Kornati National Park (1980), south of Šibenik and Zadar, encompasses an archipelago of about one hundred islands and islets. Enchanted by the beauty of its landscape, the Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw wrote: 'On the last day of the Creation, God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath'.

The most popular sports in Croatia are football, basketball, handball and water polo. According to the FIFA rankings in June 2013, the Croatian football team ranks 4th in the world, behind Spain, Germany and Argentina.

Library of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. In 2011–12 there were nearly 153,000 students enrolled in higher education in Croatia, while more than 36,400 completed their second cycle of graduate studies. In addition, 1,229 graduated as university specialists and 1,072 obtained the title of doctor.

Ivan Meštrović, Fountain of Life, a sculpture in front of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. Life expectancy in Croatia is 80 years for women and 73 years for men.

About 60% of the population live in urban centres, and one in four live in one of the four largest cities (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek).

Between Venice, Vienna and Pest

In the Great (Viennese) War (1683–99), large parts of Croatia and Slavonia were liberated from Ottoman rule and the border of the Dubrovnik Republic was finally determined. The Venetian Republic, which had established ...

Judicial power

Judicial power is exercised by the courts, which are autonomous and independent. According to the law, bodies of state authority are obliged to protect the Constitution and laws confirmed by the legal order of the Republic of Croatia and to guarantee the uniform ...

Croatia in union with Hungary

After the death of the last member of the Trpimirović dynasty, King Stjepan II, there was a battle for the throne in Croatia, which ended with the election of the Hungarian king, Coloman from the Arpad dynasty, and the contracting of ...

The Diaspora

Among European countries, Croatia has one of the most marked and longest traditions of emigration. The first great waves of emigration began as far back as the 15th century, due to the Ottoman threat from the southeast. The results of such ...

Emergence of Croatia

The first Slavic tribes arrived in the area which is modern-day Croatia in the 6th and 7th centuries, during the Migration Period. Among them were the Croats, who are mentioned in sources in connection with a wider area, but were ethnically most ...

Language

The Croatian language belongs to the South Slavic group of languages. It is the official language of the Republic of Croatia, and is also spoken by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia (Vojvodina), Montenegro (Bay of Kotor), Austria ...

The Prehistoric period

The earliest traces of human presence on Croatian soil date back to the Palaeolithic Age. In Šandalja Cave near Pula, and in Punikve near Ivanec, flints made by pre-Neanderthal people have been found, while the remains of Neanderthal prehistoric ...

Croatia in brief

Croatia has been present on the contemporary international political stage since its independence from the Yugoslav Federation, i.e. for a little over two decades, but in terms of history and culture, is one of the oldest European countries ...