Geographical position: Croatia extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowlands and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central region is covered by the Dinara mountain range, and its southern parts extend to the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Surface: the mainland covers 56,542 km2, and the surface of the territorial sea is 31,067 km2.
Population: 4,437,460 inhabitants; composition of population: the majority of the population are Croats; national minorities are Serbs, Slovenes, Hungarians, Bosnians, Italians, Czechs and others.
Capital: Zagreb (779,145 inhabitants), the economic, traffic, cultural and academic centre of the country.
Coastline: 5,835 km of which 4,058 km comprise a coastline of islands, solitary rocks and reefs. Number of islands, solitary rocks and reefs: 1,185; the largest islands are Krk and Cres; there are 50 inhabited islands.
Highest peak: Dinara: 1,831 m above sea level.
Climate: There are two climate zones; a temperate continental climate, locally also a mountainous climate, prevails in the interior, whereas a pleasant Mediterranean climate prevails along the Adriatic coast, with an overwhelming number of sunny days, dry and hot summers, mild and humid winters; average temperature in the inland: January 0 to 2°C, August 19 to 23°C; average temperature at the seaside: January 6 to 11°C, August 21 to 27 °C; the temperature is about 12°C in winter, and 25°C in summer.
Currency: kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas; cheques can be cashed in banks.
Croatia is situated close to densely populated and industrially developed European countries. Many internationally important transport routes cross Croatia. The importance of the geographical position of the Republic of Croatia is also enhanced by the Adriatic Sea, the northernmost gulf of the Mediterranean which is the closest to the central part of the European continent.
The most important routes are centered along the Sava river, the Adriatic and the Drava river; there are also several important transversal routes from the Austrian and Hungarian border to the Adriatic coast (to Rijeka and Split).
Croatia extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowlands and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central region is covered by the Dinara mountain range, and its southern parts extend to the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The area of Croatia can be divided into three major natural and geographic parts:
The Pannonian and Peri-Pannonian area comprises the lowland and hilly parts of eastern and northwestern Croatia; mountains higher than 500 m are rare and of an insular character. Most of this area is being used for farming and livestock breading. Slavonija and Baranja in the east are the most suiotable for growing cereals; the humid valleys and the hills are richly afforested while the northwestern part, which gravitates to Zagreb, is industrially the most developed.
The hilly and mountainous area, which separates Pannonian Croatia from its coastal part, is less developed. Its future development will be based on its transit importance, the growth of the already existing wood and timber industry, and the still underexploited potential for the production of healthy food, and winter and rural tourism.
The Adriatic Area includes the narrow coastal belt separated from the hinterland by high mountains. This is predominantly a karst area with very dry summers. The few streams mainly follow narrow gorges in breaking their way through to the sea. The Croatian coastal area may further be divided into the northern (Istria nad Kvarner) and southern part (Dalmatia). It also lends itself to a longitudinal division into the islands, the coast proper and the immediate hinterland.
Croatia is located between East and West Europe and have been used during centuries as a transit country. Thereby several cultures came in contact with each other. Several cultural influences have contributed to the history of the country.
The history of Croatia returns almost as far as humanity himself. Current Croatia was inhabited in pre Historic period by the Illyrics. It was incorporated in 35 before Christ by Octavianus as Pannonian, which was a part of the Roman empire. In the 7th century Croatia was conquered by Slavonian tribes. In the 10 th century Tomislav (king in 924) made himself and Croatia independent. Also at that time Venice conquered the coast area. The influence of Italian construction art is still visible in the Croatian coast places.