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Istria
Istria
(/ˈɪstriə/ IST-ree-ya; Croatian, Slovene: Istra; Istriot: Eîstria; Italian: Istria; German: Istrien), formerly Histria (Latin), is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste
Gulf of Trieste
and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.[1][2]

Contents

1 Geography 2 Climate 3 History

3.1 Early history 3.2 Venetian Republic 3.3 Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
(1797–1805) 3.4 Napoleonic Era (1805–1814) 3.5 Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
(1814–1918) 3.6 Italy
Italy
(1919–1947) 3.7 SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1991) 3.8 After the breakup of Yugoslavia (after 1991)

4 Demographic history

4.1 Ethnicity

4.1.1 Census

5 Image gallery 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Geography[edit] See also: Geography of Italy, Geography of Croatia, and Geography of Slovenia

This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. (November 2015)

Borders and roads in Istria

The geographical features of Istria
Istria
include the Učka
Učka
mountain ridge, which is the highest portion of the Ćićarija
Ćićarija
mountain range; the rivers Dragonja, Mirna, Pazinčica, and Raša; and the Lim bay and valley. Istria
Istria
lies in three countries: Croatia, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Italy. By far the largest portion (89%) lies in Croatia. "Croatian Istria" is divided into two counties, the larger being Istria County
Istria County
in western Croatia. Important towns in Istria County
Istria County
include Pula/Pola, Poreč/Parenzo, Rovinj/Rovigno, Pazin/Pisino, Labin/Albona, Umag/Umago, Motovun/Montona, Buzet/Pinguente, and Buje/Buie. Smaller towns in Istria County
Istria County
include Višnjan, Roč, and Hum. The northwestern part of Istria
Istria
lies in Slovenia: it is known as Slovenian Istria, and includes the coastal municipalities of Piran/Pirano, Izola/Isola and Koper/Capodistria, and the Karstic municipality of Hrpelje-Kozina. Northwards of Slovenian Istria, there is a tiny portion of the peninsula that lies in Italy.[1][2] This smallest portion of Istria consists of the comunes of Muggia
Muggia
and San Dorligo della Valle, with Santa Croce (Trieste) lying farthest to the north. The ancient region of Histria extended over a much wider area, including the whole Kras plateau
Kras plateau
until the southern edges of the Vipava Valley, the southwestern portions of modern Inner Carniola
Inner Carniola
with Postojna
Postojna
and Ilirska Bistrica, and the Italian Province of Trieste, but not the Liburnian coast which was already part of Illyricum.[3] Climate[edit]

The Sečovlje Saltworks
Sečovlje Saltworks
in northern Istria
Istria
were probably started in antiquity and were first mentioned in 804 in the report on Placitum of Riziano.

Central Istria
Istria
(Pazin) has a continental climate. The northern (or Slovenian and Italian) coast of Istria
Istria
(Ankaran, Koper, Izola, Muggia) has a sub-Mediterranean climate. The western and southern coast (Piran, Portorož, Novigrad, Rovinj, Pula) have a Mediterranean climate. The eastern coast (Rabac, Labin, Opatija) has a sub-Mediterranean climate with oceanic influences. The warmest places are Pula
Pula
and Rovinj, while the coldest is Pazin. Precipitation is moderate, with between 640 and 1,020 mm (25 and 40 in) falling in the coastal areas, and up to 1,500 mm (60 in) in the hills.

History[edit] Main article: History of Istria Early history[edit]

Austrian Littoral
Austrian Littoral
in 1897

A leaflet from the period of Fascist Italianization, prohibiting the public use of the "Slav language" on the streets of Vodnjan
Vodnjan
in south-western Istria.

See also: March of Istria
March of Istria
and Histri The name is derived from the Histri (Greek: Ἱστρών έθνος) tribes, which Strabo
Strabo
refers to as living in the region and who are credited as being the builders of the hillfort settlements (castellieri). The Histri are classified in some sources as a "Venetic" Illyrian tribe, with certain linguistic differences from other Illyrians.[4] The Romans described the Histri as a fierce tribe of pirates, protected by the difficult navigation of their rocky coasts. It took two military campaigns for the Romans to finally subdue them in 177 BC. The region was then called together with the Venetian part the X. Roman Region
Region
of "Venetia et Histria", the ancient definition of the northeastern border of Italy. Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
refers to it as well, the eastern border of Italy
Italy
per ancient definition is the river Arsia. The eastern side of this river was settled by people whose culture was different than Histrians. Earlier influence of the Iapodes
Iapodes
was attested there, while at some time between the 4th and 1st century BC, the Liburnians
Liburnians
extended their territory and it became a part of Liburnia.[5] On the northern side, Histria went much further north and included the Italian city of Trieste. Some scholars speculate that the names Histri and Istria
Istria
are related to the Latin name Hister, or Danube
Danube
(especially its lower course). Ancient folktales reported—inaccurately—that the Danube
Danube
split in two or "bifurcated" and came to the sea near Trieste
Trieste
as well as at the Black Sea. The story of the "bifurcation of the Danube" is part of the Argonaut legend. There is also a suspected link (but no historical documentation in support of it) to the commune of Istria
Istria
in Constanţa, Romania, which is named after the ancient city Histria, named after River Hister. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was pillaged by the Goths, the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Avars. It was subsequently annexed to the Lombard Kingdom in 751, and then annexed to the Frankish kingdom by Pepin of Italy
Italy
in 789. In 804, the Placitum of Riziano was held in the Parish of Rižan (Latin: Risanum), which was a meeting between the representatives of Istrian towns and castles and the deputies of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
and his son Pepin. The report about this judicial diet illustrates the changes accompanying the transfer of power from the Eastern Roman Empire
Eastern Roman Empire
to the Carolingian Empire and the discontent of the local residents.[6] Afterwards it was successively controlled by the dukes of Carantania, Merania, Bavaria
Bavaria
and by the patriarch of Aquileia, before it became the territory of the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
in 1267. The medieval Croatian kingdom held only the far eastern part of Istria
Istria
(the border was near the river Raša), but they lost it to the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
in the late 11th century. Venetian Republic[edit] The coastal areas and cities of Istria
Istria
came under Venetian Influence in the 9th century. On 15 February 1267, Parenzo
Parenzo
was formally incorporated with the Venetian state.[7] Other coastal towns followed shortly thereafter. Bajamonte Tiepolo was sent away from Venice in 1310, to start a new life in Istria
Istria
after his downfall. A description of the 16th-century Istria
Istria
with a precise map was prepared by the Italian geographer Pietro Coppo. A copy of the map inscribed in stone can now be seen in the Pietro Coppo
Pietro Coppo
Park in the center of the town of Izola
Izola
in southwestern Slovenia.[8] Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
(1797–1805)[edit] The Inner part of Istria
Istria
around Mitterburg (Pazin) had been part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
for centuries, and more specifically part of the domains of the Austrian Habsburgs since the 14th century. In 1797, with the Treaty of Campo Formio, the Venetian parts of the peninsula also passed to the Habsburg
Habsburg
Monarchy, which became the Austrian Empire in 1804.[9] Napoleonic Era (1805–1814)[edit] Following the Austrian defeat by Napoleon
Napoleon
during the War of the Third Coalition, Istria
Istria
became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1806–1810) following the Peace of Pressburg, and then part of the Illyrian provinces
Illyrian provinces
of the French Empire (1810–1813) after the Treaty of Paris. Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
(1814–1918)[edit] After this seven-year period, the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
regained Istria, which became part of the constituent Kingdom of Illyria. This kingdom was broken up in 1849, after which Istria
Istria
formed part of Austrian Littoral, also known as the "Küstenland", which also included the city of Trieste
Trieste
and the Princely County of Gorizia and Gradisca
Gorizia and Gradisca
until 1918. At that time the borders of Istria
Istria
included part of what is now Italian Venezia-Giulia and parts of modern-day Slovenia
Slovenia
and Croatia, but not the city of Trieste. Between 1848 and 1918 – especially after the loss of Venetia following the Third Italian War of Independence (1866) – the Austro-Hungarian Empire encouraged the rise of the Slavic ethnicity to counteract the irredentism of the Italian population in Istria
Istria
and Dalmatia. During the meeting of the Council of Ministers of 12 November 1866 Emperor Franz Joseph outlined a major project.[10] “His Majesty has expressed the precise order that we decisively oppose the influence of the Italian element still present in some Crown lands, and to aim unsparingly and without the slightest compunction at the Germanization or Slavicization – depending on the circumstances – of the areas in question, through a suitable entrustment of posts to political magistrates and teachers, as well as through the influence of the press in South Tyrol, Dalmatia, and the Adriatic Coast.” Italy
Italy
(1919–1947)[edit] See also: Julian March
Julian March
and Foibe massacres After World War I
World War I
and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, there was a strong local movement toward Istrian independence,[11] but in the end Istria
Istria
was partitioned to Italy
Italy
in the Treaty of Rapallo (1920).[12] Istria's political and economic importance declined under Italian rule, and after the fascist takeover of Italy
Italy
in 1922, the Italian government began a campaign of forced Italianization. In 1926, use of Slavic languages was banned, to the extent that Slavic family names were ordered to be changed to suit the fascist authorities.[11] The organization TIGR, founded in 1927 by young Slovene liberal nationalists from Gorizia region and Trieste
Trieste
and regarded as the first armed antifascist resistance group in Europe,[13] soon penetrated into Slovene and Croatian-speaking parts of Istria.[14] In World War II, Istria
Istria
became a battleground of competing ethnic and political groups. Pro-fascist, pro-Allied, Istrian nationalist, and Yugoslav-supported pro-communist groups fought with each other and the Italian army. After the German withdrawal in 1945, Yugoslav partisans gained the upper hand and began a violent purge of real or suspected opponents in an "orgy of revenge".[11] SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1991)[edit] See also: Istrian exodus
Istrian exodus
and Morgan Line After the end of World War II, Istria
Istria
was ceded to Yugoslavia, except for a small part in the northwest corner that formed Zone B of the provisionally independent Free Territory of Trieste; Zone B was under Yugoslav administration and after the de facto dissolution of the Free Territory in 1954 it was also incorporated into Yugoslavia. Only the small town of Muggia, near Trieste, being part of Zone A remained with Italy.[15]

Location map of Slovenian Istria.

The events of that period are visible in Pula. The city had an Italian majority, and is located on the southernmost tip of the Istrian peninsula. Between December 1946 and September 1947, a large proportion of the city's inhabitants were forced to emigrate to Italy.[15] Most of them left in the immediate aftermath of the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty on February 10, 1947, which granted Pula
Pula
and the greater part of Istria
Istria
to Yugoslavia. After the breakup of Yugoslavia (after 1991)[edit] The division of Istria
Istria
between Croatia
Croatia
and Slovenia
Slovenia
runs on the former republic borders, which were not precisely defined in the former Yugoslavia. Various points of contention remain unresolved between the two countries regarding the precise line of the border.[16] It became an international boundary with the independence of both countries from Yugoslavia in 1991. Since Croatia's first multi-party elections in 1990, the regional party Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS-DDI, Istarski demokratski sabor or Dieta democratica istriana) has consistently received a majority of the vote and maintained through the 1990s a position often contrary to the government in Zagreb, led by the then nationalistic party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ, Hrvatska demokratska zajednica), with regards to decentralization in Croatia
Croatia
and certain facets of regional autonomy. However, that changed in 2000, when the IDS formed with five other parties a left-centre coalition government, led by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia
Croatia
(SDP, Socijaldemokratska Partija Hrvatske). After the reformed HDZ won the Croatian parliamentary elections in late 2003 and formed a minority government, the IDS has cooperated with the state government on many projects, both local (in Istria
Istria
County) and national. Since Slovenia's accession to the European Union
European Union
and the Schengen Area, customs and immigration checks have been abolished at the Italian-Slovenian border. Demographic history[edit]

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The region has traditionally been ethnically mixed. Under Austrian rule in the 19th century, it included a large population of Italians, Croats, Slovenes
Slovenes
and some Vlachs/Istro-Romanians, Serbs[17] and Montenegrins; however, official statistics in those times did not show those nationalities as they do today. In 1910, the ethnic and linguistic composition was completely mixed. According to the Austrian census results ( Istria
Istria
included here parts of the Karst and Liburnia
Liburnia
which are not really part of Istria
Istria
and excluded ancient Istrian parts, like Trieste), out of 404,309 inhabitants in Istria, 168,116 (41.6%) spoke Serbo-Croatian, 147,416 (36.5%) spoke Italian, 55,365 (13.7%) spoke Slovene, 13,279 (3.3%) spoke German, 882 (0.2%) spoke Romanian, 2,116 (0.5%) spoke other languages and 17,135 (4.2%) were non-citizens, which had not been asked for their language of communication. During the last decades of the Habsburg
Habsburg
dynasty the coast of Istria
Istria
profited from tourism within the Empire. Generally speaking, Italians
Italians
lived on the coast and in the inland cities of northern Istria, while Croats
Croats
and Slovenes
Slovenes
lived in the eastern and southeastern inland parts of the countryside. In the second half of the 19th century a clash of new ideological movements, Italian irredentism
Italian irredentism
(which claimed Trieste
Trieste
and Istria) and Slovene and Croatian nationalism (developing individual identities in some quarters while seeking to unite in a Southern Slav identity in others), resulted in growing ethnic conflict between Italians
Italians
on one side and Slovenes
Slovenes
and Croats
Croats
on the other side. This was intertwined with class conflict, as inhabitants of Istrian towns were mostly Italian, while Croats
Croats
and Slovenes
Slovenes
largely lived out in the eastern countryside. The Croatian word for the Istrians is Istrani, or Istrijani, the latter being in the local Chakavian dialect. The term Istrani is also used in Slovenia. The Italian word for the Istrians is Istriani and today the Italian minority is organized in many towns[18] and consists officially of around 45,000 inhabitants. The Istrian county in Croatia is bilingual, as are large parts of Slovenian Istria. Every citizen has the right to speak either Italian or Croatian (Slovene in Slovenian Istria
Slovenian Istria
and Italian in the town of Koper/Capodistria, Piran/Pirano, Portorož/Portorose and Izola/Isola d'Istria) in public administration or in court. Furthermore, Istria
Istria
is a supranational European Region
Region
that includes Italian, Slovenian and Croatian Istria. Ethnicity[edit]

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Percentage of native Italian speakers in Croatia's Istria County
Istria County
in 2001

Percentage of people who used Italian as a "language of daily use" in Istria
Istria
in 1910[19]

Discussions about Istrian ethnicity often use the words "Italian", "Croatian" and "Slovene" to describe the character of Istrian people. However, these terms are best understood as "national affiliations" that may exist in combination with or independently of linguistic, cultural and historical attributes. In the Istrian context, for example, the word "Italian" can just as easily refer to autochthonous speakers of the Venetian language
Venetian language
whose antecedents in the region extend before the inception of the Venetian Republic
Venetian Republic
or to the Istriot language the oldest spoken language in Istria, dated back to the Romans, today spoken in the southwest of Istria. It can also refer to Istrian Croats
Croats
who adopted the veneer of Italian culture
Italian culture
as they moved from rural to urban areas, or from the farms into the bourgeoisie. Similarly, national powers claim Istrian Croats
Croats
according to local language, so that speakers of Čakavian and Štokavian dialects of the Croatian language
Croatian language
are considered to be Croatians, while speakers of other dialects may be considered to be Slovene. Croatian dialect speakers are descendants of the refugees of the Turkish invasion and Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
of Bosnia and Dalmatia
Dalmatia
in the 16th century. The government of the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
had settled them in Inner Istria, which had been devastated by wars and plague. Many villages have Morlachian names like Katun. As with other regions, the local dialects of the Croatian communities vary greatly across close distances. The Istrian Croatian and Italian vernaculars had both developed for many generations before being divided as they are today. This meant that Croats/ Slovenes
Slovenes
on the one side and Venetians/other Italians
Italians
on the other side yielded to each other culturally while simultaneously distancing themselves from members of their ethnic groups living farther away. Another important Istrian community are the Istro-Romanians
Istro-Romanians
in the east and north of Istria
Istria
(Ćićarija) and parts of neighbouring Liburnia
Liburnia
(the east coast of the peninsula, called Liburnia, is part of historic Istria). A small Albanian community, which until the late 19th century spoke the Istrian Albanian dialect, is also present in the peninsula. Census[edit] According to the 2011 Croatian census data for the Istria
Istria
County, 68.33% of the inhabitants were Croats, 6.03% were Italians, 3.46% were Serbs, 2.95% were Bosniaks, 1.15% were Albanians, and 1.96% did not state their nationality. Those declaring themselves regionally as Istrians made up 12.11%. Other nationalities had less than 1% each.[20] The data for Slovenian Istria
Slovenian Istria
is not as neatly organized, but the 2002 Slovenian census indicates that the three Istrian municipalities (Izola, Piran, Koper) had a total of 56,482 Slovenes, 6,426 Croats
Croats
and 1,840 Italians.[21] The small town of Peroj
Peroj
has had a unique history which exemplifies the multi-ethnic complexity of the history of the region, as do some towns on both sides of the Cicarija mountains that are still identified with the Istro-Romanian people which the UNESCO
UNESCO
Redbook of Endangered Languages calls "the smallest ethnic group in Europe".[22] Image gallery[edit]

Aerial picture of Pula
Pula
(Croatia)

The promenade of Poreč
Poreč
(Croatia)

Rovinj, as seen from the bell tower of the church of Saint Eufemia (Croatia)

Motovun
Motovun
(Croatia)

Lim canal (Croatia)

The Praetorian Palace
Praetorian Palace
in Koper
Koper
(Slovenia)

old town of Piran
Piran
(Slovenia)

Port in Muggia
Muggia
(Italy)

Istrian traditional folk costume

Vineyards of Istria

See also[edit]

Croatia
Croatia
portal

History of Istria Istria
Istria
County Istrian exodus Istrian Italians March of Istria Italianization Roman Catholic Diocese of Poreč-Pula

References[edit]

Notes

^ a b Marcel Cornis-Pope, John Neubauer, History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th And 20th Centuries, John Benjamins Publishing Co. (2006), ISBN 90-272-3453-1 ^ a b Alan John Day, Roger East, Richard Thomas, A political and economic dictionary of Eastern Europe, Routledge, 1sr ed. (2002), ISBN 1-85743-063-8 ^ Leonhard Schmitz, A manual of ancient geography, pg. 131, The British Library (2010), ISBN B003MNGWVI ^ Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0-631-19807-5, page 183,"... We may begin with the Venetic peoples, Veneti, Carni, Histri and Liburni, whose language set them apart from the rest of the Illyrians...." ^ M. Blečić, Prilog poznavanju antičke Tarsatike, VAMZ, 3.s., XXXIV 65-122 (2001), UDK 904:72.032 (3:497.5), pages 70, 71 ^ Oto Luthar, ed. (2008). The land between : a history of Slovenia. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. p. 100. ISBN 978-3-631-57011-1.  ^ John Mason Neale, Notes Ecclesiological & Picturesque on Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, Styria, with a visit to Montenegro, pg. 76, J.T. Hayes - London (1861) ^ "Historic Urban Cores: Izola". REVITAS – Revitalisation of the Istrian hinterland and tourism in the Istrian hinterland. Retrieved 1 June 2015.  ^ Stephens, Henry Morse (2008). Revolutionary Europe, 1789–1815, BiblioLife. p. 192. ISBN 0-559-25438-5. ^ "Brief History of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
in the 19th Century". . ^ a b c Minahan, James (2000). One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 340–341. ISBN 978-0313309847.  ^ Hehn, Paul N. (2005). A Low, Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe and the Economic Origins of World War II. A&C Black. p. 45.  ^ Office of the President of the Republic of Slovenia
Slovenia
(5 May 2010). "President Hails Heroism of Slovenian WWII Patriots". Government Communication Office. Retrieved 9 September 2010.  ^ Rawson, Andrew (2013). Organizing Victory: The War Conferences 1941–1945. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: History Press. ISBN 9780752489254.  ^ a b Katia Pizzi, A city in search of an author: the literacy identity of Trieste, pg. 23, Sheffield Academic Press (2002), ISBN 1-84127-284-1 ^ Julio Aramberri, Richard Butler, Tourism Development, pg. 195 ^ see also Census 2001 ^ Italian Istria
Istria
infosite, unione-italiana.hr; accessed 4 August 2015. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=reDuBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52 ^ "Population by Ethnicity, by Towns/Municipalities, 2011 Census: County of Istria". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.  ^ Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Population Census 2002 results, stat.si; accessed 4 August 2015. ^ Salminen, Tapani (1999). " UNESCO
UNESCO
Red Book on Endangered Languages". Helsinki.fi. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

Ashbrook, John (December 2005). "Self-perceptions, denials, and expressions: Istrianity in a nationalizing Croatia, 1990-1997". Nationalities Papers. 33 (4): 459–487. doi:10.1080/00905990500353923.  Luigi Tomaz, Il confine d'Italia in Istria
Istria
e Dalmazia. Duemila anni di storia, Presentazione di Arnaldo Mauri, Think ADV, Conselve 2008. Luigi Tomaz, In Adriatico nel secondo millennio, Presentazione di Arnaldo Mauri, Think ADV, Conselve, 2010. Louis François Cassas "Travels in Istria
Istria
and Dalmatia, drawn up from the itinerary of L. F. Cassas" Eng trans. from 1802 Fr pub.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Istria.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Istria.

 "Istria". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). 1911.  Istria
Istria
on the Internet (a non-commercial, non-political, cultural site) Old postcards of Istria A Brief History of Istria
History of Istria
/ Darko Darovec Results of Austrian Census on Dec. 31st, 1910 Istrian cultural heritage. Bukaleta Kazun, wall paintings Travels in Istria
Istria
and Dalmatia: drawn up from the itinerary of L. F. Cassas on Google Books

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Coordinates: 45°15′40″N 13°54′16″E / 45.26111°N 13.90444°E /

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