When looking at a map and you see a crescent-like shape land formation in Southern Europe, then you have identified the Republic of Croatia. Although some people might describe its outline similar to that of a horseshoe, Croatia is further divided into three major sections – the Northern, the Central and the Adriatic Coast. The largest city is Zagreb, which is also the country’s capital and has 20 other counties under its control. The neighboring countries and sea that surround Croatia include Hungary and Slovenia (north), Montenegro (far south), Herzegovina and Bosnia (south and east), Adriatic Sea (west) and Serbia (east). Italy can be found across the Adriatic Sea.
With its estimated 4 million plus populace, Croatia boasts of a few languages that are currently being used by its citizens. The official language is Croatian but you can still find several of its towns that utilize the following languages – Istriot, Italian, Romanian, and Venetian. The Dalmatian language is considered extinct while for those that suffering from hearing disability can rely on the Croatian sign language. The local denizens are referred to as Croats and they comprise almost 90% of the total population. The balance of 10% is composed of at least 20 minority groups with the Serbs having the predominant percentage at almost 5%.
Historically, Croatia allied itself as part of some Kingdoms such as Hungary and Yugoslavia in the early 20th century but its independence was officially announced in 1991. A war ensued between the Croats and the Serbian rebels after the former’s declaration of independence, which ended only in 1995 when the Dayton Agreement was signed. Today, the country enjoys a government that espouses a Democratic republic system of governance. Majority of the Croats practice the Catholic religion hence their official holidays observe the usual Catholic celebrations like Easter, All Saint’s day, Christmas, and New Year’s day, among others.
The alphabet being utilized in Croatia is in Latin. It has an impressive literacy rate set at a high 97% and it has produced a few famous scientists and inventors as well as renowned artists. The parachute and the fountain pens are the inventions attributed to Croatia. The literacy level, however, should be used by the country to its advantage to reduce its unemployment rate of 11.9% as reported in 2006. Croatia’s economy is heavily dependent on its services industry as it eats up the bulk of its recorded GDP of at least 2/3 or 67%. Shipbuilding is its top sector but tourism is another area, which the government is concentrating on to change the current mix of revenue contributions.
Croatia enjoys a rich and diverse culture. It is popular for its national parks and is a principal tourist attraction. The weather differs among the three geographical segments and the strong winds experienced each year impacts greatly on the climatic conditions in each area. Temperature changes are influenced by the following factors – altitude, land and sea formations, to mention a few. Nonetheless, those who have experienced the changing weather in this country notes that the winter season is not that cold or the summer period not that hot and humid.