Croatia (Republika Hrvatska) is an independent republic, which was part of Yugoslavia until its dissolution in 1991. The country is located in the northwestern part of the Balkan peninsula and has a long coastline dotted with a myriad of islands in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia has Zagreb as its capital. On 1 July 2013, the Croatia became the 28th member state of the European Union.
The country stretches from Istria to the plains of the Drava and the Danube, while to the south it includes the entire coastline of Dalmatia with its islands. In the hinterland the Dinaric Alps mark the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
From the geographical point of view the Croatian territory has three main areas: the coastal region along the Adriatic Sea partly formed by karst terrain, rocky and sometimes barren; the mountainous inner area, part of the Dinaric Alps, rich in forests; the hilly and plain areas to the east of the mountains with lakes and rivers, among them the Sava, the Drava and the Danube. The highest mountain in Croatia is Mount Dinara with 1,831 metres, located along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Along the Adriatic coast, which extends for nearly 6,000 km, hundreds of islands are to be found. The two largest islands are Cres/Cherso with 405 sq km and Krk/Veglia with 405 sq km. Other major islands are Brač/Brazza with 396 sq km , Hvar/Lesina with 297 sq km, Pag/Pago with 284 sq km and Korčula/Curzola with 271 sq km.
English text correction by Dietrich Köster.
- Area: 56,594 sq km
- Population: 4,460,000: Mainly Croats; there are Serbian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Bosnian and Italian minorities.
- State Capital: Zagreb
- Official Language: Croatian. Italian is spoken along the coast in Istria and in quite some places in Dalmatia. The main coastal towns of Istria are bilingual (Italian and Croatian).
- Religion: Mainly Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Islamic minorities.
- Currency: Kuna (HRK)
- Time Zone: Central European Time UTC+1, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2.