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Croatia

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

A Cultural, Historical and Entertaining Tourist Destination

Croatia

Croatia offers a lot of exciting spots waiting to be unearthed by thrill-seekers. It is a beautiful country flourishing in history and diverse culture. It is strategically located on the Adriatic Sea and this made it a converging point of trade between Europe and the East. This led to the penetration of mixed culture into the country. Its cultural influences include the Greeks, Austrians, Hungarians, and other neighboring countries. Beautiful islands littered across Croatia, each one unique and carry its own identity.

History

The Illyrians were the first inhabitants of Croatia and it was also the former colony of the Celts and Greeks. The forefathers of Slavs that currently populate the modern Croatia came to the island in 7th century. The country was divided into two dukedoms. To the north was the Pannonia duchy and to the south was the Dalmatian duchy. Duke Branimir was the first known ruler of the Croats.

Croatia-History
In 925, the two dukedoms were united by King Tomislav and they were formed into one state. Nearing the end of the 11th century, when the last line of the native dynasty disappeared, Hungarian King Coloman ruled the Croats. The new state followed a feudalism system of government and noble families were starting to exist. Frankopan and Subic were two of the most powerful families of Croatia. The Subic family emerged influential and dominated Slavonia, Dalmatia, and Bosnia. But when the Turks raided Europe, the Ottoman Empire took control of a large part of Croatia.

Croatia, along with Slavonia, later became a military frontier and was transformed into an uninhabited area. The Serbs, German, and other tribes alternately settled in the area. The Ottoman Empire's control of Hungary and Croatia fell in the 1700s and the Austrians took over. As Vienna also fell, the eastern part of Croatia was disputed between France and Austria. By 1815, Dalmatia and Istria were seized by the Habsburg of Austria. It was only in 1868 that Croatia gained its full autonomy, following a series of revolutions fuelled by romantic nationalism.

In 1921, Croatia was under a centralized authority and in 1929 it became a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1934, the leader of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, King Aleksandar, was assassinated. It gained Croatia a little autonomy but it was short-lived as the Axis powers took over Yugoslavia. The Axis occupation gave way for the Ustase Party to form the Independent State of Croatia. Led by Ante Pavelic, the independent state implemented racial laws and executed many Serbs, Jews, and Roma.

A number of organized demonstrations were formed to fight against the fascist regime. In 1991, Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia but the Yugoslav government tried to chase after Croatia. A three-month siege ensued until the Serbian forces gained control of the city of Vukovar. Later, the international communities recognized Croatia as an independent country. Today, Croatia is set to join the European Union.

Main Tourist Attractions

Since Croatia is surrounded by beautiful beaches and pristine islands, it is a favorite destination for tourists who want to soak up the Croatian sun. The privacy that each island offers entices those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Croatia-Diocletian
The Diocletian's Palace located in the city of Split is one of the must-visit sites in Croatia. Roman Emperor Diocletian commissioned this palace to be built after he abdicated his throne. It now stands as one of the city's landmarks. The building and the surrounding area is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site. The Archeological museum is also one of the many wonders of Split. It is an ancient structure that houses the archeological artifacts from various eras, dating back to the pre-historic times. The relics that are exhibited here are the products of the excavations in Salona.

The region of Dubrovnik boasts of a beautiful island bathed in lush forests, vineyards, and serene villages. The Mljet Island is known for its national park that is occupied with salt water lakes and an old Benedictine monastery. Odysseus himself was said to have fallen in love with the beauty of the island. The City Walls is another attraction in Dubrovnik. It was built in the 13th century, encompassing the city of Dubrovnik. It almost took two centuries before the structure was completed. Climbing the steep stone stairway is worth the trip when gazing down at the impressive view of the sea and the ancient city. Marin Drzic's House also draws fans of the Croatian literary master. His home is now turned into a museum where visitors are given the opportunity to witness his work and biography.

Croatia-Main Attraction

Zagreb is also home to some of the greatest tourist sites in Croatia. The Andautonia Archeological Park, the Croatian National Museum and National Theater give visitors a glimpse of the extraordinary life and works of art of modern and ancient Croatia. The Town Squares are filled with activities, historic buildings, monuments, and other magnificent structures that can make the trip worthwhile.

Uniqueness of the Country

What makes this country unique is its cultural heritage that made a mark in world history. Each period that comprises this country's history is regarded as valuable and made an important contribution to civilization. The Croatian culture is deeply etched into the culture of the entire Western Europe and a significant part of the Southeastern Europe. The Pre-Romanesque, the Renaissance, and the modern Croatian art are also important part of the European culture. Croatia's heritage is one of a kind because it is an intermingling of sources from the four corners of the world.

Culture

Croatia-Burek
The Croatian language can be traced back to its literature that is produced in a mixture of native tongues. It is inspired by the Stokavian dialect and Latin alphabet. The folk music of Croatia was born through a mixture of various styles but each has its own characteristics. Kolo is an energetic Slavic dance accompanied by a violin and the Croatian version of mandolin. Most Croats practice the Catholic faith while the Serb population adheres to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Croatians have an appetite for oily delicacies. Burek is a greasy delicacy that is either made from meat or cheese. A donut flavored with cheese called Piroska is a popular treat from Zagreb region.

Photo Credit:

http://www.bigfoto.com/sites/galery/Croatia/cro016.jpg
http://www.bigfoto.com/sites/galery/Croatia/cro020.jpg
http://www.bigfoto.com/sites/galery/Croatia/cro018.jpg
http://www.bigfoto.com/sites/galery/Croatia/cro010.jpg
(Flickr/Lyn Gateley), (Flickr/Craig Hatfield)

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