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Croatia Did You Know?

Successful in sports

  • Croatian alpine skiers Janica and Ivica Kostelic won all together 10 medals on Winter Olympic games – which made them the most successful family in Winter Olympic history.
  • Goran Ivanisevic – famous tennis player – won Wimbledon in 2001.
  • Croatian National Football team with Davor Suker – won a third place on Football World Cup 1998 in France.
  • Croatian National Handball team took the gold medal in 2003 World Handball Championship held in Portugal.


  • Nikola Tesla, genious whose inventions (light, X-rays, radio, remote control, electric motor, laser, wireless energy…) changed the world, was born in Croatia in the village Smiljan. Every year in his honor Association of Nikola Tesla in Croatia celebrates his birthday at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel.
  • Ivan Vucetic, inventor of dactyloscopy (identification throughout fingerprints) was born on the island of Hvar.
  • Croat by the name of Eduard Penkala registered his patent for the propelling pencil (a penkala) and the fountain pen for the first time in 1906.
  • The cravat comes from Croatia! Initially part of the uniform of Croatian soldiers it was adopted by the French in the 17th century. The world “cravat” derives from the word “Croat”.
  • The parachute was invented and first trailed in the 17th century by the Croatian Faust Vrancic, who was also the designer of the first wind turbine.

Cool stuff

  • Dalmatian breed of dog originates from Dalmatia.
  • Agatha Christie spent her honeymoon in Dubrovnik.

Country, Culture and History

  • The Washington White House was built using stones from Croatia’s island Brac.
  • The most preserved Roman amphitheater is located in Pula, which is the only one in the world with all three rows completely preserved.
  • The smallest town in the world according to Guiness World records is Hum in the central part of Istria – it has only 23 inhabitants.
  • Griffon vulture is to be found in very few places in Europe, and one of those places is the island of Cres.
  • Red coral (Corallium rubum), highly valued for its beautiful colouring, groves in the Croatian Adriatic.
  • Jacques Cousteau bestowed upon Croatia’s Sea the honorific of the «cleanest sea in the world«.
  • Marco Polo, famous world traveler and explorer, was most probably born in 1254 on the island of Korcula. Even today there are people on the island who bear the same family name.
  • Schools of dolphin travel up and down the coast, keeping company with ships and yachts. A special programme has been set up whose aim is the preservation of dolphins.
  • Odysseus’ cave is located on the island of Mljet. Legend has it that it was there that the adventure of the Ancient World ran aground and that he met the nymph Calypso. He felt in love with her and spent an unforgettable time with her.
  • The footprints of dinosaurs were discovered in place called «Bale», near Rovinj, and on the Brijuni archipelago, while their bones have been found in the sea.
  • Around the year 1800 Dubrovnik maintained Consular Offices in over 80 countries around the world. This one-time city-republic also had a fleet of 673 ships, 250 of which sailed the seven seas.
  • In its summer issue US women’s magazine Marie Claire has declared Dubrovnik’s Banje beach to be ‘the third most beautiful beach’ in the world.
  • The national park of Plitvice and Krka have been used as the locations for scenes in the films about the Indian Winnetou.
  • The smallest cathedral in the world is said to be located in Nin, near Zadar.
  • The Roman emperor Diocletian built a palace in Dalmatia in 305 A.D., which became the foundation of today’s city of Split.
  • Croatia used to be a Roman province and many monuments are left from that period, mostly on coast.
  • The carnival in Rijeka is not only the biggest in Croatia but also one of the most enticing carnivals in Europe. The parade is made up of around 150 colorfully costumed groups from different countries. Of great interest is the impressive appearance of Zvoncari or the bellmen, covered in sheep skins and dancing to the deafening noise of the bells so as to scare away evil spirits of winter, which is a stunning folk custom that makes for a world-class tourist attraction.
  • Croatia has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old City of Dubrovnik (1979); Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian (1979); Plitvice Lakes National Park (1979); Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Porec (1997); Historic City of Trogir (1997); The Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik(2000); and Stari Grad (Hvar) Plain (2008).
  • The most Adriatic Sea islands lie off the coast of Croatia – more than 1,200 islands, islets, ridges, and rocks.
  • The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I.
  • Croatia has eight national parks: Brijuni, Kornati, Krka, Mljet, Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Risnjak and Northern Velebit.
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