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Facts about Croatia

Basic facts about Republic of Croatia.

Official Name
The flag
The national anthem
The coat of arms
Capital
Political System
Government Officials
Area & Population
Population of Major Cities
The Language
Alphabet
Religion
Public
Holidays
Monetary unit
Climate
Formalities
Custom
Health Service
Roads
Railways
Airports
Ship connections
Oil and Gas
Telecommunications
Post Offices
Banking
Finance
Working Hours
Prices
Emergency Telephones
Electricity
Tap Water
Start Amadeus Code
Souvenirs
TV and Radio
Official Name

Republika Hrvatska (Republic Of Croatia)

The flag

Croatian FlagThe flag of the Republic of Croatia consists of three colors: red, white and blue, with the historical Croatian coat of arms in the center. The length is twice the width. Its colors, in the order red, white and blue are laid horizontally, each one third the width of the flag. The coat of arms is placed in the center of the flag so that the upper part of the coat of arms (the crown) overlaps the red field of the flag, and the bottom part overlaps the flag's blue field. The center of the coat of arms is placed at the point where the diagonals of the flag meet.

At the time of the Croatian national renaissance the Illyrian traditional jackets also were most often red, white or blue. All three colors were also part of the ceremonial inaugural uniform of Viceroy Josip Jelacic in 1848. The tricolor flag (red-white-blue) from the same year was also preserved. The flag is a symbol of the Croatian national reformers' striving for the unification of the Croatian lands.

The national anthem

The national anthem of the Republic of Croatia is "Lijepa Nasa Domovina" ("Our Beautiful Homeland"). The author of the lyrics is Antun Mihanovic. The lyrics were first printed in Danica ("The Morning Star") magazine in 1835 under the title "Hrvatska Domovina" ("Croatian Homeland"). It became the Croatian anthem under the name "Lijepa Nasa" ("Our Beautiful").

Josip Runjanin wrote the score to Mihanovic's lyrics during his service in Glina in 1846. V. Lichtenegger harmonized and wrote down Runjanin's score in 1861. The song was first sung as the national anthem in 1891, at an exhibition held by the Croatian-Slavonian Economic Society in Zagreb.

Lijepa Nasa Domovina (Our Beautiful Homeland)
Lijepa Nasa Domovino,
Oj junacka zemljo mila,
Stare slave djedovino,
Da bi vazda sretna bila!
Mila, kano si nam slavna,
Mila si nam ti jedina,
Mila kuda si nam ravna,
Mila kuda si planina!

Teci Savo, Dravo teci,
Nit ti, Dunav, silu gubi!
Sinje more, svijetu reci,
Da svoj narod Hrvat ljubi!
Dok mu njive sunce grije,
Dok mu hrasce bura vije,
Dok mu mrtve grobak krije,
Dok mu zivo srce bije.

The coat of arms


Coat of ArmThe coat of arms of the Republic of Croatia is a historical Croatian coat of arms in the shape of a shield. The checkered pattern has twenty five alternating red and white (argent) fields, so that the left upper corner of the shield is red. Above the shield is a crown with five peaks, which touches the sinister and the dexter chief (left and right upper ends) of the shield, bending in a slight arch. The crown is divided into five small shields with historical Croatian coat of arms, in the following order, from left to right: the oldest known Croatian coat of arms, then the coat of arms of the Dubrovnik Republic, Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia.

 

The height of the smaller fields in the crown is 2.5 times the size of the fields in the main shield, while the width of both sets of fields are the same.

The oldest known Croatian coat of arms has a yellow (golden) six-pointed star and a white (argent) new moon on a blue shield. The coat of arms of the Dubrovnik Republic has two red beams on a navy blue shield. The Dalmatian coat of arms has three yellow (golden) crowned leopard's heads on a navy blue shield. The Istrian coat of arms has a yellow (golden) goat with red hoofs and horns facing left, on a navy blue shield. The Slavonian coat of arms has two horizontal white (argent) beams on a blue sheild. Between the beams there is a red field with a marten in motion facing left. There is a yellow (golden) six-pointed star in the chief blue field. The entire coat of arms is trimmed by a red line.
The Croatian coat of arms was presented for the first time on the Habsburg genealogy of 1508-1512. It is believed that this coat of arms appeared even earlier than that. It was also found on a memorial taler of 1525 and on the seal of the Croatian Electoral Assembly in Cetina on January 1, 1527, when Ferdinand 1 was elected the King of Croatia.

Capital

Zagreb (1991 census pop. 960,000)

Other major cities are Split (pop. 206, 612) the main city in Dalmatcia, Rijeka (pop. 205,836) the most important port in the country, Osijek (164,577)the largest city in Slavonia, Pula (84,606) a major port and prime city in Istria, Zadar (134,881), Sibenik (84,435), and Dubrovnik (70,672) are all large medieval cities and cultural centers in southern Croatia.

Political System

Parliamentary democracy.

Government Officials
President: Ivo Josipovic
see: www.predsjednik.hr
Prime Minister: Jadranka Kosor
see: www.vlada.hr
Chairman of the Parliament: Luka Bebic
see: www.sabor.hr
Area & Population
Total Area: 56.538 sq km
Length of Coastline (mainline) 1778 km
Area of Coastline (islands) 4012 km
Number of Islands and Isles 1185 (66 inhabitated)
The Following Are A Few Of The Many Larger Croatian Islands:
  • Krk 410 sq. km.
  • Cres 404 sq. km.
  • Brac 396 sq. km.
  • Hvar 298 sq. km.
  • Pag 287 sq. km.
  • Korcula 273 sq. km.
  • Dugi Otok 117 sq. km.
  • Mijet 98 sq. km
  • Rab 93 sq. km.
  • Vis 90 sq. km.

Population (1991. census) 4.784.265
Population Density: 84,6%
Ethnic composition
(1991. census):
78,10% Croats
12,16% Serbs
2,22% Yugoslavs
0,91% Muslims
0,47% Hungarians
0,47% Slovenes
0,45% Italians
5,22% others

 

Population of Croatia's major cities

(according to 1991. census)

Zagreb 953.607 Sibenik 85.002
Vinkovci 98.445 Zadar 136.572
Split 207.147 Sisak 84.348
Varazdin 94.373 Cakovec 119.866
Rijeka 206.229 Vukovar 84.189
Pula 85.326 Slavonski Brod 114.249
Osijek 165.253 Karlovac 81.319

Vital statistics

Year Live Births Marriages Deaths Growth Rate per 1,000
1990 55,651 28,938 52,569 0.7
1991 51,829 21,583 54,832 -0.63
1992 46,970 22,169 51,800 -1.01

 

The Croatian language

The Croatian language and the Latin script are in official use in the Republic of Croatia. The oldest written monument is "The Plaque of Baka" from the 11 th century. The first used scripts were the Glagolitic and Cyrillic script but the Latin script prevailed since the 14th century. The issue of language has always been a political issue of the greatest importance in Croatia. The Croatian language has always been juxtaposed to German, Hungarian, Italian and Latin, but preserved its identity. Serbs take as their standpoint the thesis that the language of Croats and that of Serbs is unitary ("Serbo-Croatian"). Croatian attempts to achieve linguistic emancipation along with independence and national freedom go back to the middle of the 19th century but the name and the use of the Croatian language was first guaranteed in the Constitution of 1990.

Alphabet

Roman

Religion
Roman Catholic: 76, 5%
Orthodox: 11,1%
Islam: 1, 2%
Protestant: 1, 4%
Atheists: 3, 9%
Others of unknown: 6, 9%
Public holidays

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

January 1- New Year's Day

January 6 - Epiphany

Easter and Easter Monday

May 1- Labour Day

May 30 - Statehood Day

June 22 - Day of Antifascist Victory

August 5 - Homeland Thanksgiving Day

August 15 - Assumption of Mary

November 1 - All Saints Day

December 25, 26 - Christmas Holidays

 

Non-working days
- for the members of the Jewish community Rosh Hashanah,
Yom Kipur
- for the members of the Muslim community Kurbam Bayram
Monetary Unit

Croatian Kuna (HRK 1 = 100 Lipa) is the official Croatian currency. Paper money comes in the following denominations; HRK 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000, and 50 Lipa. Exchange rates offered in the exchange offices are adjusted to the world exchange rates and domestic offer. Exchange rates are also published in the daily press and by financial institutions that display them in visible places. Foreign and local currencies can be exchanged in banks and exchange offices. Travel agencies and banks have their branch offices at border-crossings. The exchange rate fluctuation is around 1 %.

Who Is On The Kuna Bill

  • 5 kn - Ban (Viceroy) Peter Zrinski and Knez (Duke) Fran Krsto Frankopan
  • 10 kn - Juraj Dobrila
  • 20 kn - Ban (Viceroy) Josip Jelacic
  • 50 kn - Ivan Gundulic
  • 100 kn - Ivan Mazuranic
  • 200 kn - Stjepan Radic
  • 500 kn - Marko Marulic
  • 1,000 kn - Ante Starcevic

CREDIT CARDS
Credit cards are normally used in Croatia. Accepted are the following cards: EUROCARD/MASTERCARD, VISA, DINERS and AMERICAN EXPRESS, as well as other credit cards issued by domestic credit institutions (Zagrebacka banka, Splitska banka and several other banks). Tourist companies accept them as payment instrument.

Climate
City January
Temperature
July
Temperature
Annual
Rainfall
Dubrovnik 9.2 C 24.7 C 1,006 mm
Split 7.2 C 23.5 C 688 mm
Rijeka 6.2 C 23 C 1,251 mm
Zagreb 0 C 23.5 C 652 mm
Osijek 0.6 C 20.8 C 541 mm
Formalities

Entrance of Croatia is allowed against a valid passport or any other personal identification document recognized by a bilateral agreement. The border police issues, against a certain duty, document allowing passing the border, valid for a period of three months. A visa, if required, can be obtained at each border-crossing. However, the applicants are advised to contact the nearest Croatian diplomatic mission. Owners of vehicles are obliged to show the international motor vehicle insurance card.

Customs

Foreign visitors are allowed to tax-free import of personal luggage, including 200 cigarettes of 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco and a bottle of spirits. Customs duties, approximated to a half of the price of the purchased goods, are charged for larger quantities. A customs declaration has to be filled in when importing music instruments, camping or diving equipment (including oxygen bottles), radio equipment, etc., according to which the same items can be taken out of Croatia. Pets (dogs, cats) must have a valid vaccination certificate. Export of works of art, antique objects, sculptures, paintings and other objects of cultural heritage as well as gold and silver is possible only against a valid permit.

Health service

The Republic of Croatia has concluded special agreements a number of European countries regulating health service in terms of providing the same benefits (free medical chech-upis) enjoyed by the local population; foreign visitors should have health insurance certificate with them. No vaccination is required for entering Croatia. All larger places offer public medical service, and there are also hospitals in major centres and tourist resorts.

Roads

In 1993 there were 21,736 km of roads (including 302 km of motorways). Traffic regulations are the same as in the most European countries: driving on the right side, roadway marking and the same traffic regulations apply in Croatia as in the majority of the traffic signs are international, notes are in Latin script. USA of safety belts is obligatory. Prescribed equipment in the car: spare set of bulbs, a warning triangle, pull rope, snow chains in winter. Non-professional drivers are allowed to have the blood alcohol level up to 0,5%o.

The speed limits are posted along the roads. If not posted the speed limit is as follows: dual carriageway motorways 130 km/h, other highways90 km/h, roads in residential areas 60 km/h. The maximum allowed speed for passenger cars with trailers is 80 km/h.

Main roads are international roads (MC), MC12: Hungarian border - Zagreb - Rijeka; MC11: Slovenian border - Krapina - Zagreb - Bihac (Bosnia and Herzegovina); MC1: Slovenian border - Zagreb - Yugoslav border; MC2: the Adriatic main road, etc. There is a highway from Zagreb to Oprisavci near Slavonski Brod, a highway from Zagreb to Karlovac and from Rijeka (trunk road) to Delnice. Tolls are charged on highways.

BREAKDOWN SERVICE
The Croatian Motoring Club (HAK), providing break-down service, has a unique phone number - 987; telephone booths are found along the highways. In case of car crash with substantial damage, the police should be notified, the crash site marked with a warning triangle, personal data are to be exchanged and the motor insurance card is to be shown.

Railways

In 1993 there were 2,699 km of 1,435 mm gauge (983 km electrified). In 1993 railways carried 18.5 million passengers and 11.6 million tones of freight.
Passenger railroad traffic on Croatian railways is adjusted to transportation of workers and students (commuters). The Croatian Railways play an important role in international railroad traffic (EC Mimara: Zagreb - Munchen - Berlin).

Airports

Croatia has ten international airports: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Pula, Zadar, Osijek, Vrsar, Ploce, Cunski on the island of Lošinj, and Brac on the island of Brac. The airports in Dubrovnik, Zagreb and Split are of great importance for tourism. The domestic airline company Croatia Airlines maintains air connections with all important centres in Europe. Additional flights, if necessary, are provided by foreign airlines.

Ship connections

Ferry and ship connections, apart from local communications, operate on regular international routes: Venice - Split - Dubrovnik; Trieste - Rijeka - Split - Durres (Albania); Zadar - Ancona; Split - Pescara; Dubrovnik - Bari. The Croatian passenger marine includes fast hydrofoil boats. Croatian ports accommodate many foreign tourist ships and yachts during the tourist season.

Oil and Gas

1.73 million tones of crude oil was produced in 1993, and 1,835 cubic meters of natural gas in 1991.

PETROL STATIONS
Fuel supply is very good. Every large place has petrol stations open generally from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Petrol stations in big towns and cities as well as on important roads are open non-stop. Type of fuel at the petrol stations is marked (SUPER, EWUROSUPER 95, D1, D2). Motor oil, standard spare parts, car cosmetics, etc. can also be bought there. Radio stations provide information about traffic. In the summer months news and traffic information are broadcast in several foreign languages (English, German, Italian) five times a day (at 8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and at midnight).

Telecommunications

Telephone network is administered by the Post. There are telephone booths in many places in every town; telephone sets operate by means of magnetic cards. Automatic telephone lines exist with other states (country and area codes are given in Table on p.579). International access code is 00, after which the country code is to be dialed.

INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE PREFIX FOR CROATIA: 385

099 - MOBITEL cellular phone network covers 91 % of the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and almost 99 % of inhabited areas.
098 - GSM - CRONET cellular phone network covers over 40 % of the total territory and about 75 % of inhabited areas in Croatia, whereby the coverage of tourist resorts, major roads, towns and cities is provided. HT (Croatian Telecommunications) have concluded roaming agreements with 64 GSM operators from 36 countries in the world, having provided the GSM users with today most modern way of communications.
Also, VIPNET (091 -GSM) has concluded roaming agreements with 46 GSM operators from 30 countries in the world, having provided the GSM users with today most modern way of communications.

Post offices

Post offices have the same office hours as shops. Post offices in bigger places are open on Sundays. Most of the offices offer cable and fax services. Post savings banks offer all banking transactions. Foreign visitors can draw certain amounts of money from the savings books of their post offices. Letter and postcards are delivered to addressees in Europe within three to five days; post stamps are sold at post offices, stationary shops and at the tobacconists.

Banking

The National Bank is the bank of issue. Total saving deposits on Dec. 31, 1994 were 8,915 million Kuna.

Finances

There are stock exchanges in Zagreb and in Varazdin.

Working hours

Office hours are usually from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Banks, post offices, travel agencies and exchange offices have various office hours. Working hours (in larger towns) are from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or, in smaller places, two-shift working hours apply, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturdays to 12 noon.

Some shops are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; also some shops apply two-shift working hours; there are some shops (in more important tourist centres) working round the clock. Market places in larger centres open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. On Sundays some shops, florists and stands are open in the morning as well as museums and larger galleries. On Mondays most museums and galleries are closed.

There are some catering objects open already at 6:00 a.m.; alcoholic drinks are served from 7:00 a.m. Almost all bars close at 12:00 p.m. (with the exception of discotheques, clubs, night clubs, some catering establishments on special locations). most of the bars and restaurants are open of Sundays, some of them on holidays.

Working hours in tourist resorts, on border-crossings and important traffic points are adjusted to the season; the same applies to travel agencies, restaurants and shops.

Prices

The prices in shops include taxes. Foreign visitors can require VAT tax refund for the goods purchased in Croatia if the goods are carried out of the country. Every single invoice must exceed HRK 500.00 (not applicable for petroleum products). Shops have to issue a bill for all paid merchandise. Duty-free sale is offered at the airports, and the customs regulations apply to all purchased goods.

Emergency Telephones

Police 92, Fire Brigade 93, Ambulance 94, Automobile Club Road Assistance Service 987.


Electricity

Electrical voltage: 220V, 50 Hz

Output was 9,437 million kwh in 1993.

Start-Amadeus Code

KZT

Tap Water

Is safe for drinking throughout the country.

 

Souvenirs

Regarding the souvenirs, some of the regions have their specific offer, often of a high-quality craftsmanship (Šestine umbrellas, “penkala” pens, protected models and casts of works of art) or artistic level (lacework - Pag, Hvar, Lepoglava). Supreme quality wines can also be bought.

TV and Radio

In Croatia there are 3 national TV networks, and lot of local networks. The broadcast is in Croatian language. Every morning on HTV 3 there is a live picture from panoramic cameras located in almost all tourist centers (Opatija, Sukosan, Sibenik, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Bjelolasica). In almost all hotels and lot of private pensions there is Satellite TV. TV broadcast standard is European PAL.

During the tourist season national and local radio stations have news on foreign languages almost every hour.

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