According to franciscogardening, Croatia is located in Central Europe, bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia. With an area of 56,594 square kilometers, it has an estimated population of over 4 million people and its currency is the Croatian Kuna (HRK). The climate in Croatia is mainly Mediterranean with temperatures ranging from 12°C to 22°C throughout the year.
The main industries in Croatia are agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Agriculture plays a key role as it provides food for both domestic consumption and export while tourism has become increasingly important due to its stunning landscapes, rich history and vibrant culture which attract tourists from all over the world. Manufacturing also contributes significantly to their economy by providing goods for export. Services are also becoming increasingly important due to their growing population and economy.
According to Countryaah, in the 6th century, the Croatians immigrated from Belarus, an area that is now part of Ukraine, and settled in the valleys south of the Danube. From there they continued to the Adriatic Sea, where in 614 they conquered the heavily fortified Roman city of Salerno. After settling in the former Roman provinces of Panonia and Dalmatia, a period of independent Croatian development began.
The Croatian peasantry retained their original way of life, but in the 7th century the Croats converted to Christianity; the entire Nin region gathered under a diocese. Immediately thereafter, Croatians were allowed at religious ceremonies.
In the 8th century, the Croatian tribes were organized into larger units, and the two duchies of Panonia and Dalmatia were founded. After the peace settlement in 812 between the Franks and the Byzantines, the Panonia became subject to the Franks and Dalmatia became subject to the Byzans. Both duchies detached themselves in the 9th century and united at the end of the century in the first, independent Croatian kingdom.
Tomislav and his descendants had to defend themselves against the Bulgarian empire in Panonia and against Venice on the Dalmatian coast. Byzans assisted Stjepan Drzislav, 969-997, in the defense against Venice, thereby regaining the lost influence in the Adriatic. Petar Kresimir, 1058-1074, severed relations with Byzans and strengthened ties with the papacy. During this period, Croatia experienced its heyday.
Under Kresimir’s rule, the country remained divided into two camps: a Latin, who was in favor of the king, and a national opposition, with wide popular support. When Dimitrije Zvonimir, at the invitation of the Pope, tried to engage the kingdom in a war against the Turks, the opposition accused him of being the pope’s henchmen and he was assassinated in 1089. The subsequent civil war became the beginning of the fall of the kingdom.
Byzan’s captured Dalmatia; then Lazlo took the 1st. of Hungary Panonia and demanded the right to the Croatian throne. In 1094, Lazlo founded a diocese in Zagreb, which quickly became a religious powerhouse. Petar Svavic was declared king of Dalmatia, but the pope interpreted it as a rebellion and asked Kalmán of Hungary to knock it down. He invaded the country and Svavic died in 1097; he was the last king of Croatian blood.
After a protracted war, Kalmán in Pacta signed the convention with Croatian representatives. Only Bosnia, then part of the Croatian kingdom, refused to submit to a foreign ruler. From that point onwards through the next 800 years, Croatia was in alliance with Hungary. Dalmatia joined Venice in 1400, ruling the country for the following 4 centuries.
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Following the defeat of the Croats and Hungarians in the wars against Krbavsko Polje in 1493, and against the Mohacs in 1526, the majority of Panonia and the central part of Hungary were conquered by the Turks.
The Republic of Croatia is one of the sovereign states born from the dissolution of the old Yugoslavia, preserving the territorial surface (56,538 km ²) and the borders of the homonymous pre-existing federated republic within that country. Having proclaimed independence, following a referendum, in 1991, and almost immediately obtained the recognition of the main European states and shortly after that of other countries and international organizations, the new republic was endowed with a presidential constitution.
For Croats, who make up four-fifths of the population, mostly Catholics, it is accompanied by a large Serbian minority (11 – 12 %) of Orthodox religion; with the support of Serbia and Bosnian Serbs, this minority held from 1991 to 1995 – 96under its own armed control some regions of the country (Slavonia, contiguous to Serbia and Bosnia, and the self-proclaimed Serbian Republic of Krajina, a sort of enclave in the Dalmatian hinterland), over which Croatia then re-established its dominion in partly through agreements, partly with bloody military operations, which were followed by exodus and cross-returns of the two ethnic groups. There are also small minorities of Muslims in the country and even smaller groups of Slovenes, Hungarians, Italians and Albanians, mostly near the borders or in any case in the vicinity of their respective countries (the Italians, residue of a much larger community that fled to end of the Second World War, are found mainly in the towns and cities of Croatian Istria and, to a lesser extent, Dalmatia).
Violent conflicts with Serbia also occurred over the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina (see in this Appendix), even if, in recent years, before the NATO intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1999), there had been some signs of relaxation have appeared, with the reopening of railway connections. There are still some disputes with neighboring countries and above all the question of ethnic minorities. All this situation has contributed to keep Croatia away from even a simple association agreement with the European Union, despite the country’s moderate level of economic development.
The population of Croatia (almost 4.5 million residents in 1998) has been decreasing slightly since the early nineties, both as a reflection of internal conflicts and because of the drop in the birth rate.
The capital, Zagreb, an important industrial and tertiary center, is located on the Sava a short distance from the Slovenian border; it has a Central European urban face and counts just over 700. 000 residents. On the other hand, the cities of Spalato (Split), the historical capital of Dalmatia, and of Rijeka (Rijeka), have a predominantly Venetian and Italic aspect, with about 200. 000 residents each; of lesser demographic weight, but with similar urban traditions, are Pola (Pula) in Istria, Zadar (Zadar) and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) in Dalmatia, and various smaller centers.