The Republic of Croatia is a European country situated along the Adriatic Sea and its hinterland. The mainland covers 56,594 km2, surface area of territorial waters totals 31,067 km2.
Croatia can be classified as a Pannonian-Adriatic country due to its Central European and Mediterranean position. In terms of International law, the traditional heritage has moved from a Middle Age Princedom (791-924 A.D.) and Kingdom (925-1102) to its current standing as the Republic of Croatia, declared on June 25, 1991. Croatia has 4.8 million citizens and the capital city is Zagreb. The official language is Croatian.
The climate is mainly continental, but at higher altitudes there is also a mountainous climate. In the coastal regions, the climate is classified as Mediterranean.
Croatia has rich variety of beautiful landscapes and preserved natural areas from mountains to plains, from rivers to sea.
The wealth of islands and isles strewn along her intricately indented coastline - extending to over 5,000 km - have earned Croatia the appellation “land of a thousand islands”. It is also good to know that Croatia has eight National parks, a number of forest parks, nature reserves of varying character, as well as special natural landscapes. Croatia is indeed a land of contrasts - and not only in its natural diversity.
One of the reasons for this wealth is Croatia’s exceptional position on vital communication routes and that she sits on the crossroads of great civilizations, each of which wanted to leave its own mark. That is why this land boasts such an exceptional diversity of cultural heritage and a range of monuments dating from all periods of civilization: from the prehistoric to most recent times, pointing to the millenium old presence of Croatia in the area. Many visitors will be surprised by the number of cultural heritage sites under UNESCO protection in relation to the country’s relatively small area.
We invite you to discover and enjoy the beauties of Croatia, its mild climate, the crystal clean, warm sea water, beautiful beaches, virgin nature, combined with rich history and cultural heritage, delicious cuisine and good wines, an above all, warm and friendly people.
The site of the Croatian National Tourist Board provides short presentations of the cultural heritage, history, geography and gastronomy of the country. It also includes the latest weather forecasts, upcoming events and a currency converter. Multimedia tools allow users to send electronic postcards and to consult brochures and posters. An interactive map divided into regions helps visitors zoom in on areas of particular interest.
Perhaps you didn’t know ...
... the national flower of Croatia is the iris
In the past, the iris was the staple flower in Croatian gardens. After the successful appearance of Croatia at the International Gardening and Landscaping Exhibition Japan Flora 2000, where Croatia won a gold medal, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts proclaimed the iris as the national flower of Croatia. The flower’s Croatian name, perunika, derives from Perun, the Old Slavic god of thunder, whereas the name iris comes from the Greek goddess of rainbows.
According to ancient mythology, irises will grow in places where Perun’s bolts of lightening struck the ground and in places where the goddess Iris touched the earth with a rainbow as she carried gods’ messages. Thus, in the spring, while enjoying a typical countryside holiday, your leisurely stroll through nature will be enhanced by the sweet fragrance of this ‘mythological’ flower.
... the centre of the world lies in Croatia, in the town of Ludbreg
The Centre of the World - according to ancient legend, it was in Ludbreg that the circles of the Earth were thought up and drawn. All the larger European metropolises are found on the circumferences of the circles, and it is in Ludbreg that the four elements - earth, water, fire and air - meet.
... if not for Slavoljub Penkala, prehaps we would still be writing in pencil
Slavoljub Eduard Penkala (1871-1922) was a Croatian engineer and inventor who held over seventy patents. Slavoljub Penkala background was in chemistry, however, he is best known as the inventor of the first mechanical pencil first named the 'automatic pencil', which he invented in 1906. Penkala started a factory called Penkala-Mostero for the manufacturing of his pens and pencils. His influence in Croatia was so great that many here still refer to any pen or pencil as 'penkala'.
Other inventions Slavoljub Penkala was noted for was the first solid-ink fountain pen in 1907, and the first Croatian two-seat airplane in 1909. He also patented a hot water bottle, detergent, a rail-car brake, and a anode battery. One of his more controversial inventions was a tonic medicine called 'Radium Vinovica' that was supposed to cure rheumatism.
... the necktie (cravat) originates from the Croats
Kravata (tie) originates from Croatia. From time immemorial, the tie has been a part of the Croatian national costume, which was preserved by the Croats to the more recent times, who moved to central Europe in the 16th century. It was later taken over by the Croatian soldiers who were fighting in Europe, and a part of their uniform was assumed by the French in the 17th century. Under the leadership of the French 'God of Sun' Louis XIV there was a horsemen unit, the so-called Royal cravate, who wore mostly red collar ribbons. The custom of wearing ribbons from the Croats dates back to this time, which was later expanded around Europe and the world, and today is inevitably the most important detail in men's fashion, and also an original Croatian souvenir.
... Hum is the smallest town in the world
... Nikola Tesla was born on the stroke of midnight in a lightning storm
Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) born in Smiljan, a village near Gospić, Croatia, was an inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He was one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tesla's patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current (AC) electric power systems, including the polyphase system of electrical distribution and the AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution.
The tesla (symbol T) is the SI derived unit of magnetic field B (which is also known as 'magnetic flux density' and 'magnetic induction'). One tesla is equal to one weber per square meter, and it was defined in 1960 in honor of Nikola Tesla.
... Croatia is the land of a thousand islands
Along the Croatian coast, there are 718 islands, 389 cliffs and 78 reefs.
... the Vučedol culture produced the Vučedol Orion, the oldest
The archaeological site of Vučedol is located along the banks of the Danube, some 5 kilometres downstream from Vukovar, and is one of the most significant sites of the Eneolithic period. What makes it so significant is the fact that the valuable excavations gave a clear profile of the entire period. Consequently, this Eneolithic culture was named after its place of origin – the Vučedol culture. Vučedol ceramics attract attention with their perfect harmony of shape and ornament. The most famous ceramic vessel is the Vučedol Dove, the richly encrusted ritual bird-shaped vessel that was excavated at Gradac in 1938.
The Vučedol culture also produced the Vučedol Orion, which is considered to be the oldest European calendar. The vessel containing the calendar was discovered in Vinkovci underneath the Hotel Slavonija. The vessel is divided into four fields symbolising the four seasons, and the systematic repetition of ornaments suggests the change of the months. The discovery of this oldest European calendar is clear proof of a highly developed civilisation and culture existing in this area more than 5,000 years ago.