Croatia

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Croatia - the land of 1000 islands
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CROATIA

Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordering Slovenia in the west. Hungary in the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south; the country also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia has an unusual shape (similar to a croissant) that is unlike any other country in the world, which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman empire towards Central Europe.

FUN FACTS

  • Dubrovnik is an old city that has been famous for centuries. English poet Lord Byron was the first that described Dubrovnik as the “pearl of the Adriatic”. Also the popular TV series Game of thrones has been filmed in this location. Dubrovnik was used as the famous Kings Landing.
  • Croatia is full of natural wonders. Almost 10% of Croatia is made up of 11 nature parks, eight national parks and two nature reserves.
  • Worlds first pipe organ that is played by the seas rhythmic waves is in Zadar.
  • The Sphinx in Split was brought over from Egypt fro Diocletian and is over 4000 years old.
  • Zlatni rat beach changes in shape and color depending on the wind.
  • Roman emperors used to fight there. Amphitheater in Croatia is one of only 3 preserved in the world.
  • It has the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European country.
  • Though UNESCO is best known for compiling a list of World Heritage Sites, which tend to be architectural marvels of worldwide renown, its Intangible Cultural heritage List collects the more ethereal of humanity's traditions, with everything room music, crafts, festivals, cuisine, and other customs considered for inclusion. Crafts such as lace-making, gingerbread baking, and wooden toy carving stand alongside festivals and singing traditions as part of Croatia's intangible cultural heritage.
  • It is home to the worlds smallest town
  • Over in Croatia's northwest, you will find the quiet town of Hum, a sleepy hamlet of cobblestone streets. Population is only 23.

WHY VISIT CROATIA

      1.You can combine beach life with soaring mountains

The Biokovo mountain range countains Croatias second highest peak, but lies just a few miles from the sea.

      2. Its capital is heaven for coffee lovers

      3. The Turquoise Water

      4. The History

Several Stone Ages sites have been discovered all over the country along with numerous caves containing hand made objects from people alive centuries ago. Most towns have historical centers with typical Croatian architecture.

      5. The Food

Croatian food is combination of classic Mediterranean and Italian flavor with a new-world twist. Croatia is also know for its good taste in wine.

      6. The Climate

Croatia has Mediterranean climate, which means mild winters and gorgeous springs and summer seasons. It is also one of the sunniest regions on the Mediterranean basin.

      7. The sunsets

ZAGREB

Zagreb has culture, arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and all the other things that make a quality capital city - its no surprise that the number of visitors has risen sharply in recent years. Croatia's coastal attractions aside Zagreb has finally been discovered as a popular city - break destination in its own right.

Visually, Zagreb is a mixture of straight-laced Austro-Hungarian architecture and rough-around-the-edges socialist structures, its character a sometimes uneasy combination of the two elements. This small metropolis is made for strolling the streets, drinking coffee in the permanently full cafes, pooping into museums and galleries, and enjoying the theaters, concerts and cinema. Its a year-round outdoor city: in spring and summer everyone scurries to Jarun lake in the southwest to swim or sail or dance the night away at lakeside discos, while in winter people go skiing at Mt. Medvednica.

ZAGREB FUN FACTS

      1. Two cities

You would never realize it walking through the upper town today, but Zagreb was once two towns, Kaptol and Gradec. Back then the two were at odds with each other so there was a strip of dangerous “no-mans land” between them, but it is now filled in with buildings and streets that connect them so seamlessly, you would never know they were once separate!

       2. The Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia

There has been reconstruction going on for more than 20 years due to the quality of the limestone it was originally built with. Inside are also 3 large chandeliers on the ceiling that were initially hanging in a casino in Las Vegas. When they were first brought to Zagreb, the church wasn’t sure if they really thought they were right for the cathedral but they hung them up to see how they would look and then just never took them back down.

      3. The upper town has over 200 lamppost, none of which are electric

They are all individually lit every evening and extinguished every morning. For years and years, one man whose now in his 70s has walked around to light and snuff them himself every day and now has an apprentice to help and learn from him.

      4. Along what was once the south wall of Gradec there is a tower called Lotrsack tower.

For over 100 years the cannon at the top has been fired every day at noon.

      5. Zagreb is a city of street art

In the middle of the upper town among buildings that are hundreds of years old right next to the church of St. Catherine, there's a building with a huge mural of a whale.

TOP PLACES IN CROATIA

      1. Krka National Park

Located in Central Dalmatia of Croatia, the Krka National Park is a protected area of spectacular natural scenery, wildlife and historic sites. Situated along the Krka River within Sibinik-Knin County, the national park is best known for its numerous gushing waterfalls and natural pools of clear, blue-green waters. Easily reached from Split, the national park offers well-maintained walkways and boat excursions for getting around. Many trails lead right around the waterfalls, presenting fabulous photo opportunities. Some of the falls plunge into natural pools, which are great for swimming

      2. Zagreb

The capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagreb is a vibrant metropolis packed with both historic and modern attractions. Located in northwestern Croatia, the city dates back to the 11th century when a diocese was first established by Hungarian King Ladislaus. Today, Zagreb is a sprawling cosmopolitan city and the heart of Croatian culture, academics and government. The city is divided into an Upper and Lower Town, with Upper Town being the historic core where tourists can walk down cobblestone streets and visit old, medieval churches and towers.

      3. Korcula

Best known as the alleged birthplace of the famous merchant traveler, Marco Polo, Korcula is a 30 mile island located off Croatia's Adriatic Coast. Korcula is comprised of lush green forests, vineyards, olive groves, sandy beaches and charming villages. The Islands main town, Korcula Town, is a historic, walled town with Venetian Renaissance architecture, colorful markets and plenty of tourist facilities.

      4. Pula

Located at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Pula is a popular destination that has been attracting tourists as far back as ancient Roman times when fans flocked the city's amphitheater to watch gladiator fights. Having been ruled by various government powers over the centuries, Pula today belongs to Croatia, and is best known for its wealth of Roman ruins and mix of cultures.

      5. Zadar

A three thousand-year old city situated on a beautiful coastline rich in history is sure to draw tourists. Such a city is Zadar, located on Croatia's northern Dalmatian Coast. Zadar could be called the ideal tourists getaway because it offers plenty to see and do without all the crowds of other popular destinations in Croatia. At the heart of the city is its Old Town which offers fantastic sightseeing attractions including Roman ruins, medieval architecture and numerous old churches. Besides the Old Town, tourists will find a string of beautiful beaches all along Zadars coastline where they can sunbathe, swim and relax.

      6. Rovinj

Located on Croatia's Istrian peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Rovnj is an archipelago of 20 islands with its Old Town set on a small peninsula. Narrow streets of cobblestone, stairways, arches and other interesting architecture make the Old Town a sightseeing adventure. Some of the Old Towns historic gems include seven medieval city gates, the 12th century town clock and St. Euphemism Basilica, an imposing baroque church packed with many stunning art works. Also worth seeing are the scenic harbor, Carrera Street with its many shops and art galleries, and Grisia Street, which is lined with artists and souvenir vendors.

      7. Split

Nicknamed the “Mediterranean Flower,” Croatia's second-largest city, Spit, is located on a peninsula off the Dalmatian Coast. The citys main attraction is its historic core of beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture of which the Diocletian’s Palace is the crown jewel. Built between 298 and 305 AD, this Roman Emperor palace complex is more like a small city itself with a maye of marble walkways and buildings containing shops, cafes and bars. Outside the historic center, tourists will find plenty to see and do including strolling along the seaside promenade shopping at the lively Green Market and swimming at Bacvice beach.

      8. Plitvice National Park

One of the most beautiful natural wonders in Croatia and all of Europe, the Plitvice National Park consists of several breathtaking lakes, waterfalls and lush forest. The parks most notable features are the 16 interconnecting lakes that are divided into upper and lower clusters. Formed by natural travertine dams, the lakes range in distinct colors from turquoise to blue, green and gray. Visitors can explore the lakes and surrounding area by walking along the assortment of wooden walkways as well as by boat.

      9. Hvar

One of the most popular places to visit in Croatia and in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar is a beautiful Croatian island off the Dalmatian Coast, favored for its landscapes of spectacular beaches, lavender fields and lush vineyard. Hvars main city, Hvar Town, is an attractive city, featuring 13th century walls, marble stone streets, Gothic palaces, stunning churches and an imposing old fortress. The town square is one of Croatia's largest and most beautiful, surrounded by many historic building like the 17th century Arsenal and the Cathedral of St. Stephen. The natural beauty of h/var offers plenty of outdoor recreation, from hiking in the cliffs to swimming in the secluded coves and beaches.

      10. Dubrovnik

Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, the old city of Dubrovnik is one of the prominent places to visit in the Mediterranean. Located at the southern tip of Croatia off the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik was established in the 7th century on maritime trade. With orange rooftop houses sitting in contrast to the blue sky, Dubrovnik presents many sightseeing treasures. The historic district, the Old Town, is stuffed with many historic features such as the old, defensive walls, cobblestone streets, magnificent palaces and stunning churches. Just outside the Old Town are popular beaches like Banje and Lapad, while the nearby island of Lokrum offers even more beaches.

 

TOP PLACES IN ZAGREB

      1. St. Markos Church

This church is the parish church of old Zagreb, Croatia, located in St. Marks Square. It was built in 13th century. Later the church was radically reconstructed and turned into a late Gothic church of the three-nave type.

      2. Trakoscan castle

Castle is located in northern Croatia that dates back to the 13th century and it was a rather small observation fortress for monitoring the road from Ptuj to Bednja Valley. According to a legend, Trakosan was named after another fortification that was alleged to have stood in the same spot back in Antiquity. Another source claims that it was named after the knights of Drachenstein who were in control of the region in early Middle Ages.

      3. Old Town Castle of Varadzin

Varadzinska feudal fortress, from ancient times called Old Town, the most important historical buildings of Varadzin. It is the center of aristocratic estate, owner and legally separate from the free royal town of Varadzin. The present fort was built from 14th until 19th century. Bench and canopy in its ground floor are the most beautiful examples of Gothic secular plastic in the north Croatia.

      4. Zagreb Cathedral

The Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol is a Roman Catholic institution and not only the tallest building in Croatia, but also the most monumental sacral building in Gothic style southeast of the Alps. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and to kings Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus. The cathedral is typically Gothic, as is its sacristy, which is of great architectural value. Its prominent aspires are considered to be landmarks as they are visible from most parts of the city.

      5. Medvedevgrad

Medvedevgrad is a medieval fortified town located on the south slopes of Medvednica mountain, approximately halfway from the Croatian capital Zagreb to the mountain top Sijeme. For defensive purposes it was built on a hill, mali Plazur, that is a spur of the main ridge of the mountain that overlooks the city. On a clear day the castle can be seen from far away, especially the high main tower. Below the main tower of the castle is Oltar Domovine which is dedicated to Croatian soldiers killed in the Croatian War of Independence.

      6. Art Pavilion

The Art Pavilion in Zagreb is an art gallery located in the Lower Town area of the city, south of Nikola Subic Zrinski Square and just north of the King Tomislav Square with the Zagreb Central Station. Established in 1898. it Is the oldest gallery in the Southeast Europe and the only purpose built gallery in Zagreb designed specifically to accommodate large scale exhibitions.

      7. Ban Jelacic Square

Ban Jelacic Square is the central square of the city of Zagreb named after ban Josip Jelacic. The official name is Trg bana Jelacica. The square is colloquially called Jelacic plac. It is located below Zagrebs old city cores Gradec and Kaptol and directly south of the Dolac Market on the intersection of Illica from the west. It is the center of Zagreb Downtown pedestrian zone.

 

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