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Croatia is a parliamentary democracy at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean. With an estimated population of 4.3 million in 2011, it is divided into 20 counties and the City of Zagreb, its capital and largest city. The focal Croatian economic assets include the Adriatic coast, substantial agricultural areas, and significant fresh water resources, along with the traffic infrastructure.
Croatia can be divided into three geographically distinct zones: the Coastal region; the Mountain region; and the Pannonian region. Its terrain composes of rocky coastlines, flat plains along the Hungarian border, densely wooded mountains, lakes, and rolling hills.
Among the 8,216 square kilometers of protected areas of nature are eight National parks, eleven Nature parks and numerous other reserves.
The country’s rich cultural heritage that endured the Roman, Venetian, Italian and Austro-Hungarian rule is evident in its architecture, which offers outstanding examples ranging from pre-Roman, Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and modern architecture.
The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal Tito.
Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. An armed conflict accompanied the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and Croatia fought the Homeland War from 1991-1995.
In April 2009, Croatia joined NATO; and on 1 July 2013 became the 28th member of the European Union.
Currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK). For current exchange rates, visit Croatian National Bank (HNB).
Time Zone: CET (GMT +1 Standard Time)
Telephone Country Code: +385
Emergency Toll-free Number: 112
Telephone Directory: 11888
With 796,000 inhabitants, Zagreb is the country’s administrative, cultural, academic and economic centre.
Zagreb Metropolitan Area Population: 1.1 million
Major Cities: Split, Osijek, Rijeka, Zadar, Pula, Dubrovnik
Population: 4,3 million (2011 Census)
Population by Religion: Catholics (86,3 %), Orthodox (4,4 %), Muslims (1,5 %)
Total Area: 88,073 square km
Land Area: 56,594 square km
Territorial sea area: 31,479 square km
Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics (Zagreb, 2015)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Total: $ 57,22 billion (2014)
Gross National Income (GNI)
Per capita: $13,020 (2014)
Source: The World Bank
Croatia's climate is mostly continental in the north and east, and Mediterranean along the coast, while its highest peaks in the south-central region have a mountain climate, which includes snowfall.
Average temperatures in the continental interior are: January -2 to 0˚C, with somewhat lower temperatures at the highest altitudes; August approximately 20˚C, with around 12˚C at the highest altitudes.
Average temperatures on the Adriatic Coast are: January -5 to 9˚C, August -22 to 25˚C. The sea temperature in winter is 12˚C and approximately 25˚C in summer.
See Croatian National Tourist Board for more information on Croatia.