Croatia Country Information
A state in the south of Central Europe, partly in the west of the Balkan Peninsula, a former Soviet republic within Yugoslavia, which became independent in 1991. The form of government is a democratic republic. The name of the country is derived from the ethnonym Croats. The capital and largest city is Zagreb. The national currency is the kuna. The country has been a member of the UN since 1992, OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO since 2009, European Union since July 1, 2013.
According to DIGOPAUL.COM, Croatia is located in the south of Central Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. The area is 56,542 km², the water area is 33,200 km². There are a large number of islands in the water area, their total number is 1185, of which 67 are inhabited. The largest islands are Krk and Cres.
In the north, Croatia borders on Slovenia (670 km), in the northeast on Hungary (329 km), in the east on Serbia (241 km), in the south on Bosnia and Herzegovina (932 km) and Montenegro (25 km). The country consists of two parts: continental, located mainly in the Sava river basin; and the Adriatic, an elongated narrow strip along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
In Northern Croatia, a continental climate prevails, in Central – semi-mountainous and mountainous, near the coast – Mediterranean. Winter temperatures in the continental part reach an average of -10 °C, in the mountainous areas from -5 °C to 5 °C and from 0 °C to +10 °C in the coastal areas. In summer it is warmest on the coast (between 25°C and 30°C on average), the temperature in the mountains usually does not exceed 15-20°C, and on the continent it is mostly around 25°C.
The population is 4,284,889 people. National composition, according to the 2011 census: Croats (90.42%), Serbs (4.36%), Bosniaks (0.17%), Hungarians (0.33%), Italians (0.42%), Slovenes (0.25%), Roma (0.4%), Albanians (0.41%), Czechs (0.22%), Macedonians (0.1%), Montenegrins (0.11%), others (1.98%.
Religious composition, according to the 2011 census: Catholics (86.28%), Orthodox (4.44%), Protestants (0.34%), Muslims (1.47%), atheists and agnostics (4.57%), another religion or did not answer (2.9%).
The official language in Croatia is Croatian. In some cities of Istria, the official status is Italian. The languages of national minorities are Serbian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Czech, Ruthenian, Albanian, etc. There are two endangered Romance languages on the Istrian peninsula – Istro-Roman and Istro-Romanian.
Croatia hosts many festivals and various celebrations. Zagreb hosts the Music Biennale festival (April), the St. Mark Philharmonic Festival (June), the Flora-Art flower exhibition (June), the Eurokaz International New Theater Festival (June-July), the Cartoon Festival (June ), International Folklore Festival (July), Zagreb Summer Festival (July-August), International Puppet Theater Festival (August-September), International Jazz Days (October) and Zagreb International Fair. Dubrovnik annually hosts the Carnival (February), the feast of St. Blaze (February), as well as the famous international summer festival (July-August), during which about a hundred different performances take place.
Every year, Rovinj hosts a pilgrimage in honor of St. Euphemia (September 16), which brings together thousands of believers from all over Europe, in early May – the Rovinj-Pesaro regatta, in August – the Rovinj Fair, and in September – yacht races.
Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies and hotels, almost everywhere. Some banks make currency exchange without a commission, but usually the commission is 1-1.5%. Reverse currency exchange is possible only in banks, and it is necessary to present bank receipts for the initial exchange. Croatian banks are open daily from 8:00 to 17:00, on Saturdays until 13:00, the day off is Sunday.
MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa credit cards are accepted everywhere.
From Croatia came the fashion for wearing ties, as well as the word “tie” itself in some languages. During the Thirty Years’ War, the French liked the way Croatian horsemen tied scarves around their necks. They say that the French showed the chest to the Croats and asked, “what is it?”. Croats thought they were being asked “who are you?” and answered “Croat”. This is how the French word “Cravate” (“tie”) appeared, in German there is also a translation of the word “tie” as “Krawatte”. The word tie has a similar form in a number of other European languages. For example, the Ukrainian language uses the word “cravat”, which comes from the French “cravat”. In Russian, the word “tie” has a different origin: it comes from the German word “Halstuch”, which literally means “neck scarf”.
In Croatian writing, along with the Latin alphabet, the Glagolitic alphabet was preserved for a long time. Back in the 18th century, on solemn occasions, stone slabs were erected, covered with the Glagolitic alphabet. In the north of Croatia, until the middle of the 20th century, a special Glagolitic rite of Catholic worship was preserved, the language of which was Old Church Slavonic, and liturgical books were written in Glagolitic.
The southern part of the Adriatic coast of Croatia (including the city of Dubrovnik) is separated from the rest of the country by about 25 km access to the sea of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the city of Neum is located (this is due to the fact that in the Middle Ages the independent Dubrovnik Republic, wanting to protect itself from the expansion of Venice, transferred a small section of the coast to the Ottoman Empire); however, there is an agreement between these countries that allows visa-free (including Russian citizens) to pass through this “neum corridor”.
In honor of Croatia, the asteroid (589) Croatia, discovered in 1906 and named in connection with the opening of an observatory in the capital of Croatia – Zagreb, is named.