Generalities and basic facts about
© by Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb (1995)
Croatia has 56,542 square kilometers (plus its sea area - 31,900 sq.km.)
1,777 km of coastline (and more than 4,000 km of islands
4,437,000 inhabitants (just as
a quarter of New York), and almost as many abroad, counting through last
Among altogether 47 European countries Croatia is
had the greatest emigration rate in the world, after
- 26th with respect to its population, and also
- 26th with respect to its area.
Among 47 European countries
we also include Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and
Russia, but with respective population and area only in
Europe, as done in the literature.
As an illustration, see a long list of the
living in the USA, originating from
the islet Unije
near the island of Cres.
It is organized as parliamentary, multiparty Republic.
The name of Croatia, which we call HRVATSKA,
is abbreviated as
The language we speak is Croatian, and
the official script we use today is Latin. Besides the
another two national Scripts
were used extensively
during many centuries:
Glagolitic and Croatian
Here is the the list of the Croatian name (HRVATSKA in Croatian) in several
|HORVATIYA (in Russian)
CHORVATSKO (in Czech)
CHORWACJA (in Polish)
HORVÁTORSZÁG (in Hungarian)
HRVATISTAN (in Turkish)
CROATIA (in English)
CROATIE (in French)
KROATIEN (in German)
CROAZIA (in Italian)
The name of the Croatian monetary unit is KUNA (KN), which
has 100 lipas.
The meaning of KUNA
is - a marten - its skin had been used
as a unit in trade.
The earliest mention we know of is from the year
1018, on the island of Cres. The first known use of kuna on
a Croatian coin goes as far back as 1256, when a local
currency displaying kuna was issued in Slavonia.
Banknote of 100 HRK (Hrvatska kuna - Croatian kuna), with the
Baska Tablet, Croatian Anthem Lijepa
nasa (Our Beautiful)
above it, and with portrait of Ivan Mazuranic (1814-1890).
ethnic structure of Croatia is as follows:
- Croats 87.98%
- minorities 7.74%
- other nations 2.64%.
are based on census of population in 2001, for more information
- Catholic 87.98%
- Orthodox 4.42%
- Muslim 1.28%
- Atheist 5.21
Citizens of Croatia celebrating Christmas on 7th January
citizens of the Islamic denominations on the days of Ramadan
Bairam and Kurban Bairam, and citizens of the Jewish denomination
on the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, have the right not
Parts of the Croatian nation are historically and
culturally deeply rooted to the territories of
the neighbouring Slovenia, Hungary,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and
Austria, Slovakia, Italy,
The Croats are represented by:
Bunjevci and Sokci (many of them live also in
Hungary and in the north of today's Yugoslavia), Slavonci, Zagorci,
then the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gorani, Istrani (a part of them is in
Slovenia), Gradiscanci (in Austria and Hungary),
Licani, Dalmatinci, Dubrovcani, Bokelji (in Boka
kotorska, in 1945 annexed to
Montenegro), Janjevci in Kosovo, etc.
All these Croatian groups and regions provide a great richness of dialects,
national costumes, habits, folk songs.
The present capital of Croatia is the city of
Zagreb (population about
1,000,000), very old and pleasant
city, mentioned for the first time in 1094. In former Yugoslavia Zagreb was a
leading industrial, cultural and scientific center.
The Croatian National Emblems are: the tricolour flag (red, white,
blue, arranged in this order perpendicularly to the staff),
and the coat of arms (13 red squares and 12 silver squares
arranged intermittently in a 5 times 5 pattern).
This coat of
arms was affirmed by 15th century documents.
It is a very
old symbol of Croatia resembling a red-white chess
table. Now it also has a crown composed of five regional symbols
- the oldest known Croatian coat of arms,
- Istria (see a short account of its history or a detailed review) and
The official flower of the Republic of Croatia is Iris (perunika
in Croatian; you can see
Iris Croatica, photo from the Botanical
- more than a thousand islands
on the Adriatic sea, precisely - 1185 (66 inhabited);
see also the beautiful Z.
Skropanic web-site about Cro islands
- as such - probably the most interesting coast in Europe (the name
of the Adriatic see, as well as its Croatian version Jadran, seem
to originate from the ancient name of a very old Croatian city Zadar - Yadera),
mountain of unique and incomparable natural beauty - Velebit
- one of the trademarks of Croatia, with unforgettable views to
the islands and the mainland. It was recognized as a part of the
international network of Biosphere Reserves
(2,500 botanical species, 70-80 endemic), and was the victim
of the Serbian aggression that started in 1991,
- the most beautiful national park in Europe - the Plitvice Lakes
(on the photo; devastated during the Serbian aggression on Croatia
- the richest bird reservation in Europe (until the Serbian aggression
in 1991) - Kopacki Rit, near the city of Osijek,
- among the world's most beautiful and best preserved medieval cities
(victim of the Serbian aggression in 1991) -
Dubrovnik (its Minceta tower is on the photo),
- the smallest and loveliest town in the world - having city walls,
two streets, two churches and 23 inhabitants - Hum,
in the Istrian peninsula,
baroque city on the beautiful blue Danube, ferociously devastated
in the autumn 1991, eternal monument of human destructiveness and
human indifference. Five hundred thousand shells were fired by Serbian
aggressors onto the area of only several square kilometers, inhabited
by 15,000 people (normally 80,000), in the course of three months.
parks in Croatia:
We would like to add several natural reserves:
- the Biokovo mountain in Dalmatia,
- Modro jezero near the town of
- Bijele and Samarske stijene,
- Lonjsko polje near Zagreb,
- Kopacki rit (Kopacevo Marshes)
Especially important are rich resources of drinkable water of the
Photo by Don
Wolf, USA: Images of Croatia (source
See also Urban parks in Croatia.
have for sure enjoyed breathtaking sceneries of natural beauties in
films about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, shot according
to novels of Karl May. Maybe you did not know that these films were
made in the Paklenica canyon, Plitvice lakes, and on Krka
A friendly and very common greeting among the Croats in Croatia
and Bosnia-Herzegovina is Bog!, both for Hi!
and Bye!. The literal meaning of Bog is - God. So,
B o g !
Croatia - an overview
of its History, Culture and Science