CroatiaPlease help improve this article or sectionby expanding it.
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Our beautiful homeland
Location of Croatia (orange) Capital
(and largest city) Zagreb
45°48′N, 16°0′E Official languages Croatian Demonym Croat(s)
Croatian(s) Government Parliamentary republic - President Stjepan Mesić - Premier Ivo Sanader Establishment - Founded First half of 7th century - Medieval duchy March 4, 852 - Recognized by the Pope May 21, 879 - Elevated to kingdom 925 - Union with Hungary 1102 - Joined Habsburg Empire January 1, 1527 - Independence from Austria-Hungary
October 29, 1918 - Joined Yugoslavia (co-founder)
December 1, 1918 - Declared independence October 8, 1991 Area - Total 56,542 km² (126th)
21,831 sq mi - Water (%) 0.2 Population - 2008 estimate 4,453,500 (114th) - 2001 census 4,437,460 - Density 81/km² (115th)
208/sq mi GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate - Total $74.419 billion (IMF) - Per capita $16,758 (IMF) (51st) Gini (2005) 29 (low) HDI (2005) ▲ 0.850 (high) (47th) Currency kuna (HRK) Time zone CET (UTC+1) - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Internet TLD .hr Calling code +385 1 Also Italian in Istria and languages of other national minorities (Serbian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, etc.) in residential municipalities of the national minorities.
Croatia (IPA: /kroʊˈeɪʃə/) (Croatian: Hrvatska /xrvatska/), officially the Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska listen (help·info)), is a southern Central European country at the crossroads with the Mediterranean, and Southeastern Europe. Its capital is Zagreb. Croatia borders with Slovenia and Hungary to the north, Serbia to the northeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, and Montenegro to the far southeast. Its southern and western flanks border the Adriatic Sea, and it also shares a sea border with Italy in the Gulf of Trieste.
Croatia is a member of United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe, and is a candidate for membership of the European Union and has received a NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. On October 17, 2007 Croatia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2008-2009 term.
- 1 History
- 2 Government and politics
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Law
- 6 Economy
- 7 Education
- 8 Transport
- 9 Culture
- 10 Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
- 11 Sport
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
- Main article: History of Croatia
The Croats settled on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian lands in early 7th century, forming two principalities, Dalmatia and Pannonia. The establishment of the Trpimirović dynasty ca. 850 brought strengthening to the Dalmatian Croat duchy, which became a kingdom in 925.
In 1102 Croatia entered into a personal union with the Kingdom of Hungary. After the 1526 Battle of Mohács, the "Reliquiae reliquiarum olim inclyti Regni Croatiae" (the remains of the remains of once glorious Kingdom of Croatia) of Croatia became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1527. In 1918 Croatia became a part of the Kingdom of SHS and later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
In 1941-1945 during World War II, an Axis puppet state known as the Independent State of Croatia existed. After the victory of Tito's People's Liberation Movement and the Allies, Croatia became a constitutive federal republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Government and politics
- Main article: Politics of Croatia
- See also: Foreign relations of Croatia, Accession of Croatia to the European Union, and International rankings of Croatia
The President of the Republic (Predsjednik) is the head of state, directly elected to a five-year term and is limited by the Constitution to a maximum of two terms. In addition to being the commander in chief of the armed forces, the president has the procedural duty of appointing the Prime minister with the consent of the Parliament, and has some influence on foreign policy. His official residence is Predsjednički dvori. Apart from that he has summer residences on the islands of Vanga (Brijuni islands) and the island of Hvar.
The Croatian Parliament (Sabor) is a unicameral legislative body (a second chamber, the "House of Counties", which was set up by the Constitution of 1990, was abolished in 2001). The number of the Sabor's members can vary from 100 to 160; they are all elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The plenary sessions of the Sabor take place from January 15 to July 15, and from September 15 to December 15.
The Croatian Government (Vlada) is headed by the Prime minister who has two deputy prime ministers and fourteen ministers in charge of particular sectors of activity. The executive branch is responsible for proposing legislation and a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal policies of the republic. Government's official residence is at Banski dvori.
- Main article: Geography of Croatia
Croatia is located between South-Central Europe and Middle Europe. Its shape resembles that of a crescent or a horseshoe, which flanks its neighbours Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. To the north lie Slovenia and Hungary; Italy lies across the Adriatic Sea. Its mainland territory is split in two non-contiguous parts by the short coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Neum.
Its terrain is diverse, including:
- plains, lakes and rolling hills in the continental north and northeast (Central Croatia and Slavonia, part of the Pannonian Basin);
- densely wooded mountains in Lika and Gorski Kotar, part of the Dinaric Alps;
- rocky coastlines on the Adriatic Sea (Istria, Northern Seacoast and Dalmatia).
Phytogeographically, Croatia belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Central European and Illyrian provinces of the Circumboreal Region and the Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region. According to the WWF, the territory of Croatia can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Pannonian mixed forests, Dinaric Mountains mixed forests and Illyrian deciduous forests.
The country is famous for its many national parks. Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is continental, Mediterranean along the coast and a semi-highland and highland climate in the south-central region.
Offshore Croatia consists of over one thousand islands varying in size. The largest islands in Croatia are Cres and Krk which are located in the Adriatic Sea. The Danube, the second longest river in Europe, runs through the city of Vukovar. Dinara, the eponym of the Dinaric Alps, is the highest peak of Croatia at 1831 metres above sea level.
CountiesThe Plitvice Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Croatia is divided into 20 counties (županija) and the capital Zagreb's city district (in italics below):Anglicizedname Native name 1 ZagrebZagrebačka 2 Krapina-ZagorjeKrapinsko-zagorska 3 Sisak-MoslavinaSisačko-moslavačka 4 KarlovacKarlovačka 5 VaraždinVaraždinska 6 Koprivnica-KriževciKoprivničko-križevačka 7 Bjelovar-BilogoraBjelovarsko-bilogorska 8 Primorje-Gorski Kotar Primorsko-goranska 9 Lika-SenjLičko-senjska 10 Virovitica-PodravinaVirovitičko-podravska 11 Požega-SlavoniaPožeško-slavonska 12 Brod-PosavinaBrodsko-posavska 13 ZadarZadarska 14 Osijek-BaranjaOsječko-baranjska 15 Šibenik-KninŠibensko-kninska 16 Vukovar-SrijemVukovarsko-srijemska 17 Split-DalmatiaSplitsko-dalmatinska 18 IstriaIstarska 19 Dubrovnik-NeretvaDubrovačko-neretvanska 20 MeđimurjeMeđimurska 21 City of ZagrebGrad Zagreb
- Main article: Demographics of Croatia
Croatia is inhabited mostly by Croats (89.9 per cent of the population). There are around twenty minority groups. Serbs are the largest minority, comprising 4.5 per cent of the total population. The predominant religion is Catholicism (87.8 per cent), with some Orthodox (4.4 per cent) and Sunni Muslim (1.3 per cent) minorities. The official and common language, Croatian, is a South Slavic language, using the Latin alphabet. According to the 2001 census, 96.1 per cent of the population speak Croatian as their first language.
The population of Croatia has been stagnating over the last decade. During the 1991-1995 war, large sections of the population were displaced and emigration increased. Many ethnic Serbs fled Croatia during this time. All in all between 400,000  and 500,000  Serbs left Croatia. Around 78,000 Croats were forcibly removed from the self-proclaimed Republic of Serb Krajina, which has now been re-integrated into Croatia, although some later returned. Only a minority of Serbs have returned to Croatia since 1995. The natural growth rate of the population is currently negative with the demographic transition completed half a century ago. Average life expectancy is 75.1 years, and the literacy rate is 98.1 per cent.
- Main article: Economy of Croatia
The Croatian economy has a stable functioning market economy which is one of the most advanced of South-Eastern Europe. International Monetary Fund data shows that Croatian nominal GDP stood at US$50.053 billion, or US$11,271 per capita, in 2007. The IMF forecast for 2008 is US$54.950 billion, or US$12,374 per capita. In purchasing power parity terms, total GDP was US$69.866 billion in 2007, equivalent to US$15,733 per capita. For 2008, it is forecast to be US$74.419 billion, or US$16,758 per capita.
According to Eurostat data, Croatian PPS GDP per capita stood at 57.5 per cent of the EU average in 2007, and is forecast to reach 57.8 per cent in 2008. Real GDP growth in 2007 was 6.0 per cent. The average gross salary in 2007 was 6,634 kuna per month. In 2007, the International Labour Organization-defined unemployment rate stood at 9.1 per cent, after falling steadily from 14.7 percent in 2002. The registered unemployment rate is higher, though, standing at 14.7 percent in December 2007.
In 2007, 7.2 percent of economic output was accounted for by agriculture, 32.8 percent by industry and 60.7 percent by the service sector. According to 2004 data, 2.7 percent of the workforce were employed in agriculture, 32.8 percent by industry and 64.5 in services.
The industrial sector is dominated by shipbuilding, food processing and the chemical industry. Tourism is a notable source of income during the summer, with over 10 million foreign tourists in 2006 generating a revenue of €8 billion. Croatia is ranked as the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. In 2006 Croatia exported goods to the value of USD$10.4 billion (FOB) (US$19.7 billion including service exports).
Of particular concern is the backlogged judiciary system, combined with inefficient public administration, especially issues of land ownership and corruption. Another main problem includes the large and growing national debt which has reached over 30 billion dollars.
The country has been preparing for membership in the European Union, its most important trading partner. In February 2005, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU officially came into force.
- Main article: Education in Croatia
Croatia has seven universities, the University of Zagreb, University of Split, University of Rijeka, University of Osijek, University of Zadar, University of Dubrovnik and the University of Pula. The University of Zagreb was founded in 1669 and is therefore the oldest in Southeastern Europe. There are also polytechnic higher education institutions.
- Main article: Transport in Croatia
Croatia has an extensive rail network, although due to historical circumstances, the Istria region is not accessible by train without passing through neighbouring Slovenia. Train services are operated by Croatian Railways (Croatian: Hrvatske željeznice). Major airports are located in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka (on the island of Krk), Osijek, Bol, Lošinj and Pula. Croatia Airlines is the national airline and flag carrier. An extensive system of ferries, operated by Jadrolinija, serves Croatia's many islands and links coastal cities. Ferry services are also available to Italy.
- Main article: Culture of Croatia
Croatian culture is the result of a thirteen century-long history which has seen the development of many cities and monuments. The country includes six World Heritage sites and eight national parks. Croatia is also the birthplace of a number of historical figures included among the notable people are three Nobel prize winners, and numerous inventors.
Some of the world's first fountain pens came from Croatia. Croatia also has a place in the history of clothing as the origin of the necktie (kravata). The country has a long artistic, literary and musical tradition. Also of interest is the diverse nature of Croatian cuisine.
Properties inscribed on the World Heritage ListŠibenik, The Cathedral of St James (St. Jacob)
- Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč (1997)
- Historic City of Trogir (1997)
- Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian (1979)
- Old City of Dubrovnik (1979)
- The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik(2000)
- Plitvice Lakes National Park (1979)
- Main article: Sport in Croatia
Sports popular in Croatia include association football, tennis, basketball, waterpolo and handball. The Croatian national football team finished third in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Davor Šuker won the Golden Boot for top goal scorer. The country failed in its joint bid with Hungary to co-host the 2012 European Championships. The two main teams in Croatia are NK Dinamo Zagreb with between 33% and 36% of the population supporting it and HNK Hajduk Split with about 25%.
The national basketball team finished third at the 1994 FIBA World Championship, second at the 1992 Summer Olympics and third at EuroBasket 1993 and 1995. Croatian basketball clubs were 5 times European Champions, KK Split three times and KK Cibona two times. Third most famous basketball club is KK Zadar.
Croatian national handball team were World Champions and two time Olympics Winers in 1996. and 2004. Ivano Balić is considered to be the best handball player in the world. RK Zagreb was two time European Champion and RK Bjelovar one time.
Croatian national water polo team are current World Champions. Mladost was seven times Europen Champions and LEN awarded the club with the title Best Club of the 20th Century. Jug and Jadran were both three times winners. Croatian Davis Cup team won the tournament in 2005.
Tennis player Goran Ivanišević is one of the country's most recognisable sportsmen, and won the 2001 men's singles title at Wimbledon. Janica Kostelić in skiing, Blanka Vlašić in athletics, Duje Draganja, Sanja Jovanović and Đurđica Bjedov in swimming, Dražen Petrović, Krešimir Ćosić, Toni Kukoč and Dino Rađa in basketball, Željko Mavrović and Mate Parlov in boxing, Branko Cikatić and Mirko Filipović known as Cro Cop in Mixed martial arts, Tamara Boroš in table tennis are one of the most famous athletes.
See alsoHvar Island
- Communications in Croatia
- Holidays in Croatia
- Military of Croatia
- Protected areas of Croatia
- Tourism in Croatia
- Transport in Croatia
- Sport in Croatia
- Croatian War of Independence
- List of Croatians
- Law enforcement in Croatia
- International rankings of Croatia
- Banovina of Croatia
- Croatian Railways
- ^ a b c d e f g World Economic Outlook Database. International Monetary Fund (October 2007). Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ^ Važniji datumi iz povijesti saborovanja. Hrvatski Sabor. Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
- ^ Dinara -- Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering. SummitPost. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
- ^ a b c d e f Croatia. CIA World Factbook (2008-03-06). Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ^ "Croatia marks Storm anniversary", BBC News, 2005-08-05. Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
- ^ Croatia: Operation "Storm" - still no justice ten years on. Amnesty International (2005-08-04). Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
- ^ Milan Babic - Initial Indictment. ICTY. Retrieved on 2007-06-12.
- ^ GDP per capita in PPS. Eurostat. Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ^ Real GDP growth rate. Eurostat. Retrieved on 2008-05-21.
- ^ Statistical Information 2007. Republic of Croatia Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ^ Unemployment rate – total. Eurostat. Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ^ Bulletin 134. Croatian National Bank (February 2008). Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
- ^ a b c UNWTO World Tourism Barometer (October 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
- Branka Magaš. "Croatia Through History: The Making of a Modern European State" Saqi. November 2007, 680pp.
- Agičić et al., Povijest i zemljopis Hrvatske, priručnik za hrvatske manjinske škole (History and Geography of Croatia, a handbook for Croatian minority schools), Biblioteka Geographica Croatica, 292 pages, Zagreb:2000 (ISBN 953-6235-40-4) (Croatian)
- Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics Cornell University Press, 1984.
- Mirjana Kasapovic (ur.), Hrvatska politika 1990.-2000. Zagreb: Hrvatska politologija 2001.
- Pavol Demes and Joerg Forbrig (eds.), Reclaiming Democracy: Civil Society and Electoral Change in Central and Eastern Europe. German Marshall Fund, 2007. ISBN 978-80-969639-0-4
- Sharon Fisher, Political Change in Post-Communist Slovakia and Croatia: From Nationalist to Europeanist. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 ISBN 1 4039 7286 9
External linksCroatia Portal
- Wikimedia Atlas of Croatia
- Croatia travel guide from Wikitravel
- Croatia at the Open Directory Project
- About Croatia
- Croatian National Tourist Board
- The Government of the Republic of Croatia
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