Croatia – Historically Summarized… Briefly.

April 10, 2016 2:10 pm Published by Dubrovnik - Pearl of Adriatic
Introduction Croatia or officially the Republic of Croatia is a Mediterranean Country located in South-Eastern Europe with a population of 4.8 million people. It is divided into five main regions namely Slavonia, Central Croatia, Israel, Dalmatia, Kvarner, and the capital is at Zagreb. Due to the fact that the map of Croatia has an unusual shape; looking like a bird with outstretched wings and its coastline is scattered with 1180 islands and islets, Croatia is regularly referred to as the “pearl of the Adriatic Sea”.
History of Croatia In the 7th century, a Slavic people known as Croats migrated to the modern day Croatia and settled in Dalmatia. They later expanded inland until they were conquered by the “Franks” in the 9th century. The “Franks” converted most Croats to Christianity and the first Christian Croat King Tomislav was crowned. Eventually the Romans swept through and conquered Croatia in the 12th century. They made Salona (Solin) their capital, built roads in Porec, Aqueducts, and Amphitheatres in Pula and infrastructure in Zadar. The entire area became part of the Roman Empire and one of its famous Emperor; Emperor Diocletius built a magnificent palace in Split.
Emergence of Ottoman Turks The rise of the Ottoman Empire brought a fresh threat. The Ottomans started to advance and by the 16th century, controlled most of Croatia. Most of the interior fell to the Turks, only the coast and Dubrovnik remained independent from Ottoman rule.  After the Turks lost the Siege of Vienna in 1683, and were again defeated at the battle of Petervaradino, they relinquished their grip on Croatia which then fell under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Nationalism Throughout the 19th century, nationalism grew and Croats craved for autonomous unity within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 gave them their wish. Croatia declared independence, but later choose to stay with the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The new state was later renamed Yugoslavia in 1929 by King Alexander.
WWII On April 6th 1941, the Germans invaded the Kingdom and installed the puppet nationalistic Ustashe party in power in Zagreb. Croatia was liberated by the partisans in 1945 and calls of nationalism re-emerged.
Emergence of Tito In 1944, communist leader, Tito was made the Prime Minister and leader of Yugoslavia. After the war, Tito attempted to reconcile the uneasy ethnic factions in the country. When Tito died in 1980, ethnic tensions rose again when Serbian, Slobodan Milosevic, became president of Yugoslavia in 1989 after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Many Croats feared the rise of Serbian nationalism and in May 1990, held elections, declared independence and sought to leave Yugoslavia.
The Independence War When Croatia declared independence in 1991, the Serbian community in the Krajina Region seceded from Croatia, taking away a third of Croatian territory. The Yugoslav Federal Army, on the pretext of protecting Serbs living in Croatia, invaded Croatia and a long war begun. The walled Adriatic city of Dubrovnik was mercilessly shelled by Serbian forces.
Modern Day Croatia The War ended in 1995 and all of Croatia was reunited in 1998. Croatia join EU in 2013 and has been flourishing since then. Tourism remains a mainstay of the economy. No matter where you go in Croatia, you’ll find people eager to welcome tourists after the grueling war of the early 1990s.  
Major sights to see include Dubrovnik, “Pearl of the Adriatic” with magnificent walls, paved in marble, Amphitheatre in Pula and Diocletian’s palace in Split.
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