Top Ten Croatian Attractions

Top Ten Croatian Attractions

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       Croatia is a country in Central Europe and Southeastern Europe at the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain, the Balkans and the Adriatic Sea. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. Croatia borders Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Adriatic coast. The Croats arrived in the early 7th century in what today is Croatia. They organized the state into two dukedoms. The first king, King Tomislav was crowned in 925 AD and Croatia was elevated into the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for almost two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Peter Krešimir IV and Demetrius Zvonimir. Croatia entered a union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand from the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, Croatia was included in the short-lived State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs that declared independence from Austria–Hungary and co-founded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. A Croatian state briefly existed during WWII, but it was a Nazi/Fascist puppet-state. After WWII, Croatia became a founding member of the Second Yugoslavia. On June 25, 1991, Croatia declared independence and became a sovereign state. Since the fall of communism and the end of the Croatian War of Independence, Croatia has achieved high human development and income equality and ranks highly amongst Central European nations in terms of education, health, quality of life and economic dynamism. Croatia is classified as an emerging and developing economy by the International Monetary Fund and a high income economy by the World Bank.

  1. Zagreb
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    Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava River, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica Mountain. According to the last official census, Zagreb’s city population was 686,568 (2011), while its municipal population was 792,875. Its favorable geographic position in the southwestern part of the Pannonian Basin, which extends to the Alpine, Dinaric, Adriatic and Pannonic regions, provides an excellent connection for traffic between Central Europe and the Adriatic Sea. The transport connections, concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions and industrial tradition underlie its leading economic position in Croatia. Zagreb is the seat of the central government, administrative bodies and almost all government ministries.
    Links: Cities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zagreb,
  2. Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian
    Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of DiocletianHistoric Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian1Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian2Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian3Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian4Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian5Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian6Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian7Historic Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian8
    Split is the seat of Split-Dalmatia County, the largest Dalmatian city and the 2nd largest urban center in Croatia with a total population of 178,192. The city is located on the shores of the Mediterranean, more specifically on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, spreading over a central peninsula and its surroundings, with its metropolitan area including the many surrounding seaside towns as well. An intraregional transport hub, the city is a link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula, as well as a popular tourist destination. Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area, and is traditionally considered just over 1,700 years old, while archaeological research relating to the ancient Greek colony of Aspálathos (6th century BC) establishes the city as being several hundred years older. Diocletian’s Palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century AD. Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on May 1, 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.
    Links: Palaces, Sculptures, Top Ten Beaches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_%28city%29, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocletian%27s_Palace,
  3. Hvar
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    Hvar is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, located off the Dalmatian coast, lying between the islands of Brač, Vis and Korčula. Approximately 68 km (42.25 mi) long, with a high east-west ridge of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, the island of Hvar is unusual in the area for having a large fertile coastal plain and fresh water springs. Its hillsides are covered in pine forests, with vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards and lavender fields in the agricultural areas. The climate is characterized by mild winters and warm summers with many hours of sunshine. The island has 11,103 residents, making it the 4th most populated of the Croatian islands. Hvar’s location at the center of the Adriatic sailing routes has long made this island an important base for commanding trade up and down the Adriatic, across to Italy and throughout the wider Mediterranean. It has been inhabited since pre-historic times, originally by a Neolithic people whose distinctive pottery gave rise to the term Hvar Culture and later by the Illyrians. The ancient Greeks founded the colony of Pharos in 384 BC on the site of today’s Stari Grad, making it one of the oldest towns in Europe. They were also responsible for setting out the agricultural field divisions of the Stari Grad Plain. In medieval times, Hvar (city) rose to importance within the Venetian Empire as a major naval base. Prosperity brought culture and the arts, with one of the first public theatres in Europe, nobles’ palaces and many fine communal buildings. The 16th century was an unsettled time, with the Hvar Rebellion, coastal raids by pirates and the Ottoman army from the mainland, resulting in some unusual fortified buildings on the northern shore to protect the local population. After a brief time under Napoleonic rule, the island became part of the Austrian Empire, a more peaceful and prosperous time. On the coast, harbors were expanded, quays built, fishing and boat building businesses grew. At the same time, the island’s wine exports increased, along with lavender and rosemary production for the French perfume industry. Unfortunately, this prosperity did not continue into the 20th century as wooden sailing boats went out of fashion and the phylloxera blight hit wine production. Many islanders left to make a new life elsewhere. One industry, however, has continued to grow and is now a significant contributor to the island’s economy. The formation of The Hygienic Association of Hvar in 1868 for the assistance of visitors to the island has been instrumental in developing an infrastructure of hotels, apartments, restaurants, marinas, museums, galleries and cafes. Today, the island of Hvar is a popular destination for tourists, consistently listed in the top 10 islands by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
    Links: Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hvar,
  4. Rijeka
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    Rijeka is the principal seaport and the 3rd largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb and Split). It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,735 (2011). The conurbation, which includes adjacent towns and municipalities of Opatija, Lovran, Mošćenička Draga, Matulji, Kastav, Viškovo, Klana, Kostrena, Čavle, Jelenje, Bakar and Kraljevica has a population of 213,842 (2011). Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water Port of Rijeka, the city was fiercely contested, especially between Italy, Hungary and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries. According to the 2001 census data, the overwhelming majority of its citizens (80.39%) are Croats, with Serbs coming in 2nd (6.21%). The Croatian, Serbian, Slovene and Italian version of the city’s name mean river in each of the languages. Rijeka is the center of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in Croatia. The city’s economy largely depends on shipbuilding and maritime transport. Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre, first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1973 but with roots dating back to 1632.
    Links: Top Ten Theatres, Top Ten Theaters, Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rijeka,
  5. Old City of Dubrovnik
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    Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the center of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641 (2011). The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as a Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and other Italian cities), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Although demilitarised in the 1970s with the intent of forever protecting it from war devastation, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for 7 months and received heavy damage from shelling.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubrovnik,
  6. Osijek
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    Osijek is the 4th largest city in Croatia with a population of 107,784 in 2011. It is the largest city and the economic and cultural center of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, as well as the administrative centre of Osijek-Baranja county. Osijek is located on the right bank of the river Drava, 25 km (16 mi) upstream of its confluence with the Danube.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osijek,
  7. Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč
    Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of PorečEpiscopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč1Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč2Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč3Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč4Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč5Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč6Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč7Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč8
    Poreč is a town and municipality on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, in Istria County, Croatia. Poreč is almost 2,000 years old, and is set around a harbor protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas/San Nicolo (St. Nicholas). The town’s population of approximately 12,000 resides mostly on the outskirts, while the wider Poreč area has a population of approximately 17,000 inhabitants. The municipal area covers 142 km², with the 37 km long shoreline stretching from the Mirna River near Novigrad to Funtana and Vrsar in the south. The major landmark in Poreč is the 6th century Euphrasian Basilica, which is an episcopal complex, including, apart the basilica itself, a sacristy, a baptistery and the bell tower of the nearby archbishop’s palace. It is one of the best examples of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean region. The Euphrasian basilica has for the most part retained its original shape, but accidents, fires and earthquakes have altered a few details. Since it is the 3rd church to be built on the same site, it conceals previous buildings, for example the great floor mosaic of the previous basilica from the 5th century.
    Links: Caves, Top Ten Basilicas, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pore%C4%8D, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphrasian_Basilica,
  8. Historic City of Trogir
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    Trogir is a historic town and harbor on the Adriatic coast in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia, with a population of 12,995 (2001) and a total municipality population of 13,322 (2001). The historic city of Trogir is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. It lies 27 km west of the city of Split.
    Links: Top Ten Clock Towers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trogir,
  9. Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik
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           Šibenik is a historic town in Croatia, with population of 51,553 (2001). It is located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Šibenik is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of Šibenik-Knin County. The Cathedral of St. James is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome (32 m high inside) in the city of Šibenik, Croatia. It is the church of the Catholic Church in Croatia, and the see of the Šibenik diocese. It is also the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country. It is dedicated to Saint James the Greater.
    Links: Top Ten Cathedrals, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0ibenik,
  10. Plitvice Lakes National Park
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           Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. The national park was founded in 1949 and is situated in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The important north-south road connection, which passes through the national park area, connects the Croatian inland with the Mediterranean coastal region. The protected area extends over 296.85 square km (73,350 acres). About 90% of the area is part of Lika-Senj County, while the remaining 10% is part of Karlovac County. Each year, more than 900,000 visitors are recorded.
    Links: National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plitvice_Lakes_National_Park,
  11. Links: Top Ten Croatian Hotels, Top Ten Croatian Restaurants, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatia,

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