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Thursday 30th March
Croatia Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Croatia is bordered by Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Its long Adriatic coastline has over a thousand islands and islets - some of the larger islands are Brac, Krk, Cres, Hvar, Korcula and Mljet.

Zagreb is Croatia's capital city. Its seaports are Dubrovnik, Ploce, Pula, Rijeka, Sibenik, Split and Zadar.

The Croatian landscape includes mountains and highlands, areas of karst (limestone), plains, rugged coastline and islands. The main rivers are the Sava, Drava and Danube. Other rivers are the Mirna, the Rasa, the Zrmanja, the Krka and the Cetina.

Croatia has hot summers and cold winters. In winter it is milder along the Adriatic coast, particularly on the island of Hvar, known for its good weather.

Environment
Croatia has a beautiful rugged terrain. Fields of lavender, vines, olive trees, peach trees, laurel and cypresses are all part of Croatia's landscape.

A system of National Parks has been established to protect the country's flora and fauna. The parks include the National Park on the island of Mljet, Kornati National Park, Krka, and the Plitvice Lakes.

A number of sites in Croatia are listed by Ramsar as Wetlands of International Importance: Crna Mlaka, Delta Neretve, Kopacki Rit and Lonjsko Polje and Mokro Polje (including Krapje Djol). The wetlands are important nesting areas and staging points for spring and autumn migrant birds.

Wildlife found in Croatia includes bats, foxes, deer, lynx, wild sheep and bears. The country's coastal waters are inhabited by a variety of fish, dolphins and other sea creatures.

Architecture
The architecture of the Dalmatian towns of Croatia are a reflection of Croatia's history. Traditional stone houses, with red tiled roofs, stand along the Adriatic coastline, together with architectural gems of the past and modern hotel complexes of the late twentieth century.

The town of Stari Grad on Hvar dates back to the Greek colony of Pharos (385 BC). Other islands, such as Rab and Krk, have been inhabited since early times and have examples of Roman and medieval buildings. The islands of Hvar and Korcula were both Venetian naval strongholds and at different times housed the Venetian Arsenal.

Hvar, a well preserved medieval city, has a particularly fine sixteenth century Renaissance cathedral, the Cathedral of St Stephen, which stands to one side of the town's main square.

On the mainland, the ruins of the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (a UNESCO World Heritage site) can be seen in Split. Further down the coast stands the historic town of Dubrovnik, another World Heritage site.

Population
The population of Croatia was estimated at 4,489,410 in 2009.

Languages
Croatian is the official language.

Religion
The largest percentage of the people are Roman Catholic. Over four percent are members of the Orthodox Church.

Food
Croatian cuisine includes seafoods from the coastal waters and meat dishes such as cevapcici (sausage-shaped minced meat), raznijici (grilled meat on skewers), sarma (minced rice and meat rolled in cabbage leaves) and djuvec (stew).

Bread and salad accompany most meals. Palacinke (pancakes) are a favourite dessert.

Popular drinks are beer, wine, slivovica (plum brandy) and Turkish coffee.

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