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50 Fun Facts About Croatia

Zlatni rat (Screenshot/Frane Marinković)

There are lots interesting little facts about Croatia, here are just 50 of them.

1. Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD.

2. If you were to spread a map of the world flat the town of Ludbreg in Croatia would be in the centre.

3. The oldest city in Europe is the eastern Croatian city of Vinkovci. The city has been inhabited for the the past 8,000 years.

4. Split’s Diocletian Palace has a genuine Egyptian sphinx thanks to the Emperor Diocletian who had it bought in from Egypt to adorn the entrance to his tomb.

Diocletian’s Place in Split (photo: Minestrone under CC)

5. The dog breed Dalmatian can be traced back to Croatia and the Dalmatia region.

6. Croatia have the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European country together with Spain.

7. On the island of Susak women wear the shortest folk costumes in Europe.

8. Zadar has the world’s first pipe organ played by the sea and is also known for its sunset which Alfred Hitchcock said was the most beautiful in the world.

9. The Walls of Ston are the longest preserved fortification system in the world after the Great Wall of China.

Walls of Ston (photo credit: Ljubo Gamulin / Društvo prijatelja dubrovačke starine)

10. The first King of Croatia was named Tomislav in 925 – this elevated Croatia to the status of a kingdom.

11. Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan, Croatia.

12. One of the first medieval places in Europe to have a sewage system was Dubrovnik.

13. Dubrovnik was known as the “Adriatic pearl” in the early 19th century (thanks to the English poet Lord Byron) and not only as “Game of Thrones” King’s Landing and Star Wars filming location.

14. Croatians had their own alphabet. The Glagolitic alphabet was preserved only by Croats who used it from the 12th to the 20th century, mostly in liturgy.

Glagolitsa

15. Hum in Istria with a population of around 20 is the world’s smallest town.

16. The Roman amphitheater in Pula is the 6th largest amphitheatre in the world and the only one with all 3 rows preserved.

17. In the Croatian waters lives the last specimen of the Mediterranean seal.

18. Zagreb Cathedral holds the title of the tallest building in Croatia at 108 meters high.

Zagreb Cathedral (photo credit/avda-wikimedia)

19. The world’s first torpedo was constructed in Rijeka. Ivan Luppis (Ivan Vukić) developed the first prototypes of the self-propelled torpedo in 1866.

20. The national flower of Croatia is the Iris.

21. Croatia is ranked 127th in the world when it comes to size of country.

22. Croatia won the biggest haul of gold medals in Europe (per capita) at the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio.

Sara Kolak wins the women’s javelin final (photo: Reuters/Rio2016)

23. The highest mountain in Croatia is the Dinara peak at 1,831 metres.

24. 10% of Croatia is protected via 11 Nature Parks, 8 National Parks and 2 Nature Reserves.

25. The richest collection in the world of remains of Neanderthals was discovered in Krapina in central Croatia.

26. The island of Hvar off the Dalmatian coast is the island with the most hours of sunshine in Europe – more than 2,800 hours a year.

Hvar (photo credit: croatia.hr)

27. Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night was set in Dalmatia.

28. A sculptor from the island of Rab, Marin, founded San Marino.

29. There are nearly more Croatians living outside of the country as living in Croatia (4.2 million).

30. The Maglite flashlight which was designed by Croatian Anthony ‘Tony’ Maglica.

Maglite

31. Croatia has over 1,200 islands, isles and inlets.

32. Krk Island in the north part of Adriatic sea is the largest island in Croatia covering an area of 409 sq km (38 km length – up to 20 km width). It is also the most populated.

33. The island of Biševo has only 13 residents.

34. Famous Zlatni rat beach changes shape when winds are strong enough.

Zlatni rat (Screenshot/Frane Marinković)

35. Croatia has the top two ace servers in tennis history – No.1 Ivo Karlović, No.2 Goran Ivanišević.

36. Close to 80% of Croatians claim knowledge of at least one foreign language.

37. There are 41,188 winemakers and vineyards covering 20,885 hectares of land in Croatia.

38. Croatia is ranked 4th in the world for alcohol consumption per capita.

39. Croatia is the home of the necktie.

40. The most watched Croatian film of all time at the cinema is the 1996 film “Kako je počeo rat na mom otoku“ (How the War Started on My Island) with 342,000 tickets sold.

41. Croatia’s Adriatic Sea is one of 3 cleanest seas in Europe.

42. Dalmatian Klapa singing is protected by UNESCO.

Klapa (photo credit: Roberta F under CC)

43. Croatian Slavoljub Penkala was the inventor of the mechanical pencil.

44. The capital Zagreb used to be known by the name Agram.

45. The island of Cres is home to the last remaining colony of griffon vultures.

46. The island of Brač has a tourist attraction which is a house inside of a house.

House in a House in Bol (photo credit: zaklada-brac.hr)

47. Oscar-winning Fiddler on the Roof, Sophie’s Choice and Dr. Who all were filmed in Croatia, as were Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

48. Luka is the most popular boys name in Croatia, whilst Mia is currently the most female name.

49. Horvat is the most common surname in Croatia with over 22,000 of them.

50. Croatian men are the 7th tallest on the planet.

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