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25 Fun Facts About Croatia

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There are so many more interesting facts about Croatia than most people realise! This is a country with so much to offer that is steeped in history and culture, making is a fascinating place to visit. But what exactly are the most interesting facts about Croatia? Read on to find out…

Fun Facts About Croatia

Located in the Southeast region of Europe, Croatia is a crescent-shaped country, full of pretty islands and breathtaking national parks. 

Croatia is also one of my personal favourites, due to its rich heritage and vibrant atmosphere. Therefore, I decided to dig deeper into the country’s history, geography, and culture, to gather some lovely facts.

So, in this article, let’s check out 25 amazing facts about Croatia!

1. Croatia Has the World’s Smallest Town

25 Fun Facts About Croatia

This is one of the most intriguing facts about Croatia on the list!

Did you know that Croatia has the world’s smallest town, named Hum? The town is located in central Istria and is just 2.5 hours away from Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. It was built in the 11th century, and is still standing strong!

The Guinness Book of Records has declared Hum as the world’s smallest town, as it has a population of just 20 inhabitants or even less.

2. Galešnjak Is a Heart-Shaped Island in Croatia

These facts about Croatia are for people who love love!

If you ever visit Croatia, don’t forget to visit a heart-shaped island, named Galešnjak. It’s located between Pašman Island and Turanj town in Croatia.

This island is also known as the “Lover’s Island” due to its unique shape. Hence, it is a top destination for honeymoon couples visiting Croatia!

Despite its popularity, Galešnjak is uninhabited. You won’t find any tourist activities on this island as such. But, you can definitely explore the wilderness of the Croatian islands here, along with the pebble beaches.

3. Croatia Has 718 Islands and 389 Islets 

Croatia may seem like a small country in Europe, but these facts about Croatia will surprise you. 

No matter its size, Croatia is home to over 718 islands, 389 islets and 78 reefs! Due to this reason, the Croatian archipelago is the largest in the Adriatic Sea and there is no shortage of beaches in Croatia.

Among these islands, Krk Island is the largest one, with an area of 405.8 square kilometres. 

Other islands such as Cres (405.7 square kilometres), Brac (396 square kilometres), and Hvar (297.4 square kilometres) are also pretty big. Hvar island is also a major tourist destination, due to its energetic nightlife and party scenes. 

You’ll also find many small islands like the Lošinj island, which is just 74.68 square kilometres in area.

4. There Are More Croats Living Outside the Country Than Inside

The Croatian diaspora is quite extensive, as more Croats are living outside the country. 

The reasons behind the extensive emigration involve years of economic and political instability. Therefore, more than four million Croats are living outside Croatia. 

In Europe, the largest number of Croats (750,000) live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whereas the rest live in other countries like Germany and France

You’ll also find many Croats in the US (around 1,200,000), Chile (around  400,000), Australia (around 100,000), and New Zealand (around 100,000). 

5. The Dalmatia Tower Is the Tallest Building In Croatia 

When it comes to Croatia, we all imagine tiny medieval-looking houses. However, these facts about Croatia might prove us wrong!

Unlike the usual medieval-looking houses, Croatia also has many tall buildings, like the Dalmatia Tower, which is the tallest. This building extends up to 110 metres or 360 feet and is used for commercial and hotel purposes. 

Funnily enough, the second tallest building in Croatia is the Zagreb Cathedral, a medieval period cathedral, which was built during the 13th century. It has a height of 108 metres or 354 feet.

6. Croatia Gained Independence in 1991

Before 1991, many countries like Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, etc. were a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In June 1991, Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia, after the majority of citizens voted in favour of splitting from it. 

However, right after that, the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) tried to seize Croatia’s land, which led to the Croatian War of Independence. This war lasted till 1995, after which it became a peaceful and independent nation again. 

Croatia also became a part of the EU in 2013. 

7. The Region of Croatia Is Quite Old 

25 Fun Facts About Croatia

If you love history, then you’ll enjoy these historical facts about Croatia. 

Even though present-day Croatia is a relatively young country, the Croatian territory had been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic Age

Archaeologists found proof of human habitation in the Šandalja Cave, where flints of the pre-Neanderthal people were discovered! They also discovered bones and such remains of Neandertals from other parts of Croatia, like Krapina.

8. Croatia Has Many Beautiful National Parks

Croatia doesn’t just have rich historical monuments, but many natural wonders too. The country has 8 national parks, 11 natural parks, and many protected areas. 

The Plitvice National Park is one of the most popular national parks due to the level of natural beauty it offers! You’ll find many waterfalls here, and 16 lakes. 

Other parks include the Krka National Park, known for the Krka River. There’s a Mjlet National Park in Croatia which also has two lovely saltwater lakes. 

If you’re a diver, you can visit the Kornati National Park, as it’s a collection of 90 islands, and many coral reefs.

9. Croatia Has Several Bilingual People 

These facts about Croatia are about the language of the country. 

The official language of Croatia is standard Croatian. Almost 7 million people from Croatia, and its neighbouring countries speak this language. 

Apart from these, most Croats are multilingual people, as 80% of them know a second language. Generally, 60% of them are well-versed in English, whereas the rest are more fluent in German and Italian. 

10. Game of Thrones Was Shot in Croatia 

Games of Thrones lovers unite because you’re going to love these facts about Croatia!

There are many places in Croatia, where the superhit HBO series, Game of Thrones was shot. Several scenes from the show were shot in Dubrovnik, whereas some scenes were also shot in Split, a seaside city. 

There are other locations in Croatia, like the town Klis and Lokrum Island, where a handful of scenes were shot. 

Apart from Game of Thrones, many other films, like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, were also shot in Croatia.

11. Croatia Has One of the Highest Numbers of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Goods 

If you don’t know, UNESCO Intangible Cultural Goods stand for the unique traditions, cultural practices, skills, and knowledge possessed by a group of people, or individuals.

Croatia is one of the few countries with many UNESCO Intangible Cultural Goods. It has around 17 intangible cultural goods. Some of them include the lace-making tradition of Pag, Ojkanje singing, and Falconry.

12. Dalmatians Originate From Croatia 

If you love dogs, especially Dalmatians, these facts about Croatia are for you!

According to researchers, the origins of Dalmatians can be traced back to modern-day Croatia. 

You can even see the origins of the dog in the breed name, as Dalmatia is a historical region in Croatia. Based on that, it was named as Dalmatian.

13. There Is a Sea Organ in Zadar, Croatia

25 Fun Facts About Croatia

There are some musical facts about Croatia, that you should definitely know.

The town of Zadar, Croatia has a unique sea organ. As the name suggests, it’s a type of organ, but with a little twist. 

Zadar’s sea organ is an architectural piece, and also a musical instrument as it transforms the movement of the waves into music! Isn’t that fascinating? 

The final music piece is a hauntingly beautiful sound of the ocean

14. The Museum of Illusions Was Founded in Croatia

You might’ve heard about the Museum of Illusions in many places (around 35 locations) such as Singapore, Dubai, New York, etc. This museum tricks your brain through the power of optical illusion. 

Well, did you know that the pioneers of this museum are also from Croatia? Two Croats, Roko Živković and Tomislav Pamuković, founders of the Metamorfoza company, launched the Museum of Illusions in 2015, in Zagreb. 

After the launch, The Museum of Illusions went on to become a global success and the largest chain of private museums in the world!

15. Zagorski šTrukli Is the National Dish of Croatia 

Let’s talk some food facts about Croatia because Mediterranean cuisine is one of my favourites!

Croatia has many lip-smacking dishes that you can try. However, if you want to try something truly authentic, you can go for Zagorski šTrukli, the national dish of Croatia.

Zagorski šTrukli is prepared using dough, and various kinds of fillings inside, like cheese. The soft, flaky, and fresh preparation will leave you wanting more. 

16. Croatia Gets 2,700 Hours of Sunlight Annually

It’s time to go sunbathing after reading these facts about Croatia!

As per studies, several islands of Croatia (like Hvar) receive 2,700 hours of sunlight annually. 

When you compare it to other surrounding countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina (2,300 hours) and Hungary (2,100 hours), you’ll realize that Croatia is relatively sunnier. 

17. The Meaning Behind Croatia’s Flag

Croatia’s flag consists of three horizontal bands – red, white, and blue (Pan-Slavic colours). 

Every colour symbolizes something. Red stands for the blood of the Croatian martyrs, whereas white stands for peace. The blue band represents the Adriatic Sea.

The flag also has a coat of arms of Croatia in the middle, which consists of a crown and a red and white checkerboard shield, representing the Kingdom of Croatia.

18. The World’s Largest Truffle Was Found in Croatia 

Truffles are a type of edible spores that grow on an underground fungus. They’re known for adding exotic flavours to the dish, and remain a favourite for many food aficionados!

Now, Croatia is also home to the largest Truffle, named Millennium, as per the Guinness Book of Records. Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Diana discovered it on 2nd November 1999, and realised that it weighed around 1310 grams!

If you’re a football lover, chances are that you already know these facts about Croatia. 

The national sport of Croatia is football, and the country has its own national football team. Also, the Croatian Football Federation governs the national football team.

In previous years, Croatia’s national football team has participated in many international football world cups, like FIFA. It made the country proud by reaching the FIFA finals in 2018! The team has also secured the third position twice, in FIFA 1998 and 2022.

20. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival Is One of the Best Cultural Festivals in  Croatia

25 Fun Facts About Croatia

Croatia is known for its lively parties and festivals. So, if you love to party, don’t miss out on these cultural facts about Croatia. 

Croatia organizes many cultural festivals. However, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is one of the best and the most popular ones. 

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is conducted annually in the summer months (July – August) in the town of Dubrovnik. The festival gives rise to many artistic performances, related to opera, theatre, ballet, and even traditional folk dances.

21. The Zlatni Rat Beach in Croatia Changes in Shape and Position as per the Wind

Here’s one of the most fascinating facts about Croatia!

You might already know that Croatia has many beaches. But, there’s one unique beach, Zlatni Rat Beach, known for undergoing a unique phenomenon. 

Zlatni Rat Beach, also known as the Golden Cape or Golden Cape, is located on Brac Island. Every year this beach moves by 20 degrees and also stretches for around 30 cm as a result of longshore drift.

22. There Is a “European Wall of China” in Croatia 

You might have heard about the Great Wall of China, but have you heard of the European Wall of China? Well, if you haven’t, these facts about Croatia will tell you more about it!

Croatia has the second-longest-preserved fortification system, the Walls of Ston, after the Great Wall of China. 

The Walls of Ston protect the city of Ston, located in Dalmatia, Croatia. The construction of these walls started in 1358 and got completed by the 15th Century.  

23. Croatia Has One of the Highest Literacy Rates

There are some countries that have a 100% literacy rate, and Croatia cuts pretty closely. So, let’s discuss some literacy facts about Croatia.

In 2021, Croatia had a literacy rate of 99.80%! Therefore, the majority of the country is well-educated and can read and write. 

24. Rijeka Was Considered the European Capital of Culture in 2020

The European Capital of Culture is a title given to one or more than one cities of the EU. These cities can showcase their culture through various cultural events, festivals, and performances. 

In 2022, Rijeka, a town in Croatia, was considered the European Capital of Culture. Hence, the city hosted several cultural exhibitions, festivals, and events, to promote the city’s heritage. 

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they had to shift certain events online. 

25 Fun Facts About Croatia

In recent years, Croatia has become a famous tourist destination in Europe. 

According to this report, it is the fifth most desirable destination in the EU. It even left behind other popular countries like Switzerland, Austria, and Scotland.

Also, in 2022 itself, the tourism industry contributed 13.1 billion euros to Croatia! It’s a 44% increase, compared to the earnings of 3.9 billion euros in 2021. 

Further Reading – Facts About Croatia

For most of us, Croatia is all about sunny islands, historical places, and mesmerizing nightlife. However, you might’ve realized that there’s more to the country than what we see on Instagram. So, I hope these facts about Croatia helped you learn more about the beautiful country. 

If you want to get more information on Croatia, you can check out my other articles too!

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