. This peak is a popular destination for climbers and tourists who come here for the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The mountain is sometimes referred to as Sinjal.

 

Climate: Moderate and subtropical.

The climate of Croatia is predominantly Mediterranean, which means there are mild winters and hot summers with abundant sunshine. However, the climate can vary significantly depending on the specific region and geographic factors.

On the coast of the Adriatic Sea, where the largest tourist resorts are located, summers are hot and dry, with average temperatures around 30°C (86°F) in July and August. Winters on the coast are mild, with temperatures around 10-15°C (50-59°F). In southern Croatia, the climate can even be subtropical, with temperatures in summer reaching up to 40°C (104°F).

In northern and inland Croatia, winters are colder, and the climate is more continental. Average winter temperatures range from 0 to 5°C (32-41°F), and summer temperatures around 25-30 °C (77-86°F).

 

Fauna and flora:

Croatia is home to many protected natural areas and national parks that preserve various species of animals and plants.

In the Dinaric Mountains and along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, you can find many species of birds, including the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, Mediterranean gull, great cormorant, and Dalmatian pelican. The Adriatic Sea is home to dolphins, octopuses, and sea turtles.

There are also many different species of plants, especially in areas with a moderate and subtropical climate. Along the coast, you can find olive trees, citrus fruits, fig trees, and rosemary. In higher altitude areas, there are mountain meadows, pine trees, and birches.

Various species of animals can be found, such as the Eurasian lynx, rock marten, gray wolf, brown bear, various species of snakes and lizards, including the endemic Montpellier snake. In Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can see many animal species, including deer, lynx, otters, wolves, and foxes.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture in Croatia is diverse and includes the cultivation of cereals, vegetables, fruits, grapevines, olive trees, livestock breeding, and fishing.

Croatia is known for its vineyards and winemaking culture. Croatia has more than 300 different grape varieties, and wine production is significant for the country’s economy. Regions such as Istria, Dalmatia, Krk, and Hvar are known for their excellent wines.

Another significant industry is olive oil production. Croatia has approximately 4 million olive trees, which is more than half of all the olive trees in Europe. Croatian olive oil is considered to be among the best in the world.

Due to the diversity of geographic and climatic conditions in Croatia, different crops are grown in different regions. Along the coast, olives, grapevines, figs, citrus fruits, and other subtropical crops are cultivated. Inland areas focus on the cultivation of cereals, corn, sunflowers, potatoes, and vegetables.

Croatia also has a significant fishing industry, especially along the Adriatic Sea coast, where fish such as tuna, sardines, anchovies, and sea turtles are caught.

 

Natural resource extraction:

The main mineral resources in Croatia include oil, natural gas, bauxite, lignite coal, kaolin, salt, and stone.

Croatia has limited oil and natural gas reserves, mainly located in the northeast of the country, particularly the Pannonian Basin. Exploration and production are carried out by both domestic and international energy companies

Bauxite is mined in Dalmatia, and the extracted material is used for aluminum production. Croatia also mines lignite near the city of Sisak, which is used for electricity generation. Stone is extracted in several areas of Croatia, especially on the coast of Dalmatia, and is used for the production of construction materials.

Another significant resource extracted in Croatia is salt. Salt pans are found in coastal areas and are used for salt production. Croatia has several salt fields, the largest of which is located near the town of Ston.

 

Industry:

The food industry in Croatia is significant and includes the production of food and beverages. One of the largest producers is the Agrokor conglomerate, which specializes in the production of products such as pasta, flour, dairy products, and confectionery.

The engineering industry in Croatia focuses mainly on shipbuilding and ship equipment manufacturing. The main shipyards are located in Rijeka, Split, and Zadar. Engineering also includes the production of vehicles such as cars, buses, and trucks.

The chemicals industry produces mainly fertilizers, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. One of the major producers is the Petrokemija conglomerate, which specializes in fertilizer production.

Electricity production in Croatia is focused on nuclear energy, hydropower, and fossil fuel-based electricity generation. Croatia has a single nuclear power plant located near the town of Krško in neighboring Slovenia. Hydropower is produced in several hydroelectric power plants, especially on the Drava River.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: IT, tourism, road and maritime transport, and services.

 

Natural and historical attractions:

Croatia offers many tourist attractions and is a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

The biggest attractions are beautiful beaches and picturesque towns on the Adriatic Sea coast. The main historical attractions are Dubrovnik Old Town and Diocletian’s Palace in Split, although there are many others. In addition to that, Croatia also has national parks, historical landmarks, cultural festivals, and other interesting places, such as Plitvice Lakes, Zadar, or Istria.

There is also the opportunity to experience an active holiday, such as hiking, cycling, diving, windsurfing, sailing, and other water sports. With its diverse natural beauty and cultural heritage, Croatia offers tourists many options for various types of active holidays.

 

 

Form of government: Parliamentary Republic

Croatia is a parliamentary republic with a multi-level system of government. The head of state is the president, who has a predominantly representative role but also has certain powers in foreign policy, defense, and the appointment of judges. The president is elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term.

However, the real power in Croatia lies with the government. The government is headed by the prime minister and is accountable to parliament. The unicameral parliament is called the Sabor. The Sabor has 151 members and is elected for a four-year term.

In Croatia, there are also regional and local self-governments. Croatia is divided into counties, cities, and municipalities. Local self-governments are responsible for local administration and the provision of services to citizens.

 

Capital City: Zagreb

Zagreb has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages and offers many cultural and historical landmarks. Some of the most significant ones include the Cathedral of St. Stephen, the Croatian National Theatre, the Croatian National Museum, Dolac Market, and others.

Zagreb is also an important economic center and home to many companies and institutions. The most notable areas include information technology, food manufacturing, the pharmaceuticals industry, and tourism. The population of the city is around 790 000.

Zagreb is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Zagreb, which is the oldest and largest university in the country. Zagreb also hosts many significant cultural and sports events, such as the Zagreb Film Festival and the Zagreb Indoors tennis tournament.

Area: 56 594 square kilometers (21 851 square miles)

 

Population: 4 030 000 (2022 estimate)

The population of Croatia is ethnically relatively homogeneous, predominantly composed of Croats, who make up more than 90% of the population. The minorities include Serbs, Bosniaks, Albanians, Hungarians, Slovenes, and others.

Population density in Croatia is relatively low, with around 73 people per square kilometer (189 per square mile). Most people live on the coast and in the vicinity of major cities such as Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, and Osijek.

The average age of Croatia’s population is around 44. Croatia has a relatively high rate of urbanization, with approximately 60% of the population living in urban areas.

There are some regional differences in demographic indicators in Croatia. For example, in the Istria region and around Zagreb, the average age of the population is higher compared to other regions.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 10

 

  • The Old City of Dubrovnik (1979) – Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities on the Adriatic coast and is known for its historical and cultural landmarks, such as castles, churches, and palaces.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park (1979) – Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest and oldest national park in Croatia, known for its beautiful waterfalls and lakes.
  • Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian (1979) – This complex includes many historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik.
  • The Historic City of Trogir (1997) – Trogir is a small town on the Adriatic coast known for its historical landmarks, such as the Cathedral of St. Lawrence.
  • Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (2007) – This area is known for its picturesque landscapes, ancient towns, and beaches.
  • Euphrasian Basilica (1997) – This complex is located in the small coastal town of Poreč. The structures that make up this complex date back to the 6th century and are examples of early Christian architecture and art.
  • Stećci (2016) – Medieval stone tombs and funerary monuments decorated with various ornaments and reliefs.
  • The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik (2000) – This cathedral is one of the most significant landmarks in Šibenik and is known for its architecture and artwork.
  • Venetian Works of Defense between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra (2017) – It includes a series of defensive structures built by the Venetian Republic during the 16th and 17th centuries to protect the territory of the Republic of Venice.
  • Stari Grad Plain on the Island of Hvar (2008) – This area is known for its ancient farms and landscape elements that testify to medieval rural life in the region.

 

National Parks: 8

 

  • Brijuni National Park
  • Kornati National Park
  • Krka National Park
  • Mljet National Park
  • Paklenica National Park
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Risnjak National Park
  • Northern Velebit National Park