– CROATIA TRAVEL GUIDE –
National capital: Zagreb
Population: 4,437,460 people
Area: 56,542 square kilometers
Croatia is one of the most visited Balkan countries. Not surprisingly, as it is a downright ideal place for a vacation. It has been named the most beautiful country in Europe for a reason. It has a unique location on the Adriatic Sea, which impresses with its turquoise-blue color. Croatia has thousands of small islands painting its lovely coastline. Numerous hills tumbling into the sea, rocks and naturally hollowed out caves are a phenomenal combination attracting waves of tourists. Many towns boast interesting and unique history and typical Croatian architecture. It’s hard to resist Croatian cuisine, which is a combination of Mediterranean classic dishes and Italian specialties. The country is famous for its vineyards, so you can meet them there practically at every step. Croatians with their character, very much resemble Italians, who lead a relaxed, slow and peaceful lifestyle. It’s a very diverse country, so everyone will find something for himself.
-Croatia travel guide –
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and an important urban center of the country with an interesting history and culture. It is also extremely picturesquely located on the Sava River, at the foot of the green Medvednica mountain range with the ruins of Medvedgrad Castle, which lure tourists with their mysterious charm. Zagreb offers many attractions, often related to its fascinating history. Zagreb is divided into two parts: Upper City and Lower City (Gornji Grad and Donji Grad). The Upper City of Zagreb was founded in the Middle Ages – it is home to the largest number of monuments and the most interesting architecture in the city. You can go to the historic Upper City by train, which is one of the city’s tourist attractions. The second tourist center is concentrated along Lilica Street, which is Zagreb’s largest shopping arcade and representative street. Architectural monuments are the most visited sites. One of the must-see points in the old town is St. Mark’s Church and the square around the church. On the opposite side of the square stands the Ban Palace (Banski dvori), which is also the seat of the Croatian president.
It is one of the most magnificent cities in Europe and one of the most visited by tourists. Due to its magnificent architecture and monuments, the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A must-see, first of all, is the city’s ancient urban layout with city walls (up to 25 meters high and up to 6 meters wide) with more than 20 bastions and towers dating back to the 10th-15th centuries. Also worth seeing are the Sponza Palace (14th-15th centuries), the Gothic Franciscan and Dominican monasteries from the 14th-15th centuries, the oldest pharmacy in Europe (since 1317) and the Rector’s Palace, built in the middle of the 15th century. This building was the seat of government of the Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa), a free merchant republic from 1204 to 1806. Today the building houses a museum of Dubrovnik’s history. Anyone who visits the city will acknowledge that Dubrovnik, founded back in the 7th century as Ragusium by Roman exiles, is called the pearl of the Adriatic.
Located in the heart of the Adriatic Sea, Zadar is the administrative, economic, cultural and political center of Dalmatia. This beautiful historic city has been one for centuries – the first university on the territory of present-day Croatia was founded in this city (1396) and the first newspaper was published. Zadar and its surroundings attract crowds of tourists – both those thirsty for contact with nature, as well as tourists who want to learn about the culture and history of the region. This beautiful town is located on an archipelago of 24 islands and 300 smaller islets and rocks; there are three nature parks and five national parks nearby. The city itself still bears traces from the Roman Empire (1st century AD). The center of the old city is located on a peninsula and is surrounded by thick walls, and its most famous monument is the church of St. Donatus with a rotunda dating back to the 9th century.
Pula is a city that successfully combines history and modernity. The city’s skyline is dominated by many cultural and historical monuments, which are the backdrop for numerous cultural and artistic events. Pula is a treasure trove of priceless museum and antique collections. It houses a richly equipped historical and archaeological museum, beautiful churches, the historic Franciscan monastery, where some of the Istrian wall paintings are kept, also the unique Chapel of St. Maria Formosa. The most famous monument in Pula is the 1st century colosseum, most likely built by the Roman emperor Vespasian. The colosseum could hold 23,000 people, and is now one of the three best-preserved buildings of its kind in the world. Also worth seeing are the old Roman temples, the triumphal arch, the three surviving city gates and the remains of the defensive walls with the Gate of Hercules.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of Croatia’s most visited tourist attractions. Several thousand people a day visit this beautiful place in high season. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the national park consists of 16 beautiful lakes, and the streams flowing out of them pile up into waterfalls with a total length of 8 km. All of this is surrounded by primeval forest, while mobility is made possible by wooden footbridges that allow one to step over the flowing waters.
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