Croatia, formally known as The Republic of Croatia, is a country located near the Adriatic Sea, the Balkan Mountain range and the Pannonian plain. To the east of Croatia lies Montenegro and Serbia, to the north Hungary and Slovenia and along its southeastern border lies Herzegovina and Bosnia. The country is 21,851 square miles in total area with a population of just under 4.5 million people in all. The language spoken here is Croatian, a South Slavic language, one of many in the Balkan region. Zagrab is both the largest city in Croatia and the seat of its capital.

While many archaeologists state that the region today known as Croatia was inhabited thousands of years ago, Croats, the original Croatian people, settled in here in the 7th century AD and organized the first true governments of the land. Many fossils remain here from the Neanderthal and Neolithic eras of pre-history which place Croatia high on the list of important places for those interested in the study of early humans who flourished just after the last Ice Age. As with much of the rest of the region, many different cultures have flourished in Croatia from time to time, each leaving their specific imprint on the land and its people, but unlike many other of its neighbors, Croatia was also once its own kingdom. The rich cultural history is a big part of what draws visitors to this land and its museums are some of the most important in the world when it comes to prehistoric and medieval European history and artifacts.

Geographically Croatia resembles the shape of a horseshoe. There are many diverse terrains throughout the country such as plains, rocky coast lines and dense wooded mountain areas. Croatia is well-known for the many national parks it features, many of which attract the growing tide of ecotourists who come to the Balkans each year. There are a huge number of caves here, many of which extend quite deep with the deepest one known to man reaching a full 3,280 feet into the Earth. 

Croatia’s economic is quite well diversified with a heavy emphasis on service, followed by industry. There are shipbuilding, pharmaceutical and other large production businesses thriving here, but it is tourism that is really growing. A full 11 million people visit Croatia each year to enjoy its scenic beauty and this has lead it to be ranked as the 18th most popular destination in the world.

Filed Under: The Balkans

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