About 60% of the population live in urban centres, and one in four live in one of the four largest cities (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek).

Kornati National Park (1980), south of Šibenik and Zadar, encompasses an archipelago of about one hundred islands and islets. Enchanted by the beauty of its landscape, the Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw wrote: 'On the last day of the Creation, God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath'.

The crowning of the Croatian king Tomislav, Oton Iveković (detail, 1904-1905). Tomislav was crowned as the first Croatian king in 925.

In accordance with legal tradition, the Croatian Parliament is traditionally titled the Sabor. The oldest preserved records of Sabor sessions date back to 1273, although the beginnings of the Sabor are much earlier. Alongside the Icelandic Althing, formed in 930, and the Parliament of Sicily, established in 1130, the Sabor is therefore one of the oldest Diets in Europe.

Croatia is administratively divided into 20 counties and the City of Zagreb, which has the status of a county. Each county has particular competence for general education, health, land use, economic development, transport and its infrastructure, and the development of educational and cultural institutions.

Climate

Thanks to its position in the moderate climate belt along the 45th parallel, Croatia enjoys a predominantly moderate climate, with four clearly marked seasons. Local climate differences are determined primarily by the diversity of the relief ...

Language

The Croatian language belongs to the South Slavic group of languages. It is the official language of the Republic of Croatia, and is also spoken by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia (Vojvodina), Montenegro (Bay of Kotor), Austria ...

Sport

Croatians are a sporting nation; sport is part of the compulsory curriculum in schools at all levels of education. Many children and young people take part in extracurricular sporting activities, which are also seen as a way of life in recreational terms ...

Fine arts

Works preserved from the oldest stylistic periods bear witness to the continuity of creativity and to the talents of local people, and place the Croatian art and architecture heritage on an equal footing with the main components of world creative output ...

The Prehistoric period

The earliest traces of human presence on Croatian soil date back to the Palaeolithic Age. In Šandalja Cave near Pula, and in Punikve near Ivanec, flints made by pre-Neanderthal people have been found, while the remains of Neanderthal prehistoric ...

Emergence of Croatia

The first Slavic tribes arrived in the area which is modern-day Croatia in the 6th and 7th centuries, during the Migration Period. Among them were the Croats, who are mentioned in sources in connection with a wider area, but were ethnically most ...

Nature protection

A large number of protected natural areas and features show that Croatia is a country of exceptional, diverse, and comparatively well-preserved natural beauty, of which some examples, such as the Plitvice Lakes, are famous ...

Croatia in brief

Croatia has been present on the contemporary international political stage since its independence from the Yugoslav Federation, i.e. for a little over two decades, but in terms of history and culture, is one of the oldest European countries ...