Thanks to its beautiful Adriatic coast, stunning national parks and sunny climate, Croatia has become a popular tourist destination. However, a vast majority of more than 11 million visitors who come to visit Croatia every year are from other European countries (particularly from Germany, Czech Republic and Italy), which is why Croatia remains relatively unknown for people from other parts of the world. Yet, as you will find out in this post, this little Slavic country should definitely be on every world traveler´s bucket list. To learn more about Croatia, its history, nature, culture and people, check out these 25 intriguing facts about Croatia you probably didn’t know.
Occupying a total area of just about 57,000 sq km (22,000 sq mi), Croatia is a small country but it has over 1200 islands and islets, 48 of which are permanently inhabited.
Nikola Tesla, the famous Serbian-American inventor, was born in the Croatian town of Smiljan. In 1856, the area was a part of the Austrian Empire.
Located in Northwestern Croatia, Hum is officially listed as the world´s smallest town. It has a population of about 20 people.
Dalmatia, one of the four historical regions of Croatia, is the home of the Dalmatian – a popular dog breed noted for its unique black and white coloration.
Croatian money is named after a little mammal. Their currency is called “kuna” which means “marten”. The origin of the name dates back to times when trappers traded marten´s furs so widely that the animal became synonymous with the money itself.
Located in Central Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe. It is famous for unique rock formations, turquoise lakes, caves and breathtaking waterfalls.
Once home to bloody Roman gladiator fights, the amphitheater in Pula, Northwestern Croatia, is one of just three preserved ancient amphitheaters in the world.
The island of Hvar off the Dalmatian Coast is the island with the most hours of sunshine in Europe – it basks in more than 2,800 hours of sunshine a year.
Croatia is mainly known as a seaside destination but it also has beautiful mountains and excellent hiking trails. With a height of 1,831 m (6,007 ft), Dinara is the highest peak in the country.
The world’s first torpedo was constructed in Rijeka, the third largest city of Croatia. Ivan Luppis (also known as Ivan Vukic) developed the first prototypes of self-propelled torpedo in 1866.
An enchanting historical city located in Southern Dalmatia, Dubrovnik was the main filming location in Croatia for King’s Landing, a fictional city in Game of Thrones, the famous television series.
The Croats invented the necktie. Croatian soldiers had begun tying identifying scarves around their necks by the early 1600s and other nations soon adopted this practice.
The Master of Horror, Alfred Hitchcock once said that the seaside town of Zadar in Dalmatia has the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
Croatia is home to the world´s largest truffle. In 1999, the record-breaking truffle was found in Istria, Northern Croatia. The truffle weighed in staggering 1.31kg (2.9 lb).
Croatia boasts one of the most renowned and spectacular beaches in the world. The Zlatni Rat (translated as the Golden Cape) is a spit of land located off the harbor town of Bol on the southern coast of the Brac Island.
Croatian coins are named after the lime tree. One Kuna is divided into 100 Lipas, which is the Croatian name for the lime tree.
The Croats are great at sports. At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Croatia won the biggest haul of gold medals in Europe per capita.
The Island of Brac has one of the weirdest tourist attractions in the world – a house inside another house. In the 19th century, three brothers decided to build a big house around a smaller house that belonged to a peasant who did not want to sell it to the brothers.
A famous adventurer, merchant and renowned world traveler Marco Polo (1254 – 1324) is believed to come from the Korcula Island in Southern Croatia.
White stone mined from the island of Brac was used to build the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian in Split, Croatia and the limestone columns of the White House in Washington, D.C.
In 2011, Forbes magazine ranked Croatia in the top 12 world best retirement havens.
The Croats love to make and drink wine. There are more than 300 geographically defined wine producing areas in this country.
Croatia values its beautiful nature. Almost 10% of the country consists of national parks, nature reserves and protected areas.
Croatia has extensive cultural and natural heritage. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country and the Croats also hold ten of UNESCO's World's intangible culture masterpieces – the highest number in Europe (they shared the top spot with the Spaniards).
Croatia is a hot-spot for celebrities to invest their money in property. Superstars including Steven Spielberg, Andre Agassi, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Jay Z, Clint Eastwood, Bill Gates, Roman Abramovic, Bernie Ecclestone and others have all purchased properties for residential and business here.
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