"Culture is everything. Culture is the way we dress, the way we carry our heads, the way we walk, the way we tie our ties. It is not only the fact of writing books or building houses, " said a famous author once. In this page, you will get a sneak preview into Croatia's rich cultural heritage and aspects of life.
LANGUAGE: The modern Croatian language was born thanks to the union of more than nine hundred years of literature written in a mixture of Croatian Church Slavonic and vernacular language. If we zoom in on the subject we can see that Croatian Church Slavonic was abandoned by the mid-1400s but vernacular Croatian literature has been in existence for more than five centuries. Croatian is based on the Štokavian dialect (with some influence from Cakavian and Kajkavian) and written with the Latin alphabet.
MUSIC: Croatian folk music is a mishmash of different styles, each distinct in its own way. Violinists or tambura players and a Croatian mandolin accompany Kolo, a lively Slavic dance. Dalmatia's gentle guitar and accordion bands have a distinctly Italian flavour.
RELIGION: Majority of the Croats is Roman Catholic, while Serbs follow the Eastern Orthodox Church. In addition to doctrinal differences, Orthodox Christians venerate icons, let priests marry, and couldn't care less about the Pope. Thoroughly suppressed during Yugoslavia's Communist period, Roman Catholicism is now making a comeback, with most churches strongly attended every Sunday. Muslims make up 1.1% of the population and Protestants 0.4%. There's a tiny Jewish population in Zagreb.
FOOD: Croatians love a bit of oil and among the greasy delicacies is Burek, a layered pie made with meat or cheese and Piroska, a cheese donut from the Zagreb region. Inland areas are well known for Manistra Od Bobica (beans and fresh maize soup) or Struki (baked cheese dumpling). The Adriatic coast excels in seafood: regional dishes include scampi and Dalmatian brodet (mixed fish stewed with rice). Virtually every region produces its own varieties of wine.
ARCHITECTURE: The country's best Roman architectural remains are in Split and Pula. Don't miss Diocletian's Palace in Split and the amphitheatre in Pula. Other significant Roman sites include Zadar and Salona (archaeological site near Solin), while numerous smaller finds are exhibited at the archaeological museum in Split.
Architecturally attractive are towns of Dubrovnik, Korcula, Trogir, Sibenik and Zadar. Trogir's medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Trogir's church of St. Lawrence is the most significant work of the Romanesque-Gothic style in the country.
In Istria, the Euphrasian Basilica of Porec, commissioned by Bishop Euphrasius in 535BC to 50BC. Basilica contains some particularly beautiful Byzantine wall mosaics. The architecture of the Croatian coastal towns is a mixture of Roman, Renaissance and Baroque.
HVAR: A medieval city that has 16th century Renaissance cathedral, the Cathedral of St Stephen.
VARAZDIN is the richest in Baroque architecture, while Zagreb is typical middle-European city with various samples of Secessionist and Neo-Baroque architectural styles. Also, well known Posavina style wooden cottage architecture is part of Croatian architectural heritage that is well preserved in the area of Lonjsko Polje - Posavina.
The best preserved among fortified medieval towns are Korcula and Dubrovnik. The Islands of Hvar and Korcula were both Venetian naval strongholds. Sibenik is coastal town with impressive architecture of St. James Cathedral.